MT World News Center

Tools & Resources
Calorie Counter
Human Anatomy Images and Diagrams
Most Common Drugs
Medical Transcription Services
Productivity Tools
Normal Lab Values
Medical Terminology
Medical Transcription Associations
Medical Transcription Certification
Counting Lines
Medical Abbreviations
Medical Plurals
Calendar of Events
Understanding HIPAA
Grammar Rules
IC vs Employee Status
Comic Relief!
MT Article Archive
Neurology Resources

Search Drug Database

Pharma Search Tool

Search Language Database

Language Search Tool





Registered Nurse Career Profile

Free Info on our recommended Medical Transcription Program leading to an exciting home based medical transcription career

Registered Nurse Description

Registered nurses are frequently referred to by the common acronym RN. The vast majority (60%) of RN's work in a hospital setting attending to moderately to critically ill individuals who are admitted to the hospital as inpatients. Registered Nurses are primarily responsible for administering to the needs of assigned patients. Many RN's also are employed in clinics and physicians offices. In addition to treating patients, nurses also help educate patients, evaluate past medical histories, and manage the care, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients. Nurses may also be called upon to provide oversight to CNA's, LPN's and other nurses aides involved in patient care. Nurses participate with physicians in patient diagnostic testing, conducting patient assessment, operating medical equipment, and administering prescribed patient medications. RN's also work closely with patients and family members to instruct them on the proper care, treatment, and management of injuries and illnesses. Nursing can be both a demanding and rewarding profession.

Nurse Specialization Options

In keeping with the trends toward healthcare specialization, nurses increasingly make the decision to specialize in a specific area of healthcare, such as anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, geriatrics, pediatrics, oncology, physical therapy, urgent care, and even midwifery. Nurse specialization typically requires additional education and training and in some cases additional certification.

Skills Required

Due to their almost continuous interaction with patients and other health care professionals, registered nurses must possess a high level of interest in people and their care. Nurses must also become conversant in virtually all aspects of healthcare and must become educated extensively in a wide variety of related topics including, pharmacology, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, disease processes, nutrition, exercise, phlebotomy, health documentation, preventative medicine, and physical therapy.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 2.6 million Registered Nurses licensed in the United States, more than any other health profession. What is more, the job opportunities for RN's continue to grow dramatically and it is expected that this growth will continue and possibly accelerate in the coming decades as the baby boom population continues to age. It is projected that 587,000 new registered nurse jobs will be created in the next ten years. This represents an incredible 23% growth rate which is an amazing rate of growth for any professional career. The job growth in nursing can be attributed to the increasing demand for health services by a burgeoning elderly population. Because nurses serve as a low cost provider option for primary patient care, the demand for nursing services will continue to outpace other professions into the foreseeable future.

Registered Nurse Education and Training Requirement

Registered nurses typically follow one of several paths that lead to licensure as a Registered Nurse. One of the most common paths is for an entry level nurse to complete a formal nurse training program at a vocational training center, university, or community college. Admission is competitive for most of these programs. As a general rule these programs require at least two years of training including clinical experience. At the conclusion of the program an individual who has successfully completed a nurse training program is eligible to sit for the licensing exam. Once licensed the individual will be officially designated as an RN - Registered Nurse.

For those interested in working their way into more advanced nursing or supervisory positions in nursing, a bachelors degree is often a good option. A BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) is granted by certain degree granting institutions to individuals who complete all of the RN requirements AND complete the additional coursework necessary to receive a bachelor's degree from the institution. Generally this option requires 4 years of full time study. Those interested in the most entry level nursing positions may choose to complete the requirements for a CNA or LPN. Individuals completing the CNA or LPN training will be much more limited in the scope of their responsibilities and in their income than an RN.

Registered Nurse Licensure and Certification Requirement

Individuals graduating from an approved nursing program must successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination also known as the NCLEX-RN in order to become licensed to practice as a Registered Nurse. While this is a State requirement, it has become something of a quasi-national standard since all 50 states plus the District of Columbia adhere to this requirement. For specific guidelines and requirements for your particular State, make contact with your State's board of nursing or professional licensing.

Registered Nurse Average Annual Salary

The most recent data published by the Department of Labor suggests that the median salary for Registered Nurses was $62,450, with the nursing annual compensation ranging from $51,410 to $76,570 for the bulk of practicing nurses. However, it should be noted that the highest 10% of nurses earned in excess of $92,240 per year.

Free Info on our recommended Medical Transcription Program leading to an exciting home based medical transcription career

  ^ Top