Registered Nurse (RN) Training

What is a registered nurse?

A Registered Nurse (RN) is a nurse who has completed at least an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), and has successfully passed the NCLEX-RN certification exam.

After becoming an RN, some become an Advanced Practice RN (APRN) like a CRNA or a more specialized job.

RNs are responsible for educating patients and the public about medical conditions as well as providing advice and emotional support to both the patient and the patient’s family members.

RNs record patient’s medical history and symptoms, operate medical machinery, perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results, administer medication, and help with patient follow up and rehabilitation.

RNs teach patients and their families how to manage their medical condition. They will explain post-treatment care, nutrition, diet, exercise programs, medication, and physical therapy.

RNs are also responsible for establishing a care plan, administering medication, administering treatment, patient observations, consulting with physicians, and starting, maintaining and discontinuing intravenous (IV) lines for medication, fluid, and blood. Some RNs are responsible for providing direction to licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nursing aids.

The specific responsibilities of an RN will vary from one job to the next. There are many opportunities for a RN to specialize.

What are the educational requirements to become an RN?

There are a few different ways to become a Registered Nurse. Whichever educational route you pursue, you are required to pass an exam to become an RN.

The educational option is to get a diploma in nursing. The hospital-based diploma program is the oldest method of nursing education. Students will typically take between 30 and 60 credit hours in anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, physiology, and other subjects at a college (or university) then will move on to intensive nursing classes.

Another option is to get a two-year Associate Degree in Nursing. Associate degree nursing programs sometimes have many prerequisites with can increase the number of classes and could require you to spend more time in school.

The third option, which takes the most time, is to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It is a four year degree that prepares nurses for graduate-level education. A Bachelors degree is helpful if you plan on furthering your nursing career. The first two years will typically be spent taking general education requirements and spend the subsequent two years in nursing courses. The BSN program emphasizes research and nursing theory while an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) has a more hands on approach. Most states require clinical experience for students seeking a BSN and an ADN.

After completing the educational requirements, a prospective RN is required to take the NCLEX-RN, a test for becoming a licensed registered nurse.


What are the Advancement Possibilities for an RN?

Advancement in the nursing field depends on experience, education, place of employment, and motivation. RNs can become department supervisors or even specialists with a particular field.

Those with a bachelors or masters degree are more likely to move into higher-level (and higher paying) jobs.

There are many positions in teaching, research, an administration require masters or doctorate degrees in nursing.

What is the Average Salary of an RN?

The average salary for RNs will vary depending on experience, education, and area of specialization. The median annual salary of RNs was $52,330 in 2004.

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