Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)

In today’s health care industry, registered nurses are in short supply and high demand. While nursing assistants and other lesser trained health care aides are filling in the gaps that a lack of registered nurses has left, the training and the experience that RNs bring to every health care setting is undeniable.

RN Online Degree Programs


A registered nurse can be found in a number of health care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, specialty doctor offices, private care agencies, and physical therapy settings. They are involved in every aspect of patient care, even when not directly dealing with a patient. Many RNs are also becoming a vital part of insurance companies in determining what care is necessary for patients and how a company should charge for a specific claim. The responsibilities of a registered nurse are vast and often more detailed that any list could ever cover, but include:

  • Directly involved in patient care, including vital signs and basic patient comfort duties
  • Administration of injections as well as medications
  • Development of patient care plans and assessments
  • Determination of necessary equipment and facilities for patient care
  • Supervision of nurses’ aides as well as LPNs or LVNs
  • Direction interaction with physicians regarding the patient care
  • Delegation of tasks as deemed necessary
  • Education of staff as well as new nursing assistant students
  • Education of community
  • Determination of patient care needs, including whether they are met and how they can be met as a situation changes for a patient
  • Nursing administration position duties
  • Maintenance of nursing notes, medical records, and detailed communication to other nurses on staff

Typical nursing school prerequisites will vary from program to program, but generally include an ACT or SAT score, at least a 2.0 grade point average (this varies widely across programs), basic education (math, science, foreign language, and English classes), as well as positive extracurricular activities. As more nursing schools are taking more applicants, the best qualifications will determine acceptance as well as financial aid possibilities. There are several programs that are included under the RN title. The first level is to become an RN or registered nurse. This process generally takes three years for a diploma, and only two years for an associate’s degree. If you want to increase your salary or feel that you would like to enter the administration field, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will take about four years to complete. Some nurses also decide to get their BSN after working as an RN for a while. This transition can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Because of the nursing shortage, more schools are offering accelerated nursing programs as well. Local colleges and technical schools can be a tremendous source of possibilities for night and weekend classes for those who can only afford part-time study. Registered nurses can expect to make about $40,000 to start, but the national average for nurses is closer to $50,000 annually. With all of the sign-on bonuses and benefits, registered nurses are better compensated due to the current high demand for their skill sets. If you’re looking to become an RN, find your nursing degree school here:

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