What does a Registered Nurse do?
Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Registered nurses' duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.
Working as a Registered Nurse
Depending on their roles, qualifications, specialization and years of experience, a registered nurse may:
- Assess patients' conditions
- Record patients' medical histories and symptoms
- Observe patients and record the observations
- Administer patients' medicines and treatments
- Set up plans for patients' care or contribute information to existing plans
- Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
- Operate and monitor medical equipment
How much does a Registered Nurse make in the United States?
Average base salaryData source tooltip for average base salary.
The average salary for a registered nurse is $28.92 per hour in the United States and $11,250 overtime per year.
Frequently asked questions
What is a 2-year nursing degree called?
A two-year nursing degree is called an associate degree in nursing (ADN).
How many hours do registered nurses work?
Registered nurses (RNs) typically work in shifts or rotations that are 8, 10, or 12 hours long. Nurses that work 8-hour shifts work at least four days per week while a registered nurse who works 12-hour shifts may only work three days per week. Some employers may have voluntary or required overtime in addition to these shifts. When interviewing for a registered nurse position, it is a good idea to ask the employer what a typical RN schedule is like.
Is becoming a registered nurse worth it?
Registered nurse has an above-average job outlook according to the Bureau of labor statistics and has an above-average median pay. Becoming a nurse is worth it when considering the stability of this career and positive long-term outlooks.