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Registered Nurse Career Profile

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. They work with a wide variety of patients, from pediatric to geriatric. They might specialize in fields such as intensive care, cardiac care, or dermatology to name a few. Most of the nation’s 2.7 million nurses work in medical and surgical hospitals, but many practice in physicians' offices, home health care, or long-term care settings. Others work in correctional facilities or schools, or serve in the military. Daily tasks include administering medication and treatments, performing tests, treating medical emergencies, creating treatment plans, counseling and observing patients, supervising licensed practical nurses and consulting with physicians.

RNs might work under a physician’s supervision but many work independently. Accordingly, RNs exercise considerable independent judgment, including advocating for patients in all facets of their care. Concorde's registered nurse training prepares students to successfully address all these various tasks in any suitable work setting.

The ideal nurse is an excellent listener and oral communicator. They are emotionally stable, empathetic, adaptable and team players. The daily rigors of the job require physical stamina. Our RN training also teaches you the "soft" skills - how to communicate effectively and empathetically with patients as well as working well within a team - to make you a happy and successful registered nurse.

Roughly 20 percent of nurses work part-time. In medical and surgical hospitals, nurses are scheduled on any of three shifts. In most other settings, they work normal business hours. The majority of RNs are eligible for overtime, but those with supervisory responsibilities are typically salaried. Benefits include health benefits, paid vacation and sick/personal time, pension, or 401K eligibility and educational reimbursement.

What does it feel like to be a registered nurse?

It is invigorating, fulfilling, stressful, exhausting, frustrating and enlightening, often in the same moment. The gratitude and respect of patients and their families will fuel your day. The intellectual challenges of patient care and the health care system will stretch your mind. The collegial relationships with other health professionals will buoy you in tough moments. You’ll find dignity in the simplest tasks such as bathing a patient. For many, nursing defines who they are. Registered Nurse is ranked No. 13 of the 100 Best Jobs by US News and World Report.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nursing is a fast-growing profession with an anticipated increase of 221,900 jobs between 2019 and 2029. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity and demand for health care services from the baby-boom population as they live longer and more active lives. In addition, approximately one million nurses are expected to retire in the same period. The resulting shortage of nurses promises full employment and increasing salaries for registered nurses far into the future.

To enter the profession, one must graduate with an Associate's Degree (ADN) from an accredited registered nurse program or Bachelor of Science Degree (BSN) in nursing and then pass the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses.

What is the career path for RN’s?

ADNs can “bridge” to BSN positions in pursuit of increased clinical and supervisory responsibilities. BSNs can pursue Master’s Degrees for a myriad of specializations or become a Nurse Practitioner who can practice without the direct supervision of a physician. Many RNs take on educational positions. Others assume health management positions in the insurance industry. The pharmacy industry hires RNs for everything from research to marketing and sales roles.