What is a Registered Nurse?
The profession of nursing is defined by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org) as follows:
Registered nurse (RN): An individual who has graduated from a state-approved school of nursing, passed the NCLEX-RN Examination and is licensed by a state board of nursing to provide patient care.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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 typically work in hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. They also work in correctional facilities, schools, summer camps, and with the military.
To become a registered nurse, one usually takes one of three education paths: a bachelor's degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must also become licensed by passing a national licensing examination.
The median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in May 2010 and employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements; an increased emphasis on preventative care; and the large, aging baby-boomer population who will demand more healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives.
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