Another of the high-potential nursing designations is the Registered Nurse, or RN. RNs are in high demand all over the world and in a broad range of specialties, making it a career with incredible employment opportunity and security. To be qualified for practice as a Registered Nurse in the United States, applicants must have been graduated from an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN, a national licensing examination. License renewal is required periodically, which may involve additional education and testing according to regulations in some states. Registered Nurses are qualified for a variety of positions in nearly every segment of the health care industry.
Duties assigned to Registered Nurses vary widely throughout health care services, according to the hundreds of available specialties from which they can choose. However, there are some basic duties that are similar regardless of specialty. Among these are treating patients and educating them and the public about a variety of medical conditions and diseases, recording symptoms and medical histories, operating medical machinery, administering medications and treatments, assisting with diagnostic testing, and analyzing test results. Registered Nurses also educate patients and their families on how to manage illness and injury at home, preparing them for hospital discharge, including such items as teaching self-administration of required medications or physical therapy, and specialized diet counseling.
Training to become a Registered Nurse can be accomplished with any one of three educational options: (1) a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN); (2) an associate degree in nursing (ADN); or (3) with a diploma from a qualified nursing school program.
Nursing schools that offer a Bachelor’s degree upon graduation are generally four-year programs, while an Associate degree or Diploma program can range in length from two to three years. Registered Nurses that are awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree will have the broadest range of career choices, meeting the required skill level for more procedures and specialties. Regardless of the educational path chosen, all Registered Nurses must pass the national examination before being officially licensed to practice. Registered Nurses can hold licenses in several states, either by endorsement of a license issued in another state or by examination.
The demand for Registered Nurses in nearly every segment of the medical profession is growing every day. As more advanced technologies and procedures have been introduced into the routine care of patients, the need for such skilled professionals has been rising steadily. A graduate of a Registered Nursing degree program is sure to find employment in their preferred specialty, as the employment opportunities across the medical industry far outnumber the qualified applicants available to fill them, ensuring a secure and fulfilling career for years to come.