The Role of RNs


    Registered nurses, also known as RNs, work to promote good health and prevent illness.  RNs educate and promote not only their patients about health and wellness issues, but the general public as well.  They are responsible for educating the public on various health and medical conditions, treating patients, helping patients in rehabilitation efforts, and providing updates, general information, advice, and support to the families of the patients they care caring for.  RNs work under the supervision of doctors and surgeons, and keep updated records of their patients conditions, symptoms, medication dosage and times, and progress.  They are also responsible for administering medications and for the overall care of their patients.

    RNs may play several different roles in the treatment or types of patients.  Some registered nurses work in general areas,  or critical care units such as intensive care nurses, and others as psychiatric nurses who care for patients in mental health services.  Nurses can also be divided and/or specialized by diseases or conditions, such as those patients with AIDS, or with substance abuse issues, as well as by organs or systems of the body such as a respiratory nurse, which cares for patients with asthma or breathing disorders.  Nurses can also specialize in children and adolescents specifically, or geriatric nurses, which provide care for the elderly population.  Other nurses include emergency rooms nurses, which care for persons in the emergency rooms, pediatric oncology nurses, which provide care for children and adolescents with cancer, and nephrology nurses, which care for patients with kidney failure and diseases.

    All states require RNs to have licenses to practice and treat patiens.  Specific degrees and training vary by employment and state, and many requirements are fulfilled with a high school degree and at least a 2 year associate degree in a nursing program offered at many colleges and universities.  RN’s advancement opportunities can vary between degree types, place of employment, and experience, but is more likely in nurses with degrees.  RN’s are expected to create the second largest number of new jobs amongst job opportunities, which an exceptionally high growth rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.