Registered Nurse (RN) Career

What You Do in This Career

Registered Nurses make up the largest healthcare occupation, and the demand for RNs is expected to grow. While 60% of nurses work in hospitals, Registered Nurses can work anywhere: in people’s homes helping the elderly, in care facilities, hospitals and doctors’ offices, even as traveling nurses. It is one of the most versatile professions. RNs treat, educate and advise patients, take medical histories and symptoms, perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, administer medications, work closely with medical assistants and CNAs, and help with patient follow-up. Much of the job depends on communicating effectively with patients. RNs have to explain post-treatment home care, diet, nutrition and exercise, and self-administered medication. They also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, and inform the public about diseases. RNs pretty much do everything, which is why training requirements are so strict and salaries so generous.

Salary and Career Path

So how much do they pay a person to do a little of everything? The median annual income of registered nurses in 2008 was $62,450, with some making more than $92,240. Employers offer incentives to attract and retain nurses since there is such a demand, including flexible work schedules, child care, and educational benefits. Many online vocational programs offer Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner degrees, which combine the BA program with the advanced MA program and improves marketability and increases earning potential.

What Kind of Degree or Coursework You Need

To become an RN, you must have a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, or an associate degree in nursing and a diploma. BSN programs take 4 years to complete, and AA programs are 2-3 years. However, BSN degrees are usually required for advancement. Registered Nurses usually start out as staff nurses in hospitals, but there are many opportunities to specialize even further. Registered Nurses can go on to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetists, which all require master’s degrees.

Top Online Health Services Programs

DeVry University
AS in Health IT
DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
Herzing University
AS in Medical Assisting
Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Adventist University of Health Sciences
BS in Radiologic Sciences
Adventist University of Health Sciences — Founded in 1992, the Adventist University of Health Sciences is formerly the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, a school focused on privding higher education in the several fields of healthcare. The BS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become radiologic technicians. Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Pima Medical Institute
BS in Radiologic Sciences
AOS in Radiography
Pima Medical Institute — Pima Medical Institute, founded in 1972, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, and bachelor's degrees for careers in the healthcare industry. The BS in Radiologic Sciences program prepares students to perform the duties and responsibilies of a radiologists. Pima is accredited by organizations in several fields of healthcare including the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

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