Registered Nursing (RN) Program Info
Registered Nurses (RNs) make up the largest group of people in America's healthcare system. An RN attends to you in the emergency room, helps doctors deliver babies, educates patients on how to care for their injuries and manage their illnesses. An RN might manage a patient's medication and dosage, observe someone's condition and record data and vitals. They specialize in treating diabetes or treating seniors. Registered nurses are actually more often then not even more specific kinds or nurses, such as geriatric nurses, anesthesia nurses, oncology nurses, neo-natal nurses, and nurse practitioners. Sometimes RNs simply fall into these specialties based on where they work. Other times an RN will acquire additional certifications, licenses, or degrees to become a specific type of RN.
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RN's are essential to nearly all areas of the health care field and can be found in almost every setting where nurses are needed. While most of them work in hospitals (60%), many work in other settings such as schools, government offices, physician's offices, and more.
There are several paths to becoming an RN. Some nurses will get a bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) degree at an accredited four-year college or university. Others will pursue an associates degree in nursing at a junior or community college. Still others will get a registered nursing diploma through a vocational or technical school, but diploma programs are less common. After completing the level of education you choose at an approved nursing program, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed and begin your career as an RN.
Still another option, is to start out as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Nursing Assistant (NA), and then further your education to become and RN, sometimes with education tuition reimbursement from your employer. Additionally, there are accelerated BSN programs available for those who already have a nursing diploma, or another bachelor's degree.
Some specific types of RNs, such as neo-natal nurses or nurse practitioners, will require additional schooling and certifications.
Registered Nurses are in high demand and there are numerous opportunities in a wide variety of environments and positions. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a registered nurse was $62,450. Those with more education or certification will stand to make more. The top 10% were making over $92,000 annually.
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