What Does a Registered Nurse (RN) Do?


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As someone who has a personal connection to the nursing profession, I can attest to the incredible impact that RNs have on the lives of their patients. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, and the RNs who cared for her during her treatment were absolute angels. They were not only highly skilled and knowledgeable, but also kind, compassionate, and empathetic. They took the time to listen to my grandmother’s concerns and fears, and provided her with emotional support when she needed it most. Seeing the care and attention that they gave to my grandmother inspired me to consider a career in nursing myself. And after learning more about the wide range of opportunities and specialties within the nursing field, I knew that becoming an RN was the perfect choice for me.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the world of nursing and explore the many roles and responsibilities of RNs, so that you too can understand the crucial role that they play in our healthcare system.

Job Duties of a Registered Nurse

Depending on the environment in which they operate, RNs are responsible for a variety of tasks. An RN’s main job responsibilities include things like:

1. Delivering Direct Care for Patients

Direct patient care is one of an RN’s most crucial responsibilities. This may entail collecting vital signs, giving prescriptions, applying bandages, keeping an eye on patients’ ailments, and helping with daily life activities.

2. Teaching Families and Patients

RNs are in charge of teaching patients and their families about their medical issues, available treatments, and drugs in addition to giving direct care. In order to do this, it may be necessary to translate complex medical information into terms that patients and their families can comprehend.

3. Working together with other medical professionals

In order to give patients the best treatment possible, RNs collaborate with physicians, nurse practitioners, and other medical staff members as a part of a healthcare team. This could entail attending rounds, corresponding with other medical professionals, and coordinating treatment.

4. Patient Care Documentation

RNs must include all facets of patient care in their medical records. This involves documenting the patient’s vital signs, medications taken, therapies given, and any changes in their health.

5. Supporting Patients

As patient advocates, RNs ensure that their patients’ rights are respected and that they receive the best possible care. This may involve communicating with hospital administrators, social workers, and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive the care they need.

Education and Training Required to Become an RN

To become an RN, one must first earn a nursing degree from an accredited nursing program. There are three main types of nursing programs: diploma programs, associate degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs. Diploma programs typically take 1-2 years to complete and are offered by hospitals. Associate degree programs take 2-3 years to complete and are offered by community colleges. Bachelor’s degree programs take 4 years to complete and are offered by colleges and universities.

After completing a nursing program, aspiring RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain their nursing license. Once licensed, RNs may choose to pursue additional certifications in specialty areas such as critical care, oncology, or pediatrics.

Job Outlook for RNs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due in part to an aging population that requires more healthcare services, as well as advances in medical technology that allow for more complex treatments.


In conclusion, registered nurses play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing direct patient care, educating patients and families, collaborating with other healthcare professionals, documenting patient care, and advocating for patients. To become an RN, one must complete a nursing degree program and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. With a projected job growth rate of 9%, the future looks bright for those interested in pursuing a career as an RN.


  1. What is the difference between an RN and an LPN?

An RN is a registered nurse, while an LPN is a licensed practical nurse. RNs have a higher level of education and training, and are able to perform more advanced tasks such as administering medications, performing assessments, and developing care plans.

  1. What are some of the specialties that RNs can pursue?

There are many specialties that RNs can pursue, including critical care, oncology, pediatrics, obstetrics, and mental health.

  1. What is the job outlook for RNs?

The job outlook for RNs is very positive, with a projected growth rate of 9% from 2020 to 2030.

  1. What kind of work environment do RNs typically work in?

RNs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, and private homes.

  1. What kind of education and training is required to become an RN?

To become an RN, one must complete a nursing degree program from an accredited nursing school and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain a nursing license.