Close
Back HOME Menu
Close

Nursing Work Description

NURSING WORK DESCRIPTION

Nursing

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.

Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in a wide diversity of practice areas with a different scope of practice and level of prescriber authority in each. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has come to shape the historic public image of nurses as care providers. However, nurses are permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings depending on training level. In the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) states nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

The scope of practice of registered nurses is the extent to and limits of which an RN may practice. In the United States, these limits are determined by a set of laws known as the Nurse Practice Act of the state or territory in which an RN is licensed. Each state has its own laws, rules, and regulations governing nursing care. Usually the making of such rules and regulations is delegated to a state board of nursing, which performs day-to-day administration of these rules, qualifies candidates for censurer, licenses nurses and nursing assistants, and makes decisions on nursing issues. It should be noted that in some states the terms "nurse" or "nursing" may only be used in conjunction with the practice of a Registered Nurse (RN) or licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN).

The scope of practice for a registered nurse is wider than for an LPN/LVN because of the level and content of education as well as what the Nurse Practice Act says about the respective roles of each.

In the hospital setting, registered nurses are often assigned a role in which they delegate tasks to LPNs and unlicensed assistive personnel.

RNs are not limited to employment as bedside nurses. Registered nurses are employed by physicians, attorneys, insurance companies, governmental agencies, community/public health agencies, private industry, school districts, ambulatory surgery centers, among others. Some registered nurses are independent consultants who work for themselves, while others work for large manufacturers or chemical companies. Research Nurses conduct or assist in the conduct of research or evaluation (outcome and process) in many areas such as biology, psychology, human development, and health care systems.

Registered Nurses - SUMMARY

Quick Facts: Registered Nurses
2012 Median Pay
Close

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2012, the median annual wage for all workers was $34,750.

$65,470 per year
$31.48 per hour
Entry-Level Education
Close

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Close

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

None
On-the-job Training
Close

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

None
Number of Jobs, 2012
Close

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2012, which is the base year of the 2012-22 employment projections.

2,711,500
Job Outlook, 2012-22
Close

The projected percent change in employment from 2012 to 2022. The average growth rate for all occupations is 11 percent

19% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22
Close

The projected numeric change in employment from 2012 to 2022.

526,800
Registered nurses teach patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries
Registered nurses teach patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries.

What Registered Nurses Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Work Environment

Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. Others work in correctional facilities, schools, or serve in the military.

How to Become a Registered Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor's degree in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must also be licensed.

Pay

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $65,470 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventative care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby boomer population, as they live longer and more active lives.

Page Info

Last Modification: 01-26-2014

Source: http://www.bls.gov

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.