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What does a Registered Nurse do?

Learn all about Registered Nurse duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Registered Nurse.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A registered nurse is a nurse who has completed an accredited nursing program and passed a national licensing exam. Registered nurses provide direct patient care, educate patients and the public about health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families.

Registered Nurse job duties include:

  • Assessing and planning nursing care requirements
  • Providing pre- and post-operation care
  • Monitoring and administering medication and intravenous infusions
  • Communicating with patients and their families
  • Maintaining accurate patient records
  • Providing emotional support to patients and their families
  • Promoting health education
  • Liaising with other members of the healthcare team
  • Supervising junior staff

Registered Nurse Job Requirements

A Registered Nurse (RN) is a professional nurse who has graduated from an accredited nursing program and passed a national licensing exam. RNs are responsible for the care of patients in all settings, including hospitals, clinics, and home health care. RNs must have excellent communication and critical thinking skills. They must be able to work well under pressure and be able to handle a variety of tasks at one time.

Registered Nurse Skills

  • Communication
  • Compassion
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Emotional stability
  • Physical stamina
  • Teamwork
  • Advocacy
  • Bedside manner
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Patient education

Related: Top Registered Nurse Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Registered Nurse

There are many ways to become a Registered Nurse. The most common way is to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Some states also require nurses to pass a state-specific licensure exam. After passing the NCLEX-RN, nurses can apply for a Registered Nurse license from their state board of nursing.

Registered nurses must have good communication skills, be able to work well under pressure, and have strong critical thinking skills. They must also be able to work with patients and their families to provide care and support.

Nurses can specialize in a variety of areas, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, or surgery. They may also choose to work in a specific setting, such as a hospital, clinic, or nursing home. Nurses can advance their careers by pursuing further education, such as a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing.

Related: Registered Nurse Resume Example

Related: Registered Nurse Interview Questions (With Example Answers)