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Guide on Education to Becoming a Registered Nurse

February 14, 2023 · 4 min read

The key responsibilities of a registered nurse (RN) include:

  1. Assessing patient health problems and needs: Registered nurses assess patients' health problems and needs and collect medical histories.
  2. Developing and implementing care plans: Registered nurses develop and implement care plans, taking into account patients' needs, conditions, and preferences.
  3. Administering medications and treatments: Registered nurses administer medications, perform treatments, and monitor patients' reactions to medications and treatments.
  4. Monitoring and recording vital signs: Registered nurses monitor and record patient's vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.
  5. Providing emotional support: Registered nurses provide emotional support to patients and their families, helping them understand their diagnoses, treatments, and procedures.
  6. Collaborating with other healthcare professionals: Registered nurses collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, pharmacists, and physical therapists, to ensure the best possible patient outcomes.
  7. Educating patients and their families: Registered nurses educate patients and their families about health conditions, treatments, and lifestyle changes that can improve their health.
  8. Maintaining patient records: Registered nurses maintain accurate and up-to-date patient records, documenting patients' conditions, treatments, and outcomes.

These are the core responsibilities of a registered nurse, but the specific responsibilities can vary depending on the work setting, such as a hospital, nursing home, or doctor's office.

To become a registered nurse (RN), you typically need to have at least an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing program. However, many employers prefer or require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. To practice as a RN, you must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtain a license from your state's board of nursing. Additionally, some registered nurses may choose to earn specialized certifications in a certain area of practice, such as critical care, pediatrics, or oncology.

A BSN program typically takes four years to complete, while an ADN program typically takes two years. Both types of programs include clinical experience, which allows students to apply the theories and practices they learn in the classroom to real-life patient care scenarios. To practice as an RN, you must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtain a license from your state's board of nursing.

As a registered nurse (RN), you need to have a broad range of knowledge and skills in several areas, including

  1. Anatomy and Physiology: Understanding the structure and function of the human body and how it responds to illness and injury.
  2. Nursing Fundamentals: Knowledge of basic nursing care, such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and wound care.
  3. Medical-Surgical Nursing: Understanding of common medical and surgical conditions, treatments, and procedures.
  4. Pediatrics: Knowledge of nursing care for children, including growth and development, illness, and injury.
  5. Mental Health NursingUnderstanding of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and how to provide appropriate care and support.
  6. Ethics and Legal Issues: Knowledge of ethical and legal principles related to nursing practice, such as patient privacy and informed consent.
  7. Leadership and Management: Understanding of how to manage patient care, delegate tasks, and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams.

In addition to these specific areas of knowledge, RNs must also have the strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. They must be able to assess patients, develop and implement care plans, and monitor patient progress. They must also be able to work well under pressure and handle challenging situations with empathy and professionalism.

As a registered nurse (RN), you need to have a combination of technical, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills. Some of the key skills required for a successful career as an RN include:

  1. Clinical skills: Ability to assess patients, develop and implement care plans, administer medications and treatments, and monitor patients' progress.
  2. Communication skills: Good communication skills are crucial for effective patient care, as well as collaborating with interdisciplinary teams.
  3. Critical thinking skills: RNs must be able to quickly analyze complex situations and make sound decisions, often under pressure.
  4. Empathy and compassion: RNs must be able to connect with patients and provide emotional support, while maintaining professional boundaries.
  5. Attention to detail: RNs must be meticulous in their documentation and record-keeping, to ensure accurate patient care and legal compliance.
  6. Physical stamina: RNs are often required to stand for long hours, lift patients, and perform physically demanding tasks.
  7. Adaptability: RNs must be able to handle changing situations, work in stressful environments, and adapt to new technologies and procedures.
  8. Technical skills: RNs must be proficient in using medical equipment and technology, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and patient monitoring systems.
by Olena Sobolieva

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