What do registered nurses do?

what do registered nurses do

Have you ever wondered “what do registered nurses do?” Perhaps you’re considering becoming a registered nurse (RN) but want to discover more about this healthcare profession. It’s safe to say that a registered nurse’s duties are a key component in ensuring hospitals and medical facilities across the nation operate seamlessly and patients receive the best care possible. The skills that registered nurses bring to the table are truly invaluable to the industry. So, if you’d like to learn more… join us as we explore the question “what do registered nurses do,” and the registered nurse requirements needed to secure a job in the field of healthcare.

Learn about the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program at Dorsey College!

What do registered nurses do during their work day?

When you’re performing the registered nurse duties and responsibilities that are typically associated with the profession, days can be fast paced. In fact, you may be so busy that you might not notice the time passing. While things can vary day by day, a registered nurse may perform a variety of tasks, which can include:

  • Providing patient care
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Responding to emergency situations
  • Assisting doctors and other healthcare professionals with procedures
  • Infection control
  • Electronic medical records (EMR) administration

For most RNs, these roles provide regular interactions with patients. During each shift, you will likely be tasked to offer clinical and emotional support to a group of patients. This might include monitoring their condition, executing the plan of care, educating patients about their medical conditions, treatment options, and future self-care plans.

As an aspiring RN, you’re probably interested in understanding “what do registered nurses do as part of the medical facilities team” as well. Registered nurses are often the cornerstone that keeps fast-paced healthcare departments functioning efficiently.

As a registered nurse, you’ll have frequent interactions with other healthcare professionals during your shifts. This can include discussing patient care with medical surgeons, other doctors or practitioners, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and pharmacists. Even at the end of your shift, you’ll need to update incoming staff on a patient’s status to ensure a continuity of care.

Registered nurse duties and responsibilities

As you can imagine, depending on the clinical environment, a registered nurse’s duties and responsibilities can vary greatly. So, let’s explore what tasks you may encounter when interacting with patients and team members and the practical tasks involved.

Depending on the department you choose to work in, there is often a healthy mix of responsibilities. For instance, you may decide to work in a delivery room, a medical research laboratory, or an emergency room (ER) to name just a few. As an RN, in any of these settings, you may be providing a range of medical duties, which could include:

  • Dressing wounds and wound care
  • Assisting with surgical procedures
  • Applying and monitoring intravenous (IV) lines for fluid intake
  • Taking blood samples for lab analysis
  • Administering medications prescribed by physicians

Additionally, as part of your registered nurse duties and responsibilities, you’ll need to harness your exceptional communication skills. Sure, interacting with patients is part of this… however, as an RN, you also play a central role in connecting team members across different departments, sharing vital information quickly and accurately. This ultimately helps to reduce accidents and is designed to keep patients safe.

What are the requirements to be a registered nurse?

In order to obtain licensure, you must complete a state-approved nursing training program. Typically, a registered nurse training course duration can range from 2 to 4 years.

By enrolling in a state-approved nursing program, you can also learn what do registered nurses do in a clinical environment. This ultimately helps build an understanding of the registered nurse duties and skills required, providing an excellent platform to tackle the NCLEX-RN exam once you graduate.

Graduates who take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam will have completed the final step towards becoming a licensed registered nurse, allowing them to seek employment in the healthcare industry.

Registered nurse work environments

Since registered nurses are often the primary coordinators of patient care and engagement, learning “what do registered nurses do” in different clinical settings is vital. Nevertheless, gaining insight into these diverse clinical environments can also assist you in tailoring your career toward a preferred specialized area of care.

With such a wide variety of RN workplace settings to choose from, the scope of choice is certainly impressive. Soon, you could be embarking on a career as a registered nurse at any of the following medical facilities:

  • State, local, and private hospitals
  • Independent clinics or physician’s offices
  • Ambulatory healthcare services
  • Nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • Sports or veterans’ rehabilitation centers
  • Public health departments

Ready to start exploring RN training?

So, what will you learn in a registered nursing program? It’s a great question. Essentially, an RN curriculum will be curated to help you hone your clinical, practical, and soft skills that can enhance your career in this field.

Although many soft skills may come naturally to you, it’s essential to be aware of these and, in some cases, emphasize these attributes. These skills encompass:

  • Compassion, empathy, and resilience
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Attention to detail

Take the first step to pursuing a career as an RN in Michigan!

Are you searching for a registered nursing program in Michigan? Here at Dorsey College, our Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program allows students to master the clinical and practical aspects of the role. Topics covered as part of the training include:

  • Human physiology and anatomy
  • Medical terminology
  • Health and nutrition
  • Surgical nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Mental health nursing
  • Nursing leadership

Offered at our Madison Heights, MI campus (main campus), you can learn about expectations in clinical settings and what registered nurses do on a daily basis. Combining classroom learning and practical clinical experiences could improve your ability to obtain your licensure by preparing you for the NCLEX-RN exam. Moreover, it also creates a strong foundation for a career as a registered nurse. Contact us today to learn how you can begin your training!

Dorsey College has determined that its Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program curriculum is sufficient to fulfill educational requirements for licensure in the State of Michigan only. No educational determinations have been made for any other state, district, or US territory in regards to nursing licensure requirements.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6 (visited July 24th, 2023).