What Does A Registered Nurse Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

Salary
$80010
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Registered Nurses assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

  • Maintain accurate, detailed reports and records.
  • Administer medications to patients and monitor patients for reactions or side effects.
  • Record patients’ medical information and vital signs.
  • Monitor, record, and report symptoms or changes in patients’ conditions.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Registered Nurses perform administrative or managerial functions, such as taking responsibility for a unit’s staff, budget, planning, or long-range goals. They maintain accurate, detailed reports and records.

A typical day for a Registered Nurse will also include:

  • Record patients’ medical information and vital signs.
  • Observe nurses and visit patients to ensure proper nursing care.
  • Prepare rooms, sterile instruments, equipment, or supplies and ensure that stock of supplies is maintained.
  • Work with individuals, groups, or families to plan or implement programs designed to improve the overall health of communities.
  • Consult and coordinate with healthcare team members to assess, plan, implement, or evaluate patient care plans.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Registered Nurses also refer students or patients to specialized health resources or community agencies furnishing assistance. They may also prescribe or recommend drugs, medical devices, or other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy, inhalation therapy, or related therapeutic procedures.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Registered Nurses provide or arrange for training or instruction of auxiliary personnel or students. They might also assess the needs of individuals, families, or communities, including assessment of individuals’ home or work environments, to identify potential health or safety problems.

In addition, they consult with institutions or associations regarding issues or concerns relevant to the practice and profession of nursing.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them hand items to surgeons during operations.

To some Registered Nurses, it is also their responsibility to perform physical examinations, make tentative diagnoses, and treat patients en route to hospitals or at disaster site triage centers.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
17%

Some freedom
34%

A lot of freedom
50%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
1%

Limited freedom
8%

Some freedom
36%

A lot of freedom
55%


Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

71% said they were satisfied with their job and 80% said they found their job meaningful.


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Pros

Suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$80010 per year

Average hourly wage

$38 per hour

Entry-level Registered Nurses with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $53,410 to $61,630 per year or $26 to $30 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $56 $116,230
Senior (Top 25%) $45 $93,590
Middle (Mid 50%) $36 $75,330
Junior (Bottom 25%) $30 $61,630
No experience (Bottom 10%) $26 $53,410

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
24%

40 hours
60%

More than 40 hours
16%

Working schedule

90%

10%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
14%

Very important
12%

Extremely important
74%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
17%

Fairly important
1%

Important
1%

Very important
15%

Extremely important
66%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
17%

Very important
24%

Extremely important
58%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
23%

Every day
58%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
99%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
10%

Every day
82%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
47%

Once a year
29%

Once a month
8%

Once a week
16%

Every day
1%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
16%

Once a month
34%

Once a week
31%

Every day
18%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
9%

Once a month
29%

Once a week
37%

Every day
24%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
42%

Once a year
21%

Once a month
25%

Once a week
9%

Every day
2%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
9%

Slightly competitive
13%

Moderately competitive
33%

Highly competitive
28%

Extremely competitive
16%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
15%

Fairly important
1%

Important
20%

Very Important
36%

Extremely Important
28%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
0%

Moderate impact
12%

Important impact
25%

Very important impact
63%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
8%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
2%

Once a week
2%

Every day
88%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
4%

Moderate responsibility
32%

High responsibility
29%

Very high responsibility
34%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
11%

Moderate responsibility
19%

High responsibility
29%

Very high responsibility
40%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
2%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
97%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
82%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
8%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
81%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
9%

Every day
8%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
99%

Once a year or more
1%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
11%

Associate’s Degree or similar
66%

Bachelor’s Degree
23%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
25%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
11%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
1%

1 to 2 years
29%

2 to 4 years
11%

4 to 6 years
1%

6 to 8 years
11%

8 to 10 years
11%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
1%

1 month
17%

1 to 3 months
40%

3 to 6 months
38%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
0%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Helper

People with this personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.

52%

81%

24%

100%

29%

67%

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

FAQ


Don’t know which career to pursue?

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