Registered Nurse


RNs (Registered Nurses)

RNs assess and identify patients’ needs, then implement and monitor the patient’s medical plan and treatment. They also ensure that patient care is conducted according to the policies and standards of their employer, whether that is a hospital or another facility.

Most importantly, registered nurses coordinate the care for every patient. From drawing blood and educating patients on their health to working closely with doctors on their medical teams, nurses manage all the moving parts in their workspaces.

Registered Nurse Job Duties and Responsibilities

An RN’s typical day varies depending on a number of factors, including the location they work in, both geographically and in terms of the type of facility; the size of the staff and nursing team; and the population they serve. RNs working in a physician’s office, for example, may take on some administrative work, while registered nurses working in a hospital are less likely to do this kind of work.
Medical staff shaking hands to thank the nurses
working responsibilities.

  • Assessing, observing, and speaking to patients
  • Recording details and symptoms of patient medical history and current health
  • Preparing patients for exams and treatment
  • Administering medications and treatments, then monitoring patients for side effects and reactions
  • Creating, implementing, and evaluating patient care plans with the medical team

  • Performing wound care, such as cleaning and bandaging them
  • Assisting in medical procedures as needed
  • Operating and monitoring medical equipment
  • Drawing blood, urine samples, and other body fluids for lab work
  • Educating patients and family members on treatment and care plans, as well as answering their questions
  • Supervising licensed practical and vocational nurses, nursing assistants, and nursing students

So what does a day in the life of an RN look like? According to Glynn, the shift typically starts with getting a report from the previous shift. Then the RN will complete their own assessment of the patient by obtaining their vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. This is all in an effort to orient yourself to where your patient’s health is and where it needs to be.

“Then you administer the medications, and you’re always checking their lab results,” says Glynn. “As a nurse, you’re constantly assessing and reassessing, and then meeting with the team, the patient and their family, and with the case management team.”

Essentially, RNs are critical to healthcare operations because they work with many other nurses and medical professionals on their team to ensure quality patient care, inform patients of their health needs and administer treatment, and keep hospitals and medical facilities performing to their highest standards.

Common Work Settings for Registered Nurses

While it’s common for registered nurses to work primarily in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and surgical clinics, they also work in assisted living facilities, patient homes, schools, for large corporations, and even the military or other government institutions.
As an RN, you’ll not only have the option to work with a variety of patient populations, but within many specializations as well. You can work in pediatrics, oncology, geriatric care, ambulatory care, rehabilitation, radiology, operations, and family medicine, and more.

What’s the typical salary for RNs?

Daily roles and responsibilities aren’t the only things that can vary among registered nurses, depending on location and work setting. Your salary will, too. The median per hour salary for registered nurses was ($44-50/hr) in the US in 2022. But this pay can vary significantly depending on the specific region or state that you choose to work in.

Regardless of where you work, you can expect to enjoy quality salary and benefits as a registered nurse.