The Registered Nurse Job Description: What You Can Expect

There are many different types of nurses today, but perhaps the most popular position is that of the Registered Nurse (or, RN for short). They are also some of the most in-demand professionals out there today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be about 437,000 RN job openings popping up within the next ten years – which means we will need skilled, Registered Nurses to fill them.

If you want to become a nurse, there is no doubt that now is the time to pursue your dreams and earn your nursing degree. But before you take strides towards nursing school, it’s important to understand exactly what the Registered Nurse job description (what your prospective career) entails.

Perhaps that is why you are here. You would like to learn about the day-to-day of a Registered Nurse – what they do, where they work, why they are so valued in today’s healthcare industry – before obtaining your Associate or Bachelor’s degree. You are in the right place.

As a leading healthcare school in Connecticut, Goodwin College knows the ins and outs of nursing quite well. We have trained hundreds of Registered Nurses throughout the state of Connecticut, with 97% of our graduates currently working in the nursing field. We also have many, valuable connections with healthcare employers throughout Connecticut – making your registered nursing career even closer.

But first, let’s put you in the shoes of a Registered Nurse. Below we provide an overview of the RN job description for those looking to become a Registered Nurse in Connecticut.

If you’ve ever been treated for an illness or injury before, there is a great chance you’ve encountered a Registered Nurse. These are the compassionate professionals you’ll find bustling about doctors’ offices, intensive care units, hospital floors, and health clinics, caring for patients in need. Yet it’s important to note that what patients see – the scrub-wearing, helpful professionals that help us through our medical visits – only scratches at the surface of what an RN actually does.

As patients, we can see that Registered Nurses are the people who gather our medical information, administer shots and vaccines, take our vital signs, and provide the initial examination when we are sick, injured, or there for a regular check-up. But the role of the RN is even more extensive – covering clinical, administrative, and interpersonal aspects of the field, and all that’s in between.

The general Registered Nurse job description, however, focuses primarily on patient care. That is the core of a nursing career. Registered Nurses coordinate and provide care to patients in need. They evaluate patients’ symptoms, administer medications, dress wounds and incisions, perform laboratory work, as well as monitor and record patient progress. RNs also educate patients and their families on health conditions, treatment plans, and ongoing self-care.

It is important to note that the Registered Nurse job description will differ workplace to workplace and employer to employer. For example, nurses working in a doctors’ office may carry out more hands-on, routine tasks like taking patients’ vital signs or conducting MRI and X-Ray exams. On the other hand, a critical care nurse in the emergency room will handle more life-and-death situations, therefore making their day-to-day unpredictable. In addition, Registered Nurses employed in hospitals or ambulatory care are more likely to be in fast-paced situations with irregular hours, while an RN in a physician’s office is more likely to have a 40-hour work week and closer relationships with regular patients.

In addition to different workplaces, there are also different types of specializations that Registered Nurses can take on. For example, an addiction nurse will work with patients who are battling substance abuse issues. A public health nurse will work with larger communities and populations, educating them about proper health care and management. An oncology nurse will work directly with cancer patients, a geriatrics nurse with elderly patients, and a pediatric nurse with young children.

No matter their specialization, though, the day-to-day for all Registered Nurses involves basic patient care and clinical tasks. Though these may vary depending on the job title, typical duties include:

  • Administer medications and treatments
  • Perform diagnostic tests
  • Monitor patient conditions and progress
  • Manage intravenous lines as necessary
  • Understand and be able to operate medical equipment and technology
  • Collect laboratory tests and analyze results
  • Assist doctors during exams and surgeries
  • Communicate and collaborate with doctors on patient care
  • Create, review, and observe patient treatment plans

Does this RN job description sound like a fit for you? Great! To become a Registered Nurse today, you must attend an accredited, postsecondary nursing school. The typical industry requirement is an Associate Degree in Nursing, however, many employers now prefer to hire Registered Nurses holding a Bachelor’s of Nursing, or BSN degree. Registered Nurses who desire to advance into more leadership-focused roles, such as that of an Advanced Practical Nurse or Nurse Administrator, may also choose to further their college education with a Master’s degree in Nursing.

The type of nursing degree you pursue will depend on the type of Registered Nurse you’d like to become. If you’re looking to become an RN in Connecticut, though, know you can start your path right here at Goodwin College. We offer several different nursing degrees, depending on your interests and your ability to commit to nursing school. We are an accredited institution accepting nursing applications 3x per year. Here, there are no wait-lists for enrollment and there are six class-starts each year – meaning you can get into a nursing career fast.

Interested in learning more about Goodwin College? Learn more about our nursing degrees and see why we’re a leader in nursing education in CT! You can also interact with us on Facebook or Twitter!