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The Healthcare Career of a Registered Nurse

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The healthcare career of a registered nurse is extremely valuable in the healthcare settings. The current study tends to provide the job description, educational requirements, registration requirements, certifications needed, the employment outlook for this occupation and the professional activities necessary for this job. The paper also reflects my fitness for the career and the plan for entry into the profession.

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I. Job Description

Registered nurse (RN) helps patients cope with a disease using professional knowledge and experience. Registered nurses assess and observe symptoms of the illness and assist patients in their treatment process. They can practice both independently and in a team in cooperation with other healthcare stakeholders providing the best health care for every individual patient. Registered nurses play different roles in the healthcare facilities: from establishing nursing practice standard activities to conducting clinical research. They also participate in teaching nursing programs, direct nursing care systems and develop assurance procedures. According to Temple (2012), registered nurses make a contribution to the development, implementation, and evaluation of a healthcare plan and provide professional assistance that needs deep knowledge and skills. They work in accordance with their assessed competencies and education, legislative requirements, and standards in their area of practice.

Registered nurses develop nursing plans, give instructions to patients and their family members, instruct individuals how to improve and maintain their health, and direct them how to pursue healthy life-styles. Many studies assume that their activities are mainly determined by the patients and their needs that are usually rather wide (Maville & Huerta, 2012). Registered nurses seem the busiest professionals in the healthcare setting because the scope of their duties involves constant activities. For example, they should monitor various aspects of patient care; prepare them for treatments and examination assisting them in all activities. Moreover, registered nurses often substitute physicians providing first aid and prescribe medicine.

The Code of Ethics of registered nurses requires possessing specific personal traits such as compassion, trustfulness, reliability, and others. In order to provide professional healthcare, they should make appropriate decisions and work in the partnership with other stakeholders. Registered nurses should comply with legal and professional obligations mentioned in the Code. They must contribute their professional skills and efforts to promoting health to the patients. Finally, the Code of Ethics requires registered nurses to contribute to the patients’ health providing treatment, rehabilitation and illness protection.

II. Education/ Registration/ Certification

Requirements for RN’s occupation demand compassion as their core duty is to help patients who have health problems and are full of doubts. Registered nurses are supposed to spend a lot of time with patients assisting them in diagnosing, treatment, and examination. Therefore, registered nurses should possess perfect interpersonal skills in order to interact with patients, doctors, and other stakeholders.

Two different types of institutions offering registered nurses programs are Florida State University and University of Tampa. One can get such degrees as Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) there. The program length in Florida State University lasts for four years for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and tuition costs $5,826 per year in state and $20,952 out-of-state. The number of students is about 40 000. Its address is Vivian M. Duxbury Hall, 98 Varsity Way, MC 4310, Tallahassee, FL 32306. Students can contact the institution at the phone number: (850) 644-3296. Florida State University offers both BSN and ABSN. Tampa University offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing for a four-year period. Tuition costs $23,976 annually. It has 6,400 students. Its address and phone number are 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606, (813) 253-6211 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing supports those who choose the career of registered nurses and offers them educational programs in more than 670 educational institutions both in public and private schools. Candidates should receive bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or nursing diploma. The most common are bachelor’s and associate’s degrees whereas a diploma of nursing is less popular. Earning a license in nursing, graduates can be eligible for employment as registered nurses.
Registration of RNs depends on the registration requirements determined by the college commission (Maville & Huerta, 2012). The cost for RNs programs depends on the student’s choice: whether he/she takes a four or a two-year program. If a student chooses a bachelor’s degree, he/she will pay around $20 000 to $30 000 per year. Temple (2012) assumes that education in private colleges is more expensive than in community colleges. The associate's degree in community college will cost about $3 000 annually and the licensure examination is estimated by $250-300. There are some additional expenses for uniforms, books, insurance, and medical equipment.

An entry-level is a certified nursing assistant (CNA); it educates students who deal with daily healthcare assisted by licensed professionals. They may assist patients with eating, dressing, bathing and reporting patients’ needs to doctors and nurses (Lacey & Wright, 2009). The education includes practice in clinics that gives the permission to enter the profession. In addition to state registration, a certified nursing assistant needs to pass a competency exam. A certified nursing assistant needs 75 hours of training before passing a comprehensive examination and receiving nursing assistant certification. Individuals who have gained AND can apply to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

III. Employment

The job availability for the profession of registered nurses is great because of the U.S. nursing shortage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), employment for registered nurses is supposed to increase by 19 percent since 2012 to 2022. According to the statistics, from 2003-2014 the average number of RNs has increased to a half-million persons, and its number is estimated by 2,816,150 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). The wages have also risen to $66,220 in 2014. In the future, the annual growth rate for registered nurses’ employment should rise by 15-20 percent each year.

Salaries of entry-level registered nurses estimated by $24.60 per hour while experienced nurses receive $20.46 - $37.94 hourly. For extra shifts, experienced RNs can earn from $14.86 to $57.05 per hour. Registered nurse usually earns about $20.46 - $37.88 hourly, and the total pay can reach from $42,636 to $82,111, depending on the experience, position, and healthcare facility. The number of jobs of registered nurses advertised locally was 2,711,500 in 2012, and it is projected to grow till 3,238,400 in 2022. Experience is not required because registered nurses are supposed to learn from more experienced nurses in a healthcare setting. Advancement opportunities are available with additional education that can be completed in various educational facilities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014).

IV. Professional Activities

Students who want to join local, state and national professional organizations should pay small fees. For example, it costs students $90 to join local registered nurse association in New York. At the state level, the cost of joining registered nurse association such as Indiana State Nurses Association ISNA is $191 per year or $16.42 per month. It would cost a student $191 or $45 for e-membership to join a nationwide nurses association such as American Nurses Association (ANA) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). ANA has clout in Washington, DC and it is recognized as a professional institution with respected voice.

Different professional journals are available for students of registered nurses such as Journal of Professional Nursing that would cost students $60 to receive its issue. Its publisher is Elsevier and editor is Patricia G. Morton, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAAN of University of Maryland School of Nursing. Journal of Professional Nursing is a journal that publishes six issues annually and can be subscribed to institutional members. For subscription, individuals can contact the office at 877-839-7126 or on the Web site at The journal involves readers who are practicing as registered nurses and explains their role in the healthcare industry. It targets nurses who have baccalaureate and graduate degrees reporting review, research, original work, etc.
Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) in registered nursing are required by the states’ laws and offer RNs to complete thirty hours of continuing education once in two years for the renewal fee. These courses are established by the Board of Registered Nursing in regard to continuing education requirements (BRN) (NOLA, 2015). Candidates for continuing education may register on the website of the organization. For example, the website of ANA offers its users to find CEU by topics or buy CDs or DVDs.

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V. Reflection/ Personal Career Plan

Concerning my personal career plan, I have great expectations about my future occupation. My interpersonal skills, compassion, and sociability add to my fitness for the profession. My plan for entering into the career of a registered nurse is to polish my skills by the time I complete my current studies. After my graduation, I am planning to pursue a doctoral degree and join one of the professional organizations to learn the experience of others.

My personal leadership qualities empower me to take an administrative position in the future because registered nurse administrators have broader opportunities and can make the personnel do their best to provide healthcare to the patients. Hopefully, I will have a chance to undertake a nursing program in research or teaching. My ambitious career plan may come true only if I am able to coordinate my efforts and abilities and direct them in the right way.

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