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Career Profile: 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 and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 3,080,100 people employed as registered nurses in the United States. The median annual salary is $75,300. Entry level employees earn approximately $53,410 per year and senior employees earn approximately $116,230 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Work with individuals, groups, or families to plan or implement programs designed to improve the overall health of communities.
  • Prepare patients for and assist with examinations or treatments.
  • Perform administrative or managerial functions, such as taking responsibility for a unit's staff, budget, planning, or long-range goals.
  • Order, interpret, and evaluate diagnostic tests to identify and assess patient's condition.
  • Prescribe or recommend drugs, medical devices, or other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy, inhalation therapy, or related therapeutic procedures.
  • Direct or coordinate infection control programs, advising or consulting with specified personnel about necessary precautions.
  • Prepare rooms, sterile instruments, equipment, or supplies and ensure that stock of supplies is maintained.
  • Administer local, inhalation, intravenous, or other anesthetics.
  • Provide or arrange for training or instruction of auxiliary personnel or students.
  • Refer students or patients to specialized health resources or community agencies furnishing assistance.
  • Perform physical examinations, make tentative diagnoses, and treat patients en route to hospitals or at disaster site triage centers.
  • Consult with institutions or associations regarding issues or concerns relevant to the practice and profession of nursing.
  • Inform physician of patient's condition during anesthesia.
  • Record patients' medical information and vital signs.
  • Engage in research activities related to nursing.
  • Administer medications to patients and monitor patients for reactions or side effects.
  • Maintain accurate, detailed reports and records.
  • Monitor, record, and report symptoms or changes in patients' conditions.
  • Provide health care, first aid, immunizations, or assistance in convalescence or rehabilitation in locations such as schools, hospitals, or industry.
  • Consult and coordinate with healthcare team members to assess, plan, implement, or evaluate patient care plans.
  • Direct or supervise less-skilled nursing or healthcare personnel or supervise a particular unit.
  • Monitor all aspects of patient care, including diet and physical activity.
  • Instruct individuals, families, or other groups on topics such as health education, disease prevention, or childbirth and develop health improvement programs.
  • Modify patient treatment plans as indicated by patients' responses and conditions.
  • Conduct specified laboratory tests.
  • Observe nurses and visit patients to ensure proper nursing care.
  • Assess the needs of individuals, families, or communities, including assessment of individuals' home or work environments, to identify potential health or safety problems.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
3,080,100
Annual Openings:
194,500
Increase in Openings by 2030:
9%
Annual Salary Range:
$53,410 - $116,230
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree