How To Become A Registered Nurse
If you find fulfillment in caring for those who are sick but don’t want to perform the seemingly cold and clinical work that doctors do, you can consider becoming a registered nurse. In this role, you will be part of a patient’s healthcare team. You will be administering a patient’s medications and giving treatment under the supervision of a doctor. You will be aiding other healthcare providers in performing diagnostic tests and reading the results.
You will be observing the patient and recording important information. Based on the doctor’s orders, you will be teaching patients and their loved ones ways to manage their medical conditions at home.
As a registered nurse, you have to be compassionate when you do your job because you will be dealing with the sick and the suffering. You will need to be emotionally stable and rational even in the midst of emergencies and suffering. Because registered nurses move and lift patients, they also need to be physically fit to succeed in the profession.
Why Become A Registered Nurse
Being a nurse is a noble calling since it puts one in the position to serve those who are suffering and at their most vulnerable. The demand is also set to be higher in the coming years as more people live longer and become more conscious about their health. It is also a rapidly growing profession that is expected to have a lot of employment opportunities in the next few years.
Registered Nurse Work Environment
Registered nurses typically work in hospitals. They work rotating shifts and can be assigned at night, on weekends or holidays. They may also be placed on-call. Nurses who don’t work in hospitals are employed by nursing and residential care facilities, doctor’s offices, home health care services and the government. Back strain and injuries are a common complaint among registered nurses because they often assist patients in moving in their positions. They are also prone to contracting illnesses as a result of handling patients who have infection.
Registered Nurse Salary
Registered nursing salaries can vary a great deal, depending on what you specialize in, how much education you have (you might start with a two-year degree or a four-year degree), where you live and work geographically, and whether you work in a clinic, hospital, outpatient facility.
You can find the hourly rate and not just the annual rate of pay—hours can vary greatly with nursing jobs, and if you wish to work part-time, you will want to know exactly how much money you can make.
Average Registered Nurse Annual Salary
The average annual salary for registered nurses is $73,550 a year. Salaries start at $48,690 a year and go up to $104,100 a year.
Average Registered Nurse Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a registered nurse is $35.36. Hourly wages are between $23.41 and $50.05 an hour.
Stats were based out of 2,906,840 employed registered nurses in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Registered Nurses
- 1. California $49.37 / hr $102,700 / yr
- 2. Hawaii $46.63 / hr $96,990 / yr
- 3. District of Columbia $43.32 / hr $90,110 / yr
- 4. Massachusetts $42.95 / hr $89,330 / yr
- 5. Oregon $42.68 / hr $88,770 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Registered Nurses
- 1. San Francisco, CA $67.16 / hr$139,700 / yr
- 2. Salinas, CA $62.47 / hr$129,940 / yr
- 3. San Jose, CA $62.09 / hr$129,140 / yr
- 4. Santa Cruz, CA $59.84 / hr$124,470 / yr
- 5. Vallejo, CA $57.61 / hr$119,830 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Registered Nurse Career Outlook
Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be rosy. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that from 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of Registered Nurses is set to grow 19 percent, a rate that is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand will come from the elderly and those with chronic conditions. The federal health insurance reform will also contribute to the demand since this will give more people access to healthcare.
Registered Nurse Degree
Registered nurses typically hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or BSN, have an associate’s degree in nursing or ADN or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Employers generally hire those with a bachelor’s degree for administrative posts, teaching and research. All registered nurses must have a license before they can practice the profession.
Each state has difference licensing requirements but generally the two main criteria for obtaining a license are graduation from an approved nursing program and the passing of the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN. Nurses who want to enhance their credentials in a particular practice, such as gerontology, pediatrics or ambulatory care, may opt to get voluntary certification.