Welcome to the official Registered Nurse RN website. This site provides information about registered nurses (RNs), the nursing profession, nursing news, nurse blogs, careers and job information, nursing schools & tips for students, nursing care plans, and much more.
Nursing is an excellent profession within the medical field, and registered nurse RN skills are in high demand. This site provides information about how to become a registered nurse, what a registered nurse does on the job, nursing school programs, salary information, career choices, and much more. In short, the goal of this website is to provide the best single source of information about registered nursing on the web. Make sure to add this site to your bookmarks!
You can also watch a video overview of nursing below:
Registered Nurse (RN): A Brief History
While history has long been filled with women providing care to injured soldiers and loved ones, the actual profession of nursing did not develop until the 19th century. The development of the profession was largely influenced by Florence Nightingale, who felt a strong conviction that God had called to her be a nurse.
Nightingale, who was the daughter of wealthy British family, devoted her early years as a nurse improving the hospital conditions during the Crimean war. She focused on improving sanitation and nutrition. In 1859, she wrote Notes on Nursing, a 136-page book that served as an important part of the curriculum at the Nightingale School and other nursing schools established at that time. Her ideas and devotion to nursing quickly spread to other countries, including the United States.
The first school of nursing in the United States was founded in Boston in 1873. By the year 1938, New York State passed the first state law to require that practical nurses be licensed. Since then, there has been a large growth in the number of nursing schools, nursing regulatory boards, and active nurses.
Florence Nightingale influenced nursing so much, that even today most nursing schools require students to stand and recite the “Nightingale Pledge,” which is similar to the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors.
The Florence Nightingale Pledge: Composed by Lystra Gretter
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his or her work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.
Registered Nurse (RN) Overview: What is a Registered Nurse?
Registered nurses (RNs) are individuals who have completed all of the necessary educational and licensure requirements as set forth by the Board of Nursing in each state. RNs often perform a wide range of duties, including assessing and evaluating patient care, administering medications, using medical equipment to run diagnostic tests, educating family members and patients on diseases and treatments, documenting patient information and vital signs, developing nursing care plans, and much more.
Nurses typically work under the authority of a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Registered nurses often delegate responsibilities to licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), depending on their scope of practice and competencies.
Nurses make up an essential part of our healthcare system, and make up the largest number of the healthcare occupations. According to the BLS statistics, over 60% of Registered nurses work in a hospital setting, while others work in other settings such as physician’s offices, outpatient facilities, and home-health agencies. Learn more registered nursing information.
Nursing Salary (Income) Statistics
Nurses earn very competitive salaries. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics1 reported the following average nurse salaries and wages in the United States:
- Licensed practical nurses (LPNs or LVNs): average salary of $44,030; average hourly wage of $21.17.
- Registered nurses (RNs): average RN salary of $71,000; average hourly wage of $34.15.
- Nurse anesthetists (CRNAs): average salary of $160,250; average hourly wage of $77.04.
- Nurse practitioners (NPs): average salary of $101,260; average hourly wage of $48.68.
- Nurse midwives: average salary of $93,610; average hourly wage of $45.01.
Keep in mind that these are only averages and that registered nurses may make more or less than these amounts. Factors that can influence income include location (some states pay more than others), experience (nurses with decades of experience will earn more than new nurse graduates), specialty (some specialties pay more than others), certification (achieving certification could increase pay), the industry, and more. Learn more about nursing salaries or other healthcare salaries.
Nursing Jobs and Career Outlook
Nursing is in high demand, and the profession is expected to grow even more over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for registered nurses alone is expected to grow 16% between years 2014 and 2024, which was much faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, nursing is truly one of the most diverse professions, offering many different specialties and opportunities for advancement.
As a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, or APRN, you can often find employment in a large range of specialties and areas. Jobs are available at hospitals, schools, private organizations, government organizations, and even private duty. Nurses can specialize in areas such as cardiac nursing, wound and ostomy nursing, oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, pediatrics, labor and delivery, critical care, and more.
Be sure to browse our nursing jobs page to learn more about individual specialties and job-related resources, or search for jobs below.
Nursing Job Search
Nursing School: Information and Overview
One of the most important things aspiring nurses should do is to locate and enroll in an accredited nursing program. An accredited nursing school will give you the experience and knowledge you need to become a successful nurse and to complete all necessary educational requirements so that you can take the NCLEX test for proper licensure. This test is usually administered by the Board of Nursing in the state of the resident, which typically grants licenses. You will want to visit our Board of Nursing page to find the contact information for your state’s Board of Nursing, so you can keep up with the latest news, laws, requirements, and to renew licenses.
The time it takes to complete nursing school can range from 2-4 years, depending on the student’s course load (curriculum), as well as the type of degree. Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) typically only takes 2 years, while a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) takes up to 4 years to complete. Check out our list of nursing schools to find a college in your area.
Nursing students may also find many articles on our site helpful. For example, we have a lot of study tips for passing the HESI and have an NCLEX study guide, tips on succeeding in nursing school, and much more.