Welcome to Registered Nurse RN. Our mission is to help aspiring nurses, nursing students, and new nurses succeed.
Aspiring nurses can learn about the different types of nurses, education requirements, and nurse salary statistics. Nursing students can access care plan examples, nursing school study tips, NCLEX review lectures and quizzes, nursing skills, and more. New nurses can access job resources such as interview tips, nursing job resumes, and job search tools.
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Steps to become a Nurse
There are many different types of nurses. First, you could categorize nurses based on their scope of practice or license: Licensed practical nurses (also called LPNs or LVNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) such as nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthestis (CRNAs), clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives.
- To become an LPN, you’ll need to attend a technical school or college offering an LPN program. LPN programs last around 12-16 months, although some programs do offer a degree option, which can take up to two years to complete. LPN training involves classroom and clinical instruction. All LPN graduates will have to pass the NCLEX-PN examination upon graduation.
- To become an RN, you’ll need to attend an accredited college or technical school. You can obtain either an ADN degree (about two years) or a BSN degree (about four years), which usually involves instructional learning and clinical rotations. Diploma programs also exist, but they are relatively rare. All RN graduates will have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed.
- To become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you’ll generally have to first obtain your BSN degree, which takes approximately four years to complete. Next, you’ll have to apply to an accredited master’s or doctorate program that offers a specific degree focus for APRNs, such as nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, or CRNA (nurse anesthetist). Some programs may require real-world work experience before acceptance. Finally, you’ll have to pass any examinations or certifications as required by your state.
In addition, there are many different specialties within each type of nursing, such as labor and delivery nursing, neonatal nursing, cardiac nursing, and more. Learn more about nursing here.
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Nurse 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 $34.14.
- 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.
- Clinical Nurse Specialists: average salary of $71,000; average hourly wage of $34.14 (they were lumped together with all registered nurse statistics).
Keep in mind that these are only averages and that 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), industry, and more. Learn more about nursing salaries or other healthcare salaries.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, on the Internet at bls.gov.
Nursing Jobs and Career Outlook
Nursing is in high demand, and the profession is expected to grow even more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment for registered nurses alone is expected to grow 16% between years 2014 and 2024, 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. Jobs are available in hospitals, schools, private organizations, government organizations, and more. Nurses can specialize in areas such as cardiac nursing, wound and ostomy nursing, oncology, orthopedics, nephrology, pediatrics, labor and delivery, critical care, and more.
Browse our nursing jobs page to learn more about specialties, resume templates, and job-related resources.
A Brief History of Nursing
While history has long been filled with men and 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 become 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 requiring licensing for practical nurses. 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.
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 they 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.
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