Registered nurses are in high demand. Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities are hiring registered nurses in large numbers, paying competitive wages.
RNs are often responsible for monitoring patients’ conditions and providing nursing care such as administering medications, changing dressings and wound care. They may also be involved in educating patients about healthy lifestyles or providing emotional support to those dealing with chronic illnesses or terminal conditions. As an RN you could also collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to plan treatment programs for patients.
If you’re considering a career as a registered nurse, here’s what you need to know about the job requirements, and the RN job opportunities available to qualified applicants.
Education Requirements for RNs
Most registered nurses have at least an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), which is typically earned after two years of full-time study. Many employers may prefer applicants with bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN), although employers will also consider applicants who have completed a diploma program through an approved medical training institution or those who have obtained professional certifications from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Regardless of the educational path chosen, all prospective RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become certified.
Career Opportunities for RNs
Registered nurses can work in a variety of settings. Most RNs find employment in general medical and surgical hospitals, but some also work for residential care facilities and home health agencies, or pursue careers as nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists. Depending on their qualifications and experience, RNs can also specialize in certain areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, cardiology, oncology, critical care medicine or mental health. Qualified RNs may even decide to become educators or researchers at universities or medical research institutes.
Becoming a registered nurse requires dedication and hard work—but it can be immensely rewarding both personally and professionally. With the right education and experience you can open yourself up to career opportunities that span both traditional hospital settings as well as specialized fields such as geriatrics or mental health. If you’re looking for a career that provides stability with room for growth—and makes a real difference—becoming an RN is certainly worth exploring.