An “RN”—short for registered nurse—treats patients and provides advice and emotional support to them and their families. Some educate patients, as well as the public, about medical conditions. There are many nursing specialties available, including critical care, addiction, oncology, neonatology, geriatrics, and pediatrics. Some RNs work in multiple specialties, such as pediatric oncology. There are also registered nurses who provide primary or specialty care to patients.
Registered Nurse Duties & Responsibilities
You can expect to regularly perform at least some of the following tasks if you want to work in this profession.
- Implement physicians’ orders, administer medications, start IVs, perform treatments, procedures and special tests, and document treatment as required by company policy and local/state/federal rules and regulations.
- Order, interpret, and evaluate diagnostic tests to identify and assess patients’ conditions.
- Assess and evaluate patients’ needs for, and responses to, care rendered.
- Apply sound nursing judgment in patient care management decisions.
- Provide primary and emergency care for occupational and non-occupational injuries and illnesses.
- Administer over-the-counter and prescription medications as ordered.
- Collaborate with the nursing team to create a Plan of Care for all patients.
- Direct and guide ancillary personnel and maintain standards of professional nursing.
Registered nurses are often the key monitor of patients’ health through observing and assessing their records, symptoms, and reactions to treatment and care. They often have extensive interaction with patients’ families as well, guiding and instructing them in aftercare measures. Their exact duties can depend on where they work and the needs of the particular patients they care for.