Today, registered nurse jobs offer a huge variety of career options and this field is expected to experience significant job growth in the upcoming years. Registered nursing requires having a large base of knowledge that is used to assess patients and intervene to promote health, prevent diseases, and help patients cope with sickness. When working directly with patients, nurses are responsible for observing, assessing, and recording symptoms progress and reactions. Their work makes up the basis of care plans and patient interventions. They are also responsible for providing health education and serving as advocates for patients and families.
The field of nursing offers a unique scope of practice and nurses can even practice independently although they often collaborate with other members of the health care team to provide complete patient care. The role of an RN can range from direct patient care to establishing practice standards, directing nursing care systems, conducting research and teaching in nursing programs. As many nurses can attest, the responsibilities of a registered nurse have changed considerably over time. As highly education members of the health care team they are respected and valued for their own body of knowledge. Nurses often work closely with physicians.
Depending on their area of interest, nurses may choose to focus on a particular specialty field. There are many specialty options available to nursing although they may also choose to work in a general clinic or hospital setting as well. Critical care nurses and emergency care nurses are especially trained to work in trauma situations and typically are employed in emergency rooms or clinics.
Nurses may also be interested in other specific populations and choose to work in a certain setting or on a certain floor. Hospice and palliative care nurses help provide end-of-life care to patients in hospice settings. Labor and delivery staff nurses and well as neonatal nurses work with expectant mothers and high-risk infants in their carers. Nurses can even specialize in nephrology, oncology, or orthopaedics and work in these specific populations if desired. Many nurses enjoy the opportunity to specialize in certain areas of healthcare.
For nurses who may not be interested in direct patient care, there are other opportunities as well. Nurse educators serve an important role and often travel or work closely with community members to promote increased health. Nurse executives also may not work closely with patients but instead manage other nurses in an executive role. Their work tends to be primarily planning of larger healthcare goals rather than the daily activities of a nurse.
Certainly this list covers some of the career options for registered nurses, but this list is hardly exclusive. A registered nurse has these and many more career opportunities such as a school nurse or traveling nurse. Because of these opportunities, nursing offers a long and valuable career for anyone interested in the healthcare field. Many people who find that they have a passion for healthcare and a desire to improve their patient’s lives find rewarding careers as registered nurses.