Registered Nurse (RN)Job Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Registered nurses serve a critical role in the health-care industry by providing care for patients and educating people in the community. They work in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and schools. Registered nurses, commonly called RNs, work as part of a team with doctors and other health-care providers. They also must be licensed.
Sample job description #1
The Operating Room Registered Nurse provides nursing care to the patient during the intraoperative phase, performs nursing activities in the operating room where the circulating nurse is the patient’s advocate, and answers patient needs by assisting the physician and person responsible for anesthesia care.
Primary functions & accountabilities
Organizes time, equipment, supplies, and staff to provide effective case management
Supervises and directs patient care in a single operating room
Organizes nursing activities efficiently and effectively delegating activities appropriate to the abilities of available staff members
Assists with supply, drug, and equipment inventories to maintain stock level and availability
Addresses patient needs during admission to the operating room with attention to requirements specific to the outpatient setting
Identifies the patient and correct surgical intervention according to Facility policy and communicates with all surgical team members
Reviews the patient’s medical record and needs to plan care with other health care team members
Provides comfort and reassurance to the patient, as well as maintains a patient’s privacy and dignity
Explains intraoperative phase routine procedures and care to the patient
Performs the circulating nurse’s functions adhering to approved operating room procedures for the scheduled procedure
Prepares operating room according to the procedure to be performed and patient needs
Anticipates needs of the surgical team; assists anesthesia staff by supporting the patient during administration of anesthesia
Provides continuity of patient care by communicating with other perioperative care personnel and documenting records appropriately
Responds in a timely manner to meet the needs of the patient and physician
Documents patient care records and other forms accurately according to facility policy
Knowledge, skills & abilities
Knowledge of standard concepts, practices, and procedures within OR Nursing
Knowledge and experience in the perioperative care of surgical patients
Knowledge of specialized equipment used in the OR
Excellent communication skills
Ability to respond effectively to emergencies, actual events or drills
Ability to maintain confidentiality of patient and employee information
Degree from an accredited school of nursing
Current Nursing License
Orthopedic experience highly preferred
Category I exposure to blood borne pathogens; frequent exposure to chemical hazards; may encounter radiation hazards
Physical health sufficient to meet the ergonomic standards and demands of the position
Sample job description #2
The Registered Nurse functions as a caregiver for a specific patient population in order to achieve desired outcomes. This position focuses on expanding knowledge and skills, provides effective direct care as part of the interdisciplinary team to a variety of complex patients. This position directs and oversees the care provided by other caregivers through delegation, validation, evaluation, and coordination. This position effectively coordinates patient care/unit activities among nursing peers, physicians and support services.
A Registered Nurse at ABC Company involves the delivery of nursing practices according to the most up-to-date evidence-based research, nursing policies, and standards of care, to provide and ensure safe and excellent delivery of individualized patient care. A day in the life of a Registered Nurse includes: Assessment, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation Assessment
Collects comprehensive data pertinent to the patient’s health or the situation
Performs age and disease specific assessment/data collection independently in a systematic manner focusing on physiologic, psychological, and cognitive status
Recognizes clinical and diagnostic status changes in patient status
Identifies variables in patient/family education needs based on age, disease, and culturally specific learning differences
Plan 1. Develops a plan of care that prescribes strategies and interventions to attain expected outcomes
Formulates age and disease specific patient/family centered goals/outcomes based on assessment data
Develops and coordinates a plan of care which is patient/family focused, prioritized, and encompasses the continuum of care
Communicates, coordinates, and implements the plan of care
Provides ongoing communication with patient/family, nursing colleagues, and other members of the health care team regarding a patient’s status, rendered care and treatment plans
Implements age and disease specific care in an organized and timely manner
Provides or coordinates the patient/family education as needed and ensures understanding
Performs according to established protocols in clinical situations, including communicating with appropriate persons and documenting events
Provides nursing care and treatments that reflect the patient’s needs, advocates appropriately, and demonstrates evidence-based nursing practice and compliance with standards
Performs continuous Point-of-Care electronic documentation of each individual patient’s assessments, plan-of-care, interventions, and evaluation of rendered care
Medication administration utilizing the newest advancements in bar-scanning and documentation technologies designed to ensure the safest delivery of medications to our patients
Multi-disciplinary discharging of patients to ensure safe transitioning and continuum of care
Evaluates progress toward attainment of outcomes
Utilizes critical thinking skills based on nursing knowledge to achieve desired patient outcomes
Initiates interventions related to patient’s change in condition and unexpected response to care
Identifies ethical issues in the practice setting and brings them to the attention of other team members
Recognizes and responds to opportunities to enhance patient satisfaction
Must acquire and maintain competencies, certifications and continuing education in order to meet any facility accreditation or individual licensing requirements
Adheres to American Nurses Association Code for Nurses with Interpretive Statements
Lifts a minimum of 35 lbs., pushes and pulls a minimum of 10 lbs., and stands a minimum of 6 hours a day
Adheres to HMH’s Organizational and Managerial competencies and standards of behavior
Other duties and/or projects as assigned
(State) State Professional Registered Nurse License
AHA Basic Health Care Life Support HCP Certification
BSN in progress and/or willing to acquire within three (3) years of hire
Must have six (6) or more months of relevant nursing experience OR must be an active participant with Hackensack Meridian Health’s Nurse Residency Program
The ability to learn quickly and adapt to changing patient needs, a strong sense of accountability for improving the lives of our patients and their caregivers, an exceptional focus on teamwork, dedication to ongoing education and the ability and passion to deliver the highest quality of care based on a strong sense of patient focus are all required
National Certification in area of specialty preferred when eligible
Sample job description #3
Job summary and qualifications
As a Registered Nurse (RN) in Newborn Nursery, you will be responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing care for assigned patients. You will work alongside Labor and Delivery nurses, Obstetricians, and Pediatric/Neonatology staff to develop an individualized patient care plan that follows hospital policies and procedures.
You will complete an admission assessment, including discharge planning, that is accurately documented within 2 hours of patient admission
You will initiate critical pathway during admission to plan nursing care, and will review and update pathway as evidenced by appropriate interventions and nursing care documentation
You will identify changes in patient condition and report these changes to the appropriate unit personnel
You will document resolutions of identified patient problems and communicate unresolved problems to appropriate unit personnel
You will accurately administer and document medications
You will evaluate the plan of care to determine need for modifications
You will evaluate the effectiveness of patient teaching and revise the teach plan as needed
1 year of clinical nursing experience as a Registered Nurse (RN)
Experience as a staff nurse in an acute care setting – preferred
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Licenses and certifications
Current State of (State) Registered Nurse (RN) license or Compact Registered Nursing License. If Compact License, (State) license must be obtained within 90 days of hire
Basic Life Support (BLS) certification required per ABC Company’s Healthcare policy
Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) certification required per ABC Company’s Healthcare policy
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a registered nurse (RN) is $69,950 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
Do you have any previous experience in the nursing field?
As a registered nurse, what do you believe is the most important aspect of comforting a nervous patient?
Do you have any relevant credentials or certifications for this position?
How do you get along with other nurses or doctors?
How would you ideally handle a confrontation or disagreement with a doctor?
How will you handle a crisis like an outbreak or a pandemic?
What is your biggest strength and weakness as a registered nurse?
Do you have a good eye for diagnoses and healthcare in general?
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