Nowadays, the improvement of health care services’ quality is considered to be one of the main priorities in the US. It should be mentioned that the proper organization of the performance of the mid-level medical professionals is the most important factor in this case. In fact, the profession of the registered nurse is becoming not only popular, but also increasingly complex, as at the moment patients’ care can be provided not only in hospitals, but also out of them, moving into primary care settings and outpatient services. It can be stated that nowadays the role of nurses has evolved from the bedside care provider to an important member of the medical team, who performs a great variety of functions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that by 2020, the employment for nurses is predicted to rise up to 26%. In fact, this is supposed to be quite faster than the average among other positions. The following paper is going to be devoted to the precise analyses of the registered nurse occupation.
The general purpose of a registered nurse implies the complex assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care plans, aimed to provide the optimal care and treatment to patients.
The main tasks and responsibilities imply the following activities (Smith, 1983):
- Administration of medications and treatments;
- Creation of the efficient and comprehensive nursing care plans for the patients;
- Maintenance of the appropriate patient records;
- Observation and assessment of the patients;
- Observation and report of various symptoms and other changes which can occur in the patients’ status;
- Collaboration with medical team in order to provide the efficient treatment and care regarding on patients’ status;
- Assistance in patient examinations and other health care therapies;
- Assistance with the interpretation of diagnostic test results;
- Modification of care plans and treatment;
- Consultation of the patients about the preventative medicine and health maintenance;
- Provision of the psychological, emotional and educational support to patients, as well as their family members;
- Maintenance of cleanliness and safety of the working environment, according to the healthcare regulations and procedures;
- Administration of the efficient procedures and regulations, as well as maintenance of nursing supplies inventory;
- Education and instruction of patients about their home care needs.
Education & Certification
In order to become a registered nurse (RN), one should possess a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, or diploma of the graduation from an approved nursing program. The license should be relevant and approved by the state nursing board. The certifications of ACLS, CPR or BLS can also be required. In addition, the relevant experience in the healthcare industry can also be considered as advantage in the occupation of a registered nurse (Peck, 1987).
Nowadays, the employment market provides the perfect match in supply and demand for the position of a registered nurse. According to BLS, in August 2014, one out of five new jobs was created in the healthcare industry. In fact, the number of the available positions in nursing is predicted to increase from 2,737,400 in 2014 to 3,449,300 by 2020, while nurses who possess a bachelor’s degree are predicted to have more job prospects.
According to the BLS, in August 2012, the average annual salary of a registered nurse was evaluated as $64,690 (“Registered Nurse Income”, n.d.). In 2014, the amount of the salary earned by a RN increased to $65,470. In the USA, the highest salary of RNs is supposed to be in California, providing the wages to RNs to $94,120 per year (“Nursing Industry Trends”, n.d.). Hawaii is considered to be the second highest paying state for RNs ($84,750). RNs have an opportunity to receive up to $83,370 in Massachusetts and up to $78,530 in Oregon (Ganong, 1995).
The abovementioned means that registered nurses are in demand across the country. However, in the following time, registered nurses will be provided with even more widespread range of employment opportunities, offering the competitive salaries, as well as other benefits.
Nevertheless, in the modern word, there are disagreements devoted to the ideal balance of practical preparation and the need to provide additional theoretical education to nurse practitioners to manage healthcare issues. There is no doubt that the continuing education can help a registered nurse to find additional opportunities in the career and workplace. There are many schools and programs which can assist registered nurses in the achievement of their career goals. The list of the possible options offered can be as the following:
- Indiana State University, which provides the applicants with LPN to BSN and an RN to BSN programs, as well as Master of Science in the nursing program;
- Kaplan University can help to receive a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree for RNs, including Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator specializations;
- Chamberlain College of Nursing, which offers Bachelor of Science in nursing, as well as Master of Science in nursing programs;
- Grand Canyon University provides MBA/MSN Dual Degree program, as well as the program of a nurse educator MSN and BSN.
The time and tuition for the programs vary depending on the previous experience and education of an applicant, as well as the availability of other benefits. However, the abovementioned list of the educational activities can be complemented with the additional services and educational establishments through the country.
Public health is the most valuable achievement of a society, so that its preservation and strengthening is considered to be a primary task of health care professionals. Registered nurses play the significant role in the efficient performance of the healthcare industry. In recent years, nurses need more and more professional knowledge. Therefore, the willingness to learn and the ability to understand the materials studied are in high demand. Nurses also have to make decisions quickly and be able to act fast and professionally in any situation (Bartels, 2005).
While working on the current paper, I have figured out that the occupation of a registered nurse requires great responsibility for health and life of entrusted patients. This can be considered as one of the main risks and complexities of the profession as the negligence or unprofessional actions can lead to the serious consequences. The schedule of nurses’ working time is also quite challenging, as not everyone can make a grueling night shifts, working in a constant rush. Nevertheless, I admire the people who devoted their lives to the healthcare industry, as these great professionals save a great variety of lives every day.
The workday of these brave people is full of mental, moral and ethical tensions, which are the most complex and important human activities. They face a wide variety of problems of the patients and their relatives, help them and share the significant social and psychological burdens. I think nurses are like the angels among humans.