What Does an RN Do?
The day-to-day duties in this profession can vary considerably, depending on where a registered nurse happens to work. Specific tasks include:
- Determining patients' health and nursing needs
- Carrying out hands-on medical and nursing treatments prescribed by physicians
- Teaching and counseling patients and their families
- Observing and reporting the condition of patients and modifying their care plans if necessary
- Directing and supervising less skilled health care staff
How Do I Become an RN?
Prospective RNs may enroll in one of three types of training programs: A 2-year associate's degree (ADN) program offered by a community college; a 3-year hospital-based diploma; or a 4-year bachelor's degree (BSN) program at a college or university. In Virginia, over half of all recently trained nurses have received ADNs. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers two types of credentialing exams--computer-based testing and paper-and-pencil exams--twice a year, in May and October, in 50 cities across the country.