What Is a Registered Nurse or RN?
So, you are thinking about a career as a Registered Nurse or RN.
Well, that’s awesome!
The question is, do you have what it takes?
Keep reading to find out more…
If you are interested in becoming an RN, you are in good company. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workforce is made up of 2,955,200 RNs in the United States.
So, is there any room left for you?
And the answer is yes.
Employment of Registered Nurses is projected to grow by 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons. Demand for healthcare services will increase because of the aging population, given that older people typically have more medical problems than younger people do. Nurses will also be needed to educate and care for patients with various chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and obesity.
Overall, job opportunities for Registered Nurses are expected to be good because of employment growth and the need to replace workers who retire over the coming decade. However, the supply of new nurses entering the labor market has increased in recent years. This increase has resulted in competition for jobs in some areas of the country. Generally, Registered Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one. Employers may also prefer candidates who have some related work experience or certification in a specialty area, such as gerontology.
Who is becoming a Registered Nurse?
According to Data USA, women make up roughly 87 percent of the RN workforce. At 13 percent, men form a small, but important, part of the nursing community, too.
Are there any physical requirements to become an RN?
According to careertrend.com, there aren’t any particular mandated physical requirements, but due to the scope of the job, there are few things to consider.
To do their jobs well, nurses need to have physical strength, the ability to move around freely, and the ability to see, hear, and communicate well with patients. Every nursing job will have slightly different physical requirements but, without some standard abilities, it becomes difficult for a nurse to do the job effectively. Because many nursing jobs require physical strength and stamina, being in good physical condition is a big plus in the job.
A nurse might have to help a patient move from one bed to another or walk to the bathroom using safe lifting techniques to protect the patient from injury. If a nurse doesn’t have the strength to lift a heavy patient on her own, she might need help from other members of the staff or have to use lifting equipment for assistance.
A nurse also needs physical strength to complete emergency procedures such as CPR. In terms of health, nurses might also be required to be free of communicable diseases such as hepatitis, rubella, and the mumps. An essential function in a nurse’s job is patient care, which requires strong communication abilities. Nurses need to be able to see and hear well in order to monitor patients adequately.
A good hearing will help nurses notice calls for help or equipment alarms. They’ll also need good listening and speaking skills to help keep patients and their families informed of a patient’s care protocol as well as the manual dexterity to type and write patient information into charts. Because entering chart information can take up a lot of time, nurses will need good posture while sitting in front of a computer.
What is it like to be a nurse?
Your experience as a nurse could depend on the place you are working at. The largest employers of RNs are as follows:
- Hospitals; state, local, and private 67%
- Ambulatory health care services 18%
- Nursing and residential care facilities 7%
- Government 5%
- Educational services; state, local, and private 3%
Some nurses move frequently, traveling in the United States and throughout the world to help care for patients in places where there are not enough healthcare workers. Registered Nurses may spend a lot of time walking, bending, stretching, and standing. They are vulnerable to back injuries because they must lift and move patients quite often. The work may put them in close contact with people who have infectious diseases, and they frequently come in contact with potentially harmful and hazardous drugs and other substances.
Therefore, RNs must follow strict, standardized guidelines to protect against diseases and other dangers, such as radiation, accidental needle sticks, or the chemicals used to create a sterile and clean environment. Because patients in hospitals and nursing care facilities need round-the-clock care, nurses in these settings usually work in shifts, covering all 24 hours. They may work nights, weekends, and holidays. They may be on call, which means that they are on duty and must be available to work on short notice. Nurses who work in offices, schools and other places that do not provide 24-hour care are more likely to work regular business hours.
The bottom line: If becoming a Registered Nurse is something you feel passionately about, the one word of advice we will give you is: Go for it!