In the United States, nursing is the largest healthcare profession, employing over 3.8 million registered nurses. Reports and projects from the federal government suggest that there are going to be around 200,000 more available job prospects open by 2026.
Not only are the registered nurses respected and looked upto, but they are also paid handsomely for their services. They deal with the aftercare of the patients with a holistic outlook, taking care of their tests and medication and their diet and well-being.
If you are planning on getting yourself a registered nursing job in the United States, there are a few mandatory factors that you need to keep a check on.
What are the eligibility criteria for a Registered Nurse?
Like any other job prospect in the medical field, even this includes many certifications, qualifications, and the necessary experience to land your next dream job. While an associate program or a diploma will land you an entry-level position, it requires more certifications to become a registered nurse working in a hospital setting.
For that, the students first enroll in the Bachelor's program with a Nursing degree. It is then followed up with a B.S.N degree program that can take up to 18 months for completion. The Bachelor's degree is the foundation course that teaches the students about the basics involved in the healthcare industry, ranging from anatomy and physiology to public health and patient care.
Every single certification involved in this has to focus on the clinical aspects, enabling the eligible candidates to hone their skills to learn more about patient needs and the healthcare industry and processes.
After completing the qualifications, the students have to undergo the national certification and licensing examination in the U.S labeled as the National Council Licensure Examination.
Depending on the licensing exam results, the candidate gets their certification to them practice and work as a registered nurse in the hospitals in varying states in the country.
What are the job prospects of a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse's job is highly demanding and can include extensive hours at the workplace. Some nurses work at a hospital, some work at critical care, while some work at a clinic or with the paramedics in an ambulance.
Depending on the healthcare setting that the Registered Nurse is working at, their job responsibilities change accordingly.
In a hospital
RNs prefer working in a hospital setting the most. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, over 60% of nurses worked in a hospital. Their job role starts with updating themselves with the status of the patients from the previous shift nurses.
They also take care of admissions and discharge of the patients during their care. They are responsible for keeping tabs on the medication supply and then going on rounds to assess the patients' condition and check their vitals. Since hospitals are subjected to emergencies, they might also have to work under pressure and tend to emergency patients when they arise.
The nurses in the hospital are also responsible for administering the medication to the patients and change their dressings when needed.
In a clinic
Since working at a clinic works on a small-scale basis, the rush is limited. The nurse has to arrive at the clinic before the physician sets up the necessary areas and tend to the appointments for the day. The nurse is also responsible for checking the patient's vitals in the biometry before the doctor reviews them.
Once the patients are looked at by the doctor, they are referred to the patient for further details about the medications and the patient's follow-up information. They might also have to look after any follow-up tests that the doctor suggests the patient with.
In an ambulatory care
These registered nurses are the ones responsible for taking care of the patients outside of a hospital setting. It could be in an ambulance, an out-patient setting, or even in a rehabilitation center. They require better empathetic and communication skills with the patients, especially in the hospice or rehabilitation center.
In a critical care
If there's one work setting with the most rushed and urgent demand of care, it is in critical care. They are the ones that work with patients with life-threatening conditions and with trauma. Their primary responsibilities include inserting IVs, supporting the patient's family, educating them, and working in urgent care conditions. Since they work with critically ill patients, they also work with fewer patients at a time.
How much does a registered nurse make?
The Registered Nurses are paid handsomely for their services. The median salary generally starts from $71,000 and is higher, depending on the individuals' experience and work setting.
With the booming growth and the needs of registered nurse jobs in the U.S, it is not surprising that more and more individuals are studying to become a nurse.
The working conditions for a registered nurse are safe and highly competitive. It offers many opportunities for the candidates to improve their skill sets and enhance their career growth.
The salaries of a registered nurse also vary depending on the advanced practices and clinical professions. The four main ones include:
• Clinical nurse specialist
• Nurse anesthetist
• Nurse midwife
• Nurse practitioner
The salary will vary depending on the qualifications and the experience that one has in the said field.
If you are studying to becoming a registered nurse, job opportunities are booming in this field. It has higher pay and good job status; they make an integral part of the society's work structure. The job is highly demanding and requires the ideal candidates to have critical thinking and problem-solving skills and understand the patient's needs. Since they are an integral part of the healthcare ecosystem, they need to acquire advanced training for this fast-paced career field.