Registered Nurse

As a registered nurse (RN), you make our country a little healthier every day – by providing care, education, advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.


$54,346 - $82,164

You’ll need a diploma from an approved nursing program, an associate degree in nursing (ADN), or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). Registered nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

You must have excellent critical thinking skills to assess changes in the health status of patients and quickly determine the best course of action. You’ll need to work well as a team and listen and communicate effectively with patients. Because you’re accountable for accurate and timely patient care, being detail-oriented and responsible is a must. You’ll also need to be emotionally resilient, empathetic, and compassionate to deal with emergencies, patient suffering and other job stresses.

At this stage it’s typical for RNs to work in a hospital or community health setting. You may choose to seek out certification in specific areas of specialty care, which will prepare you to be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

With experience and continuing education you may find opportunities to advance to an assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse role. You may also move into business positions in the healthcare industry, helping manage healthcare services and assist with development, marketing and quality assurance.

After ten years, your leadership experience may qualify you for more senior-level administrative roles. Some RNs choose to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), such as nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioners, or work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities.


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