Registered nurses or RNs are critical to the coordination of patient care in a hospital or other healthcare setting. They are also one of the most visible and influential persons when a patient is receiving care for any condition. RNs have a level of training that makes them experts in practically any health condition and this is why patients, assistants, and doctors all depend on them.
It is vitally important to be informed!
Be sure to request information from more than one school in order to compare which program is best for you.
Popular Schools — Or Choose A State —>
Make the change to a satisfying professional nursing career with a leading nursing education provider
For more than 50 years, the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing at Gwynedd Mercy University has been a leader in superior nursing education. Our graduates go on to become leaders and innovators, offering excellent patient care and helping drive improvements that lead to better clinical outcomes.
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
- Bachelor of Science - Nursing
- Associate of Science - Medical Assisting
Get a hands-on education at Lincoln Technical Institute. Designed for today’s tough job market, our in-depth programs cover many fields including: Health Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Hospitality, Automotive Technology, HVAC Technology and Electrical Systems Technology. Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. Programs vary by campus.
- Nursing Assistant
- Nursing (Practical)
- Medical Assistant Technology
- And more...
To get ahead, you need an education that will truly set you apart and is affordable. A private, non-profit, fully accredited institution, Bellevue University is dedicated to helping you earn a degree that prepares you to advance your career. Bellevue University has graduated over 40,000 students with an education that combines the latest knowledge and professional skills employers expect. More than 70 bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs in growing fields such as IT, Healthcare, Business, Safety and Security, are available online and on campus.
- Nursing (RN to BSN) - BS
- Master of Healthcare Administration - MHA
- Health Science - BA
- And more...
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Nursing
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- MS - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
- And more...
Capella combines outstanding academics with a supportive faculty and staff in a program designed for working adults.
An education that blends theory and practice to fuel your career
- DNP - BSN-to-DNP (CCNE-accredited)
- MSN - Nursing, General (CCNE-accredited)
- MSN - RN-to-MSN Nursing, General (CCNE-accredited)
- And more...
Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.
You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.
- MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
- RN to BSN
- RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.
* Programs vary by location
* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information
- Associate Degree in Nursing
- PN RN Associate Degree Bridge Program
- Practical Nursing
- And more...
- AS - Nursing
- AS - Medical Assisting and Administration
Grantham University's 100% accredited online degrees are convenient, portable and designed so you can fit education into your life instead of arranging life around your education.
- Bachelor of Science Nursing - Nursing Diploma
- Master of Science in Nursing (Bridge Program)
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership
- And more...
At a Glance
Other Job Titles: RN
Salary Range*: $44,000-$95,000; Median $65,000
Education/Training Required: Associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, diploma from an approved nursing program
Desired Skills/Aptitude: Emotional stability, attention to detail, organizational ability, communications ability, compassion, critical thinkers
Certification/Licensing: Certification is voluntary to receive specialization credentials; Licensing is mandatory in all states
Locations with Best Opportunities: California, Florida, Oregon, Hawaii
Employment Outlook: 26% growth through 2020 (faster than average)
Opportunities for Advancement: With further education, nurses can become administrators, consultants, and take advantage of research opportunities
What an RN Does
RNs have many duties when it comes to providing and managing care of patients. These include:
- Administering medications
- Treating patients
- Monitoring patients
- Consulting with doctors
- Analyzing test results
- Operating sophisticated medical equipment
- Advising patients
An RN in many ways is a teacher of the public when it comes to healthcare awareness. You will find RNs leading programs that promote public awareness of the need for regular physical exams and updated immunizations. Or, they may be part of a team with other physicians involved in these outreach programs.
Many diseases are confusing to patients once they have been diagnosed with them. For example, once a patient is diagnosed with diabetes it is often confusing as to how to manage the condition. Nurses consult with patients and their families in these situations and teach them how to manage these ailments.
Some RNs, as they gain years of experience in the field, move into top-level administrative positions. For example, health insurance companies have utilization review departments that are headed and staffed by RNs. The RNs in this capacity will typically review patient cases for medical necessity or authorization to be seen by a specialist.
Traditionally, most RNs work in hospitals. They can also work in nursing care facilities, doctor’s offices, and be part of home health care teams. In fact, RNs work in many places. They have positions in educational institutions, correctional facilities, and summer camps. In some cases, they will travel to faraway destinations across the globe to give assistance in places that are in need of modern healthcare.
Their duties expose them to patients with infectious diseases so they must take the proper safety precautions to avoid falling victim to these hazards. Other hazards include needles that have not been disposed of properly and even radiation from x-ray devices.
When working in a hospital, RNs will oftentimes be scheduled to do shift work because these facilities are open 24 by 7. In other locations such as educational institutions, they will probably work during normal business hours.
Education and Certification
To be an RN, a candidate can get an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or complete an approved nursing program that produces a diploma. The four-year program produces a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and the two-year program produces an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing.
There are many opportunities to receive certification from a variety of professional associations. The certification is achieved for specialties such as pediatrics or ambulatory care.
Nurses are required to be licensed in all states. Licensing follows after completing an approved nursing education program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Each state has their own variation as to its licensing requirements and you should check your state’s nursing board to find out the details.
*Salary Source: BLS May 2012