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Become A PRN

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Working As A PRN

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $71,000

    Average Salary

What Does A PRN Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

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How To Become A PRN

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

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PRN Career Paths

PRN
Case Manager Specialist
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Family Nurse Practitioner Medical Director Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive Officer/Partner
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager Medical Director
Chief Medical Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse PRN Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Manager
Clinical Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional House Manager Chef
Dietary Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Manager Operations Director
Director Of Facilities
11 Yearsyrs
Program Director General Manager General Manager/Director
Director/Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Research Nurse Home Care Nurse Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Director Of Radiology
Imaging Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Medical Coder Reviewer Doctoral Fellow
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse PRN Staff Nurse Assistant Professor
Medical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator Project Coordinator
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Operations Director Vice President
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
School Nurse Clinical Instructor Clinical Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Registered Nurse Supervisor Utilization Review Coordinator
Quality Management Specialist
7 Yearsyrs
CT Technologist Radiology Supervisor
Radiology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Clinical Instructor Physical Therapist
Rehab Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Senior Technician Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nursing Director Case Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Manager Program Director Senior Consultant
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a PRN?

PRN Demographics

Gender

Female

79.0%

Male

19.2%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Black or African American

13.6%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.4%

French

7.1%

Portuguese

4.5%

Chinese

3.6%

German

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Mandarin

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Tagalog

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Cherokee

0.9%

Cheyenne

0.9%

Korean

0.9%

Bosnian

0.9%

Turkish

0.9%

Tigrinya

0.9%

Dari

0.9%

Afrikaans

0.9%

Italian

0.9%
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PRN Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Walden University

10.1%

Grand Canyon University

6.8%

Keiser University

6.3%

Tennessee State University

5.3%

Kaplan University

4.8%

Greenville Technical College

4.8%

Liberty University

4.6%

South University

4.6%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.2%

Delgado Community College

3.9%

Houston Community College

3.7%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

3.7%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.3%

Tyler Junior College

3.3%

Trident Technical College

2.9%

Kent State University

2.9%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

2.9%

Georgia State University

2.9%

Arkansas State University

2.8%
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Majors

Nursing

33.0%

Occupational Therapy

13.0%

Physical Therapy

9.6%

Medical Technician

5.9%

Business

5.2%

Medical Assisting Services

4.9%

Health Care Administration

4.4%

Social Work

3.0%

Psychology

2.8%

Nursing Assistants

2.3%

Speech-Language Pathology

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Communication Disorders Sciences

1.9%

Health Sciences And Services

1.7%

Pharmacy

1.6%

General Studies

1.6%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.3%

Clinical Psychology

1.3%

Management

1.2%

Biology

1.1%
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Degrees

Associate

26.2%

Bachelors

21.5%

Other

20.8%

Masters

20.5%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

3.1%

Diploma

2.3%

License

1.1%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a PRN?

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Top Skills for A PRN

  1. Occupational Therapy
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Rehab
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recorded billable treatment times according to the Occupational Therapy department procedures and submitted weekly/monthly statistics to the corporate office.
  • Individualized speech language pathology, treatment plans customized specifically for a variety of patient voice, resonant, swallowing disorders.
  • Provided me with the skill to provide residential, outpatient and vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with neurological impairments.
  • Supervised technicians and equipped them with information necessary to provide quality patient care.
  • Provided supervision to other staff members (physical therapy assistants/aides, athletic trainers and exercise physiologists).

How Would You Rate Working As a PRN?

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