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Working As a Registered Health Nurse

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $65,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Registered Health Nurse Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Duties

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute to existing plans
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.

Registered nurses’ duties and titles often depend on where they work and the patients they work with. For example, an oncology nurse may work with cancer patients or a geriatric nurse may work with elderly patients. Some registered nurses combine one or more areas of practice. For example, a pediatric oncology nurse works with children and teens who have cancer.

Many possibilities for working with specific patient groups exist. The following list includes just a few examples:

Addiction nurses care for patients who need help to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs, and other substances.

Cardiovascular nurses care for patients with heart disease and people who have had heart surgery.

Critical care nurses work in intensive-care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries that need very close monitoring and treatment.

Genetics nurses provide screening, counseling, and treatment for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.

Neonatology nurses take care of newborn babies.

Nephrology nurses care for patients who have kidney-related health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, substance abuse, or other causes.

Rehabilitation nurses care for patients with temporary or permanent disabilities.

Registered nurses may work to promote public health, by educating people on warning signs and symptoms of disease or managing chronic health conditions. They may also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives, or other community outreach programs. Other nurses staff the health clinics in schools.

Some nurses do not work directly with patients, but they must still have an active registered nurse license. For example, they may work as nurse educators, healthcare consultants, public policy advisors, researchers, hospital administrators, salespeople for pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, or as medical writers and editors.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They provide direct patient care in one of many nursing specialties, such as psychiatric-mental health or pediatrics. CNSs also provide indirect care, by working with other nurses and various other staff to improve the quality of care that patients receive. They often serve in leadership roles and may educate and advise other nursing staff. CNSs also may conduct research and may advocate for certain policies.

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How To Become A Registered Health Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.

Education

In all nursing education programs, students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. BSN programs typically take 4 years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually take 2 to 3 years to complete. All programs include supervised clinical experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs usually include additional education in the physical and social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. These programs also offer more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Generally, licensed graduates of any of the three types of education programs (bachelor’s, associate’s, or diploma) qualify for entry-level positions as a staff nurse. However, employers—particularly those in hospitals—may require a bachelor’s degree.

Many registered nurses with an ADN or diploma choose to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program. There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the nursing profession and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement.

Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) must earn a master’s degree in nursing and typically already have 1 or more years of work experience as an RN or in a related field. CNSs who conduct research typically need a doctoral degree.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, registered nurses must have a nursing license. To become licensed, nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Other requirements for licensing vary by state. Each state’s board of nursing can give details. For more information on the NCLEX-RN and a list of state boards of nursing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Nurses may become certified through professional associations in specific areas, such as ambulatory care, gerontology, and pediatrics, among others. Although certification is usually voluntary, it demonstrates adherence to a higher standard, and some employers require it.

CNSs must satisfy additional state licensing requirements, such as earning specialty certifications. Contact state boards of nursing for specific requirements.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. Registered nurses must be able to assess changes in the health status of patients, including determining when to take corrective action and when to make referrals.

Communication skills. Registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions. Nurses need to explain instructions, such as how to take medication, clearly. They must be able to work in teams with other health professionals and communicate the patients’ needs.

Compassion. Registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when caring for patients.

Detail oriented. Registered nurses must be responsible and detail oriented because they must make sure that patients get the correct treatments and medicines at the right time.

Emotional stability. Registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.

Organizational skills. Nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs. Organizational skills are critical to ensure that each patient is given appropriate care.

Physical stamina. Nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients. They may be on their feet for most of their shift.

Advancement

Most registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings. With experience, good performance, and continuous education, they can move to other settings or be promoted to positions with more responsibility.

In management, nurses can advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer. Increasingly, management-level nursing positions are requiring a graduate degree in nursing or health services administration. Administrative positions require leadership, communication skills, negotiation skills, and good judgment.

Some nurses move into the business side of healthcare. Their nursing expertise and experience on a healthcare team equip them to manage ambulatory, acute, home-based, and chronic care businesses. Employers—including hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and managed care organizations, among others—need registered nurses for jobs in health planning and development, marketing, consulting, policy development, and quality assurance.

Some RNs choose to become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners, which, along with clinical nurse specialists, are types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs may provide primary and specialty care, and in many states they may prescribe medications.

Other nurses work as postsecondary teachers in colleges and universities.

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Registered Health Nurse Career Paths

Registered Health Nurse
Registered Nurse Supervisor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Nurse Manager Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Supervisor Supervisor Case Manager
Utilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Assistant Director Of Nursing Nursing Director
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Registered Nurse Manager Nurse Manager
Nursing Services Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Clinic Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Manager Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinic Registered Nurse Nurse Manager Assistant Director Of Nursing
Director Of Staff Development
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Practitioner Practitioner Clinician
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Clinic Registered Nurse Nurse Case Manager Clinical Manager
Manager Of Clinical Services
10 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager Patient Care Manager Director Of Social Services
Resident Services Director
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Coordinator Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Manager Clinical Manager Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Nurse Case Manager Clinical Supervisor Clinical Manager
Hospice Director
12 Yearsyrs
Utilization Review Nurse Case Management Specialist Clinical Social Worker
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager President Field Director
Director Of Field Coordination
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Program Director Director Of Health Services
Home Service Director
7 Yearsyrs
Nurse Coordinator Occupational Health Nurse Health Coach
Wellness Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Utilization Review Nurse Ambulatory Care Coordinator Social Work Case Manager
Geriatric Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Nurse 6.0 years
Registered Nurse 5.3 years
Psychiatric Nurse 3.7 years
Visiting Nurse 3.2 years
Nurse 3.2 years
County Nurse 3.1 years
Home Health Nurse 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Registered Health Nurse
Staff Nurse 16.1%
Nurse 4.1%
Top Careers After Registered Health Nurse
Staff Nurse 11.2%
Nurse 3.6%

Do you work as a Registered Health Nurse?

Average Yearly Salary
$65,000
Show Salaries
$43,000
Min 10%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$65,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fairview Health Services
Highest Paying City
Concord, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.0 years
How much does a Registered Health Nurse make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Registered Health Nurse in the United States is $65,944 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000.

Real Registered Health Nurse Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
RN Health Information Analyst Gerinet Physician Services, Inc. Downey, CA Oct 01, 2009 $70,645
RN Health Advisor Cigna Behavioral Health, Inc. Plano, TX Jun 01, 2011 $67,000
RN Health Advisor Cigna Behavioral Health, Inc. Eden Prairie, MN Oct 01, 2010 $67,000
Registered Nurse In Home Health UCI Group of Healthcare Services, Inc. Delray Beach, FL Sep 17, 2016 $50,735

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Top Skills for A Registered Health Nurse

  1. Patient Care
  2. Mental Health Services
  3. Providers
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained communication between clinical staff, physicians and internal administrators to provide optimal patient care.
  • Provided mental health services to students in the Allegheny County school system as requested by school staff.
  • Created and mandated Competency Curriculum for Non-licensed Care Providers; ensuring all care providers were competent prior to administering care.
  • Perform telephonic Disease Management and Case Management assessments to empower members to better understand their illnesses and self manage their condition.
  • Provide nursing care to incarcerated adults and juveniles including clinic and emergency care.

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Top 10 Best States for Registered Health Nurses

  1. Oregon
  2. Hawaii
  3. New York
  4. California
  5. Michigan
  6. Wisconsin
  7. New Hampshire
  8. West Virginia
  9. Maine
  10. Massachusetts
  • (2,536 jobs)
  • (865 jobs)
  • (11,159 jobs)
  • (16,819 jobs)
  • (5,382 jobs)
  • (4,459 jobs)
  • (1,926 jobs)
  • (1,763 jobs)
  • (1,857 jobs)
  • (5,134 jobs)

Registered Health Nurse Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,889 Registered Health Nurse resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Registered Health Nurse Resume

View Resume Examples

Registered Health Nurse Demographics

Gender

Female

76.3%

Unknown

13.8%

Male

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.9%

French

8.2%

Portuguese

3.7%

Mandarin

3.0%

Russian

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Chinese

2.2%

Japanese

2.2%

Swedish

1.5%

Korean

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Swahili

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Georgian

0.7%

Bengali

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Cebuano

0.7%
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Registered Health Nurse Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.3%

Grand Canyon University

10.9%

Chamberlain College of Nursing

9.4%

Walden University

7.1%

Excelsior College

6.3%

Western Governors University

6.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.1%

University of Cincinnati

4.5%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.2%

Kaplan University

4.2%

South University

3.3%

University of South Alabama

3.1%

Miami Dade College

2.8%

Liberty University

2.8%

Ohio University -

2.6%

Jacksonville University

2.6%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

2.6%

Arizona State University

2.5%

Winston-Salem State University

2.5%

West Coast University

2.2%
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Majors

Nursing

84.4%

Nursing Science

2.9%

Business

1.6%

Health Care Administration

1.4%

Education

1.2%

Family Practice Nursing

1.0%

Psychology

0.9%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

0.9%

Clinical Psychology

0.8%

Public Health

0.8%

Management

0.6%

Nursing Assistants

0.6%

General Studies

0.4%

Health And Wellness

0.4%

Health Education

0.3%

Elementary Education

0.3%

Health Sciences And Services

0.3%

Medical Assisting Services

0.3%

Liberal Arts

0.3%

School Counseling

0.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.1%

Associate

27.5%

Masters

18.1%

Other

10.3%

Diploma

2.6%

Certificate

2.3%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.7%
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Updated May 19, 2020