The primary responsibilities of a registered nurse involve caring for a variety of patients, from ill and injured to those who are healthy and wanting to stay that way. Nurses have different specialization and work with particular patients, such as newborn babies or those who are suffering from particular medical conditions. They work on different settings which includes hospital, outpatient facility, rehabilitation center, nursing home, dialysis center, home healthcare agency, and other offices. They can administer medications, wound care, and other aids or treatment plan. They also conduct medical tests, interpret the results, and monitor patients' recovery and progress.

Registered Nurse Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real registered nurse resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage care for adult patients with various diagnoses such as diabetes mellitus and CHF.
  • Manage nine nurses, four CNA's, and two HUS's for 36-bed unit on a surgical progressive care unit.
  • Organize and manage regular clinics involving external physicians, including ophthalmology, ENT, Med/Surg, orthopedics, and podiatry professionals.
  • Manage busy GI physician's office with responsibility for re-credentialing physician with insurance companies and hospitals.
  • Manage patient pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention, monitor patient response and record care plans accordingly.
  • Work medical/surgical, telemetry, orthopedics, oncology, ambulatory surgery, and float pool positions.
  • Assist as circulating RN in operating room for obstetrical procedures and provide patient care during surgical recovery in PACU
  • Obtain BLS and ACLS certifications among others such as telemetry certification and gain experience with multiple computer documenting/charting systems.
  • Perform emergency medical procedures, such as basic cardiac life support (BLS), and other condition stabilizing interventions.
  • Staff RN in step down telemetry unit after graduation from nursing school earning promotion to charge nurse night shift in CCU
Registered Nurse Traits
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.
Compassion is a skill that is necessary for working with others as you're able to put aside your differences and show genuine kindness toward others.
Detail oriented involves being extremely mindful and observant of all details.

Registered Nurse Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a registered nurse is "should I become a registered nurse?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, registered nurse careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 12% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a registered nurse by 2028 is 371,500.

A registered nurse annual salary averages $63,827, which breaks down to $30.69 an hour. However, registered nurses can earn anywhere from upwards of $46,000 to $88,000 a year. This means that the top-earning registered nurses make $42,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a registered nurse, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a pediatric nurse, staff nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, and emergency department registered nurse.

Registered Nurse Jobs You Might Like

Registered Nurse Resume Examples

Registered Nurse Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 21% of Registered Nurses are proficient in RN, Patient Care, and BLS. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Compassion, and Detail oriented.

We break down the percentage of Registered Nurses that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • RN, 21%

    Serve as dedicated, patient-focused RN on a Renal/Cardiovascular unit.

  • Patient Care, 11%

    Worked to proactively support efforts ensuring delivery of safe, high-quality patient care in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem-Cell Transplant inpatient unit.

  • BLS, 10%

    Registered Nurse on Medical-Surgical/Telemetry unity Skills: ACLS, BLS Certified 12 Lead EKG Interpretation Geriatrics-focused medical training

  • Acute Care, 8%

    Received many compliments from hospital nursing managers on ability to adapt almost immediately to any acute care unit that was scheduled.

  • Health Care, 8%

    Administered medications and assisted health care providers in administering treatment and diagnostic tests to patients including sputum inductions and chemotherapy infusions.

  • CPR, 5%

    Maintained competency with all emergency operational procedures, and initiated CPR and emergency measures, as needed.

"rn," "patient care," and "bls" aren't the only skills we found registered nurses list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of registered nurse responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a registered nurse to have in this position are communication skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a registered nurse resume, you'll understand why: "registered nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients in order to understand their concerns and assess their health conditions" According to resumes we found, communication skills can be used by a registered nurse in order to "provided exceptional nursing care for geriatric residents including medication administration, treatments, documentation, and communication with residents and family"
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many registered nurse duties rely on compassion. This example from a registered nurse explains why: "registered nurses should be caring and empathetic when looking after patients." This resume example is just one of many ways registered nurses are able to utilize compassion: "ensured delivery of compassionate, safe health care to the community of kpando. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among registered nurses is detail oriented. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a registered nurse resume: "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." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "administer medication as per dr's order with details to the rights of medication administration. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "emotional stability" is important to completing registered nurse responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way registered nurses use this skill: "registered nurses need emotional resilience and the ability to manage their emotions to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical registered nurse tasks: "maintain hemodynamic stability, monitor ekg and maintain desired cardiac output. "
  • As part of the registered nurse description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "organizational skills." A registered nurse resume included this snippet: "nurses often work with multiple patients with various health needs" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "mentored new staff members and oriented staff to organizational policies, procedures, and protocols. "
  • Another skill commonly found on registered nurse resumes is "physical stamina." This description of the skill was found on several registered nurse resumes: "nurses should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as moving patients" Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day registered nurse responsibilities: "performed all functions related to daily activities in each area like physical assessment, medication administration and nutrition. "
  • See the full list of registered nurse skills.

    We've found that 43.5% of registered nurses have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a registered nurse. While it's true that some registered nurses have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every five registered nurses did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The registered nurses who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied nursing and nursing science, while a small population of registered nurses studied psychology and business.

    Once you're ready to become a registered nurse, you should explore the companies that typically hire registered nurses. According to registered nurse resumes that we searched through, registered nurses are hired the most by Fresenius Kidney Care Dodge City, BAYADA Home Health Care, and DaVita. Currently, Fresenius Kidney Care Dodge City has 1,085 registered nurse job openings, while there are 973 at BAYADA Home Health Care and 927 at DaVita.

    Since salary is important to some registered nurses, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at American Medical Response, astrya global, and Ardent Health Services. If you were to take a closer look at American Medical Response, you'd find that the average registered nurse salary is $134,202. Then at astrya global, registered nurses receive an average salary of $100,116, while the salary at Ardent Health Services is $97,168.

    View more details on registered nurse salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious registered nurses are:

      What Pediatric Nurses Do

      A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who offers medical and health care for children in hospitals and clinics. Pediatric nurses educate caregivers and parents on the effective methods of child health protection. They take care of children's health from birth to adolescence. They are experts in child care while they are working with their respective families to address their problems, fears, concerns, and other options. The necessary skills for this job include child development knowledge and communication skills.

      In this section, we compare the average registered nurse annual salary with that of a pediatric nurse. Typically, pediatric nurses earn a $13,372 higher salary than registered nurses earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both registered nurses and pediatric nurses positions are skilled in rn, patient care, and bls.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a registered nurse responsibilities require skills like "surgery," "infection control," "hospice," and "telemetry." Meanwhile a typical pediatric nurse has skills in areas such as "picu," "clinical staff," "phone calls," and "blood pressure." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Pediatric nurses receive the highest salaries in the health care industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $63,440. But registered nurses are paid more in the health care industry with an average salary of $63,773.

      On average, pediatric nurses reach higher levels of education than registered nurses. Pediatric nurses are 5.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Staff Nurse?

      Staff nurses are registered nurses who are usually assigned to work in a care home, a company, or in a clinical setting. They advise the physical assessments of patients, employees, and residents. They also handle the checking of vital signs, providing basic medical procedures, giving first aid, and, if possible, providing over the counter medication. Staff nurses provide medical attention to the people in their place of assignment. They help pave the path to their patients' full recovery. Staff nurses are expected to be patient and have good interpersonal skills.

      Now we're going to look at the staff nurse profession. On average, staff nurses earn a $6,041 lower salary than registered nurses a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of registered nurses and staff nurses are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "rn," "patient care," and "bls. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, registered nurse responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "hospice," "emr," "diagnostic tests," and "health education." Meanwhile, a staff nurse might be skilled in areas such as "stamina," "ob," "ancillary staff," and "gyn." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      Staff nurses may earn a lower salary than registered nurses, but staff nurses earn the most pay in the health care industry with an average salary of $65,405. On the other side of things, registered nurses receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $63,773.

      In general, staff nurses study at similar levels of education than registered nurses. They're 2.7% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Registered Nurses in the next 3-5 years?

      Gloria Boseman Ph.D.

      Professor, New Jersey City University

      Telehealth is here to stay, fast-tracked because of the pandemic. It was already an emerging trend. I believe nurses will play a more direct role in assessing and interpreting client information and making critical care decisions. As one of the most trusted health care professionals, and as the focus shifts from individual to population health due to the pandemic, consumers have come to rely on technology as a way of communicating and connecting to health care providers, nursing competencies will have to expand to include these skulls.

      In addition, real-time data entry could change care at the bedside as well as communication in time vis a vis smart watches or small computers that can synchronize (or recognize) conversation and transcribe to record, stethoscopes that can capture and analyze heart and lung sounds via Bluetooth technology will evolve and 3D printers will change the world of patient care by recreating medication, skin, and even organs.
      Show more

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Registered Nurses in the next 3-5 years?


      Sophia Thomas

      President, American Association of Nurse Practitioners

      The rapid growth in providing care through telemedicine will continue. The COVID19 pandemic forced telemedicine into the limelight, and a recent AANP survey showed 64% of NPs had integrated this into their practices. Telemedicine improves access to care for people of all ages, and we will continue to see this technology in the future.Show more

      How an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Compares

      An advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) is responsible for patient care. An ARNP may practice independently or work with other healthcare professionals such as physicians. Your duties typically include examining patients and determining diagnosis by physical examination, patient history, and other medical assessments, admitting, managing, and discharging patients to and from medical facilities, and managing health care by developing, implementing, and evaluating treatment and care plans for patients. You will also be responsible for referring patients to other health care service providers or facilities.

      Let's now take a look at the advanced registered nurse practitioner profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than registered nurses with a $16,573 difference per year.

      By looking over several registered nurses and advanced registered nurse practitioners resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "rn," "patient care," and "acute care." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from registered nurses resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "bls," "cpr," "acls," and "surgery." But a advanced registered nurse practitioner might have skills like "arnp," "diagnosis," "health problems," and "health promotion."

      Interestingly enough, advanced registered nurse practitioners earn the most pay in the health care industry, where they command an average salary of $89,415. As mentioned previously, registered nurses highest annual salary comes from the health care industry with an average salary of $63,773.

      Advanced registered nurse practitioners are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to registered nurses. Additionally, they're 62.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 5.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Emergency Department Registered Nurse

      An emergency registered nurse is first in line for patients who need a response. These nurses are first to respond to emergency cases such as trauma, allergic reactions, and injuries. They assist doctors and other medical staff in emergency medical care. It is their responsibility to always provide high-quality standards for nursing. The skills they should possess include diligence, attention to detail, levelheadedness, and strong communication. They also need to be knowledgeable about emergency care.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than registered nurses. On average, emergency department registered nurses earn a difference of $455 lower per year.

      While their salaries may vary, registered nurses and emergency department registered nurses both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "rn," "patient care," and "acute care. "

      Each job requires different skills like "bls," "health care," "surgery," and "infection control," which might show up on a registered nurse resume. Whereas emergency department registered nurse might include skills like "life support," "tncc," "significant others," and "healthcare."

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The health care industry tends to pay more for emergency department registered nurses with an average of $61,279. While the highest registered nurse annual salary comes from the health care industry.

      Emergency department registered nurses reach higher levels of education when compared to registered nurses. The difference is that they're 9.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.