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.

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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 patient care for individuals with multiple diagnoses including COPD, diabetes, stroke and cardiac issues.
  • Organize and manage regular clinics involving external physicians, including ophthalmology, ENT, Med/Surg, orthopedics, and podiatry professionals.
  • Manage surgical recovery patients including vascular, ENT, GI urological and neurological cases, coronary bypass surgery patients.
  • Manage patient pain relief and sedation by providing pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention, monitor patient response and record care plans accordingly.
  • Provide care for cardiac patients in arrhythmia critical care unit, providing patient education and monitoring telemetry
  • Re-Cover surgical patients immediately after heart and vascular surgery until transfer out of ICU.
  • Work medical/surgical, telemetry, orthopedics, oncology, ambulatory surgery, and float pool positions.
  • Obtain BLS and ACLS certifications among others such as telemetry certification and gain experience with multiple computer documenting/charting systems.
  • Evaluate patients' vital signs and laboratory data to determine emergency intervention needs including initiation and implementation of ACLS code situations.
  • Total patient care for post surgical patients: plastics, urology, ENT, & oral surgery
  • Develop and implement med/surg training program for improve performance with patient care.
  • Provide quality nursing care to chronically ill oncology, leukemia and lymphoma patients.
  • Prepare patients for surgery, assist with post-operative recovery, initiate IVs and administer medications.
  • Provide compassionate, competent care within vascular-surgical step-down unit with telemetry and mechanical ventilation monitoring requiring ACLS certification.
  • Execute caring nursing care for medical and surgical patients requiring external cardiac monitoring by use of a telemetry monitor.

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.

Registered nurses average about $35.26 an hour, which makes the registered nurse annual salary $73,349. Additionally, registered nurses are known to earn anywhere from $45,000 to $117,000 a year. This means that the top-earning registered nurses make $64,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a registered nurse, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a pediatric nurse, staff nurse, advanced registered nurse practitioner, and emergency department registered nurse.

Learn More About Registered Nurse Job Descriptions

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12 Registered Nurse Resume Examples

Registered Nurse Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 24% of Registered Nurses are proficient in Patients, BLS, and CPR. 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:

  • Patients, 24%

    Provided comprehensive medical and emotional care to critically ill patients with varying diagnosis Interacted with patient families to provide support.

  • BLS, 10%

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

  • CPR, 6%

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

  • Acute Care, 5%

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

  • Acls, 5%

    Provided compassionate, competent care within vascular-surgical step-down unit with telemetry and mechanical ventilation monitoring requiring ACLS certification.

  • Home Health, 4%

    Provided education to Home Health Patients to include Disease Process/Management.

"patients," "bls," and "cpr" 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: "worked with va to provide compassionate, and skilled care to their home health and hospice patients. "
  • 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: "provided patient care through protocol-oriented treatment, intravenous line insertions, blood draws, assessments, and 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: "manage emergency situations such as accidental intubation and cardiac arrest to regain client stability. "
  • 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: "collaborate with multi-disciplinary team in assessing organizational readiness for multi-hospital emr implementation, in a phased roll-out. "
  • 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 Trusted Health Plans, Aya Healthcare, and DaVita Kidney Care. Currently, Trusted Health Plans has 15,708 registered nurse job openings, while there are 14,084 at Aya Healthcare and 4,841 at DaVita Kidney Care.

    Since salary is important to some registered nurses, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at NORCAL Ambulance, Soliant, and trustaff. If you were to take a closer look at NORCAL Ambulance, you'd find that the average registered nurse salary is $111,499. Then at Soliant, registered nurses receive an average salary of $108,127, while the salary at trustaff is $106,023.

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

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a registered nurse include St Joseph's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente. These three companies were found to hire the most registered nurses from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

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

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    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 $404 lower 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 patients, bls, and cpr.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a registered nurse responsibilities require skills like "surgery," "quality care," "infection control," and "medication administration." Meanwhile a typical pediatric nurse has skills in areas such as "picu," "kids," "patient assessment," and "administer medications." 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 $64,106. But registered nurses are paid more in the health care industry with an average salary of $64,500.

    On average, pediatric nurses reach similar levels of education than registered nurses. Pediatric nurses are 1.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% 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 $5,007 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 "patients," "bls," and "cpr. "

    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 "home health," "compassion," "emergency situations," and "emr." Meanwhile, a staff nurse might be skilled in areas such as "staff rn," "manual dexterity," "patient assessment," and "patient flow." 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 $58,739. On the other side of things, registered nurses receive higher paychecks in the health care industry where they earn an average of $64,500.

    In general, staff nurses study at similar levels of education than registered nurses. They're 0.6% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.1% 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.
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    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 $24,471 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 "patients," "acute care," and "home health." 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 "discharge summaries."

    Interestingly enough, advanced registered nurse practitioners earn the most pay in the health care industry, where they command an average salary of $103,277. As mentioned previously, registered nurses highest annual salary comes from the health care industry with an average salary of $64,500.

    Advanced registered nurse practitioners are known to earn higher educational levels when compared to registered nurses. Additionally, they're 46.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.5% 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 higher pay than registered nurses. On average, emergency department registered nurses earn a difference of $7,911 higher 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 "patients," "cpr," and "acute care. "

    Each job requires different skills like "bls," "surgery," "quality care," and "infection control," which might show up on a registered nurse resume. Whereas emergency department registered nurse might include skills like "life support," "patient outcomes," "tncc," and "emergency room."

    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 $77,094. While the highest registered nurse annual salary comes from the health care industry.

    Emergency department registered nurses reach similar levels of education when compared to registered nurses. The difference is that they're 2.7% more likely to earn a Master's Degree more, and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Registered Nurse Does FAQs

    Registered Nurse Vs. Lpn

    A registered nurse is someone who provides direct care to patients, while an LPN is a nurse that assists registered nurses and doctors.

    A registered nurse has a broad list of duties in a hospital setting. These include activities such as preparing patients for exams and treatments, administering medications, operating and monitoring medical equipment, educating patients and their family members on treatment, and supervising practical and vocational nurses.

    How Long Does It Take To Become A Certified Nurse?

    It takes between two to four years to become a certified nurse. The amount of time needed depends on the specific nursing program. While an Associate's Degree in Nursing (two-year program) is technically the fastest way to become a registered nurse, employers tend to favor applicants with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

    Is There A Difference Between A Nurse And A Registered Nurse?

    No, there is no difference between a nurse and a registered nurse. A nurse is an umbrella term used for any type of nurse, from RN to caretaker.

    A registered nurse (RN) has met their state's education and training requirements, a background check to verify that they do not have a criminal background, and have passed their national board examination (NCLEX-RN).

    What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Registered Nurse?

    The pros of being a registered nurse are competitive benefits and diverse opportunities, while the cons are long shifts and emotional burnout. Here is a more detailed look at the pros and cons of being a registered nurse:


    • Competitive Benefits. Registered nurses make more than the average salary of a career in the United States. Along with that, they also tend to have good benefits such as medical coverage, life insurance, retirement funds, and paid time off.

    • Diverse Opportunities. Registered nurses have the ability to work in a variety of work environments and fields. If you want to travel, you could choose to be a travel nurse. If you enjoy working with children, you can work in pediatrics. This diversity allows nurses to truly work where they want to be.

    • Work Wardrobe. If deciding what you are going to wear daily is something that is difficult for you, nursing could be a great option. You wear a uniform of scrubs daily, which makes getting dressed easy.


    • Long Shifts. Many hospitals work on a 12-hour schedule, which, while extremely beneficial for patient care, can be difficult for the staff. This can also be difficult for staff who have families, as they may go days without seeing them.

    • Emotional Burnout. Nurses witness a lot of human suffering, which can be extremely traumatic for them. It is not uncommon for nurses to feel burnout emotionally after a few years of witnessing people going through so many difficulties.

    • Virus Exposure. Nurses and staff will take all the necessary steps for prevention, but they are still often exposed to various illnesses. If you have a lowered immune system, this may be a factor in choosing against nursing.

    What Kind Of Nurses Get Paid The Most?

    Anesthetist Registered Nurses (ARN) get paid the most of any nurse. An ARN earns a mean annual salary of $181,040 ($88.26 per hour).

    ARNs are paid the highest because they are highly skilled in preparing and administering anesthesia to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and similar health professionals.

    What Other Jobs Can A Medical Assistant Apply For?

    Other jobs a medical assistant can apply for include medical biller, medical records coordinator, and coding specialist. Here are descriptions and average salaries of these positions and others a medical assistant can apply for:

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