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What is a Registered Nurse?

Registered Nurse (RN) Definition Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

List of Registered Nurse (RN) Job Duties

  • Modify patient treatment plans as indicated by patients’ responses and conditions.
  • Provide or arrange for training or instruction of auxiliary personnel or students.
  • Order, interpret, and evaluate diagnostic tests to identify and assess patient’s condition.
  • Work with individuals, groups, or families to plan or implement programs designed to improve the overall health of communities.
  • Conduct specified laboratory tests.
  • Consult with institutions or associations regarding issues or concerns relevant to the practice and profession of nursing.

Skills Needed to be a Registered Nurse (RN)

These are the skills Registered Nurses say are the most useful in their careers:

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Receptionist Nurse
  • Surgical Nurse
  • Nurse
  • Emergency Room Nurse
  • Registered Private Duty Nurse

Registered Nurse (RN) Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 2,955,200 jobs for Registered Nurse in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 438,000 new jobs for Registered Nurse by 2026. The BLS estimates 203,700 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Registered Nurses in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Registered Nurse (RN) are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Wisconsin, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Registered Nurses Salary

The average yearly salary of a Registered Nurse (RN) ranges between $50,800 and $106,530.

Salary Ranges for Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses who work in Hawaii, California, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Registered Nurses make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $59,470
Alaska $89,310
Arizona $77,000
Arkansas $60,780
California $106,950
Colorado $74,240
Connecticut $81,220
Delaware $74,800
District of Columbia $92,350
Florida $66,210
Georgia $68,950
Hawaii $98,080
Idaho $67,110
Illinois $73,890
Indiana $64,860
Iowa $59,130
Kansas $61,030
Kentucky $63,100
Louisiana $63,970
Maine $67,610
Maryland $76,820
Massachusetts $92,140
Michigan $71,330
Minnesota $78,920
Mississippi $58,490
Missouri $65,130
Montana $67,450
Nebraska $64,470
Nevada $85,620
New Hampshire $72,760
New Jersey $82,750
New Mexico $71,730
New York $85,610
North Carolina $64,850
North Dakota $65,740
Ohio $66,820
Oklahoma $63,080
Oregon $91,080
Pennsylvania $70,390
Rhode Island $78,420
South Carolina $64,940
South Dakota $58,340
Tennessee $61,320
Texas $72,890
Utah $65,670
Vermont $69,160
Virginia $69,790
Washington $82,670
West Virginia $61,780
Wisconsin $71,470
Wyoming $67,360

What Tools do Registered Nurses Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Registered Nurses:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data entry software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • IBM Notes
  • FileMaker Pro
  • MEDITECH software
  • Google Drive
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Epic Systems
  • LinkedIn
  • Human resource management software HRMS
  • Healthcare common procedure coding system HCPCS
  • Medical condition coding software

How do I Become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Are there Registered Nurses education requirements?

Registered Nurse (RN) Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

Registered Nurse (RN) Work Experience

Who Employs Registered Nurses?

Registered Nurse (RN) Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Registered Nurses employed by various industries.

Registered Nurse (RN) Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Registered Nurse might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Aleksahgabrielle via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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