What does a registered nurse do?

Registered nurses care for patients, providing them with treatment, counseling, and education. RNs work closely with a patient’s physicians and other health professionals as part of the health care team. Depending on their area of specialization and work setting, RNs perform some or all of the following:

What might a registered nurse do in a workday?

  • develop and implement individualized plans for a patient’s care.
  • monitor and record patients’ needs and changing conditions.
  • administer prescribed medications and treatments.
  • educate individuals on self-care, including maintaining health and preventing illness/injury.
  • conduct health screening tests and procedures.
  • direct and supervise other nursing personnel.

Registered nurses are sought in a wide variety of work settings: hospitals, physicians’ offices, industrial and corporate sites, clinics, government or community health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, or patients’ homes. RNs also may choose to pursue careers in health administration, teaching, utilization review, consulting, research, and many other specialties.

How much does a registered nurse earn?

  • $40,000 - $65,000

How do I become a registered nurse?

Students intending to pursue a career as a registered nurse should take challenging courses in science, math, and English, including advanced placement courses.

Educational preparation to be a registered nurse is offered in three different types of programs in Virginia: four-year colleges offering baccalaureate degrees; community and junior colleges offering associate degrees; and hospital-based schools offering diplomas. Graduates of all three programs are eligible to take the national licensure exam, NCLEX-RN, to become a registered nurse.

A baccalaureate degree is required to enter graduate programs in nursing, which prepare advanced practice nurses, nursing administrators, and nurse educators.

Where else can I learn about becoming a registered nurse?

Virginia Nurses Association
7113 Three Chopt Road / Richmond, VA 23226
tel:  (804) 282-1808 / web:  www.virginianurses.com

Virginia Partnership for Nursing
7113 Three Chopt Road / Richmond, VA 23226
tel:  (804) 282-1808 / web:  www.virginiapartnershipfornursing.org

American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400 / Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
tel:  (301) 628-5000 or (800) 274-4ANA (4262) / web:  www.ana.org

Registered Nurse Professional Association
950 S. Bascom Avenue / San Jose, CA 95128
tel:  (408) 292-6061 / web:  www.rnpa.net


Educational Institutions in Virginia for Registered Nurses: