A Career in Registered Nursing

Aubrey Friedrichs

Career Overview


Registered nurses care for patients who are ill or injured.

Registered nurses (RNs) work to promote health and to help patients cope with illness. Nurses work with patients in hospitals, in doctors' offices, and in nursing homes. They work in public health facilities such as government agencies and schools. They also take care of patients in their homes as they recover from illness or accidents. Nurses have a large variety of tasks they can perform. However, the work setting usually determines their daily duties.

Hospital nurses observe patients and carry out medical treatments. They use computerized equipment to monitor patients' vital signs. They record their observations and other medical data in patients' charts. Nurses also consult with medical staff about ways to prevent infection. Sometimes nurses write and manage patient care plans.

Hospital nurses are usually assigned to one area, such as surgery. In these areas they have special duties. For example, surgery nurses prepare rooms and supplies before surgery. They sterilize instruments and prepare other equipment. They also assist surgeons by passing instruments and other items.

Nursing care facility nurses manage the health care of residents. They spend much of their time on administrative and supervisory tasks. For example, they write care plans, and supervise licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in carrying them out. Home health nurses provide prescribed nursing care to patients in their own homes. They also instruct patients and their families how to perform necessary procedures.

Skills and Interests:

Registered nurses have to express ideas clearly when speaking or writing, Listen to others, understand, and ask questions. They also have to notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, use reasoning to discover answers to problems and concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.

They need to know how to work with others and how to act in stressful situations and be able to make quick, but correct decisions. They must also know how to work the machinery around them and know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide quickly.

Working Conditions:

Registered Nurses working conditions include the following: having a high level of social contact, being able to work as a team. RN's are also taking the chance to become sick because they are exposed to diseases and illnesses. Decision making is a big part too, because they must be able to make decisions in stressful situations. They also have deadlines to meet and be able to work nights, weekends and holidays. RN's may be on call and may have to come in at a moments notice.

Wages and Outlook:


- Minnesota: $72,330 yearly

- US: $65,950 yearly


- Minnesota: 20%

- US: 35%

Related Occupations:

- Obstetricians and Gynecologists

- Pediatricians

- Midwives


- Medical Assistants

- Family and General Practitioners

Program of Study- Registered Nursing

Program Overview:

Registered nursing programs prepare people to work as RNs. Students learn techniques and procedures of caring for patients and helping doctors. They learn to give medicine and treatments. They also learn to comfort and instruct patients.

As a nurse, you must be prepared for anything. You must be able to handle stressful situations and work with many kinds of people. However, many nurses feel great satisfaction with their work. This is because every day they help people and their families feel better, both physically and emotionally.

In nursing programs, you take courses in different laboratory sciences, including organic chemistry, biology, and anatomy. You also take courses in nursing theory, pharmacology, psychology, statistics, and nutrition. In addition, you take courses in caring for different kinds of patients. This includes patients who've just had surgery, older people, newborns and mothers, and children. You learn how to perform different tasks, such as prepping a patient for surgery, taking vital signs, and giving injections. You learn about keeping patients and medical tools sterile to prevent infection.

Most four-year colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in nursing. Typically, you receive a bachelor's degree in nursing in four to five years. Some community colleges offer two-year programs in licensed practical nursing which can be transferred to a four-year college or university.

As a registered nurse, you can work in a variety of health care settings. You can work in private doctors' offices, clinics, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes. You can also work for private medical businesses, and depending on your degree, advance to supervisory positions.

Program Admission:

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language. Most schools require that you pass certain courses before you can officially become a nursing major. Typically these courses are chemistry, human anatomy, statistics, biology, and nutrition. In addition, many schools require you to complete an official application to the nursing program. Admission to nursing programs is competitive, so you should make sure to get good grades.

Courses that will help you prepare:

- Advanced Biology courses
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Advanced Chemistry courses
- Physics
- Pre-Calculus
- Probability and Statistics

Typical Course Work:

- Human Anatomy

- Mother, Infant and Child Health

- Nutrition

- Physics

- Reproductive Health

Related Programs:

- Health Aide

- Nurse Midwifery

- Surgical Technology

College Choice

Schools that Offer this Program:

- Mayo School of Health Sciences

- Bemdji State University

- MSU Mankato & Moorhead


- Winona

- U of M

Minnesota State University - Mankato  

Size and Location:

- Mankato, MN

-15,606 people

Admission Requirements:

- Deadline: December 15th

- Tests Required: ACT

- Average Scores/Rank: Average score is 22 and rank is top 50% of class

College Expenses:

- Tuition, Room and Board: $14,00

- Estimated Budget: $2,752

- Application Fee: $20

Financial Aid:

- Deadline: March 15th

- Required Forms: FAFSA/SAR

- Scholarships Available: Presidential Scholar Awards, Meredith Scholar Award, Graham Chemistry Scholarship


- Halls: Crawford Residence, McElroy Residence, Julia A. Sears Residence, Margaret R. Preska Residence, Stadium Heights Apartments

- Food Plans: Maverick Anytime, Maverick 14 and Maverick 160


- Organizations: Chi Alpha, Child Development and Family Services

- Greek Life: Greek 101 and Greek Community Mission Statement

- Athletics: Football, Volleyball, Tennis and many more

- Other: They have have a radio station and childcare!

Campus Visits:

- When: Twice daily Mon-Fri

Plans To Reach My Goal!

I plan to reach my goal by taking as many classes that I can that will give me more knowledge about this career and the study of registered nursing, which is OB, that I would like to go into. I am currently enrolled in High-STEP Academy which will get me one step closer to fulfilling this dream and making it a reality! I also plan on doing some job shadowing and an internship while I am in college at the local hospital to try and gain the most experience and knowledge that I can get! I can't wait! :)

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