Abbi Malecha

A Career as a Registered Nurse

Career Goal - Registered Nurse

Career Overview

Registered nurses care for patients who are ill or injured.

Registered nurses 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, many duties that are common to other work settings. For example, they discuss cases with patients' doctors. They maintain a stock of supplies. They also supervise licensed practical nurses and aides.

Office nurses prepare patients for exams and check vital signs. They assist doctors with exams when requested. They draw blood and give injections, as do nurses in most settings. Office nurses may also perform routine lab tests and office work.

Public health nurses work to improve the overall health of communities. They provide health care and first aid. They give shots and screenings such as blood pressure tests. Public health nurses develop health education programs. Thus, they teach the public about topics such as nutrition and childcare. In addition, they refer patients to community agencies.

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.

Career Skills and Interests

Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing. Listen to others, understand, and ask questions. Read and understand written information.

Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.Make sense of information by studying it.Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.Identify problems and review information. Develop, review, and apply solutions.Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.Think of new ideas or original and creative ways to solve problems.

Manage the time of self and others. Be aware of others' reactions and change behavior in relation to them. Look for ways to help people.

Career Working Conditions

Interpersonal Relationships. Physical Work conditions. High Level of social interaction. Work as a team. Always work indoors. Decision making. Deadlines to meet. More than 40 hours a week. Hours/ Travel. Work Performance.

Career Wages and Outlook

Growth in this occupation will be due in part to technological advances that allow more medical problems to be treated. In addition, the number of older people is expected to increase rapidly. This group is more likely to need medical care.

The number of jobs in hospital nursing is expected to grow more slowly than in other settings. This is because patients are being released earlier from hospitals. As a result, rapid growth is expected in home health care and nursing homes. At nursing homes, job growth also is expected in units that provide specialized care. These units provide long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients or treat Alzheimer's patients.

Many procedures which once were performed only in hospitals are being performed in doctors' offices and in outpatient care centers. Employment is expected to grow faster than average in these places as health care in general expands.

Employers in some parts of the country are reporting difficulty in attracting enough RNs. This is because many RNs have retired and because schools are not producing enough nurses. Qualified RNs should have many job opportunities.


Minnesota - $72,330 yearly

US - $65,950 yearly.


Minnesota - 20%

US - 35%

Career Related Occupations

Below are careers similar to Registered Nurses you may be interested in reading about. If you are looking to broaden your job search, these careers require similar skills. Click on the names to link to their career profile.


Family and General Practitioners


Medical Assistants

Nurse Anesthesiologist

Obstetricians and Gynecologists




Career Program of Study - Registered Nurse

Program Overview

Registered Nursing programs prepare people to work as RN's.

There are three training options for registered nurses. One, you can earn an associate degree in nursing (AND). Community and two-year colleges offer these two-year programs. Two, you can earn a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN). Colleges and universities offer these four-year programs. Three, you can earn a diploma. Hospitals offer these two to three year programs.

In general, graduates of any of the three types of programs qualify for entry-level positions. However, you must also pass national and state exams. Nurses who have a bachelor's degree have more options for jobs.

As a nursing student, you study anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. Near the end of training you complete a supervised work experience in a hospital. During your clinical work experience you work in several hospital departments, such as surgery, emergency, and pediatrics

Program Admission

In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements.

You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:

Anatomy and Physiology

Computer Applications

Health Education

Introduction to Health Care



Career Program Typical Course Work

These courses may help you with what you will be doing in your career field:


Human Anatomy





Growth and Development


Related Programs

The Programs of Study listed below are similar or related to the program you are currently exploring.

Emergency Medical Care



Surgical Technology

Health Aide



College Choice

Schools that Offer the Program

University of Minnesota, Duluth

St. Cloud State

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Winona State

St. Cloud State University

College Info

Location of College

St. Cloud State University is located in St. Cloud.

Size and Location

St. Cloud, 63,800

Admission Requirements

ACT test, GPA of 3.12 or higher, top 85% of class

College Expenses

Tuition, Room & Board - $7,472 and $6,600

Estimated total budget - $15,272

Application Fee - $20

Financial Aid

Deadline - May 1st

Required forms - FAFSA/SAR, Institutional application


Resident Hall - 10 dorms

Food Plan - several meal plans available


Clubs, Organizations - many activities; Battle of the Halls, The Underground

Greek Life- Yes

Athletics - Basketball, Wrestling, Hockey, Softball, Baseball, Cross Country, Swim, etc.

Plans to Reach Your Goal

Get good grades and get accepted to SCSU.

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