Danielle Boettcher

A Career As A Registered Nurse

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Career Goal - Registered Nurse

Occupation Overview

Registered nurses care for patients who are ill or injured.

Most registered nurses (RNs) work as part of a team that includes doctors and therapists. Registered nurses work in a variety of settings. These settings consist of:

- Hospital Nurses

     Hospital nurses observe patients and carry out medical treatments. They use computerized equipment to monitor patients’ vital signs and record observations and other medical data in patients’ charts. Nurses may write and manage patient care plans. They explain to patients how to continue treatment after they go home.

- Office Nurses

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

- Public Health Nurses

     Public health nurses work in community settings to provide health care and first aid. They give shots and screenings such as blood pressure tests. Public health nurses develop and provide health education programs on topics such as nutrition and child care. In addition, they refer patients to community agencies and other health care providers.

- Nursing Care Facility Nurses

     Nursing care facility nurses manage the health care of residents. They write care plans and supervise licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

- Home Health Nurses

     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.

- Additional Specialties

     Registered nurses can also specialize in:

  • Addiction nursing
  • Cardiovascular nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Neonatology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Genetics
  • School nursing

With additional education, registered nurses can also work as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives.

Career Skills and Interests

Registered nurses need these skills:

- Communicate

  • Express ideas clearly when speaking.
  • Understand spoken information.
  • Understand written information.

- Reason and Problem Solve

  • Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
  • Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
  • Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
  • Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

- Use Math and Science

  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.

- Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things

  • Check how well one is learning or doing something.
  • Go back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without becoming confused.
  • Manage the time of self and others.

- Work with People

  • Be aware of others’ reactions and understand the possible causes.
  • Look for ways to help people.
  • Teach others how to do something.
  • Persuade others to approach things differently.

- Work with Things

  • Test equipment, software, or procedures to make sure they operate correctly.
  • Watch gauges, dials, and output to make sure a machine is working properly.

- Perceive and Visualize

  • Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
  • Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.

Interests

Registered nurses typically have the following interests:

  • Have social interests. They like work activities that assist others and promote learning and personal development. They like to communicate with others: to teach, give advice, help, or otherwise be of service to others.
  • Have investigative interests. They like work activities that have to do with ideas and thinking. They like to search for facts and figure out solutions to problems mentally.
  • Have conventional interests. They like work activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Career Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, registered nurses:

- Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of social contact. They work closely with patients.
  • Often deal with angry or unpleasant patients.
  • Are responsible for the health and safety of patients.
  • Are often placed in conflict situations.

- Physical Work Conditions

  • Are exposed to diseases or infections on a daily basis. Always wear masks or rubber gloves to protect themselves and their patients from disease.
  • Usually work indoors.
  • Work very near patients and doctors. They come into physical contact with patients throughout the day.
  • Usually wear a uniform or lab jacket.

- Work Performance

  • Must be very exact in their work. Errors could seriously endanger the health and safety of patients.
  • Repeat the same tasks over and over, such as recording patients' medical information.
  • Make decisions on a daily basis that strongly impact patients. They rarely consult doctors before making a decision.
  • Are usually able to set their tasks for the day without consulting with a doctor.

- Hours/Travel

  • Generally have a set schedule each week.
  • May work part time or full time, but most work 40 hours a week.
  • May work nights, weekends, and holidays, especially in hospitals or nursing homes.
  • May be on-call to work on short notice.

Career Wages and Outlook

The wages of a registered nurse are:

Minnesota - $70,560 (as the median)

U.S. - $66,220

The median salary for a registered nurse was $66,220 in 2013. The best-paid 10 percent of RNs made more than $96,320, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $45,630. The highest-paid RN positions are clustered in California, including the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, San Jose and Vallejo.

Outlook:
Demand for nurses is going to be very strong. The aging population contributes to some of this demand. New federal healthcare law also means that more people will have access to healthcare. Patients are released from hospital to rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. As a result, rapid growth is expected in home health care and nursing homes. At nursing homes, job growth is expected in units that provide specialized care such as 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.

Job prospects are best for those with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Job openings will occur as people retire from this occupation.

Career Related Occupations

The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way:

  • Midwives
  • Health Services Administrators
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Public Health Educators

Program of Study - Registered Nurse

Career Program Overview

Registered nurses care for patients who are ill or injured. Most registered nurses (RNs) work as part of a team that includes doctors and therapists. Registered nurses work in a variety of settings. Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Career 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.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

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

Career Program Typical Course Work

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Adult Health and Illness
  • Biochemistry
  • Caring for Older Adults
  • Community Care
  • Growth and Development
  • Health Assessment and Maintenance
  • Healthcare Systems
  • Human Anatomy
  • Mother, Infant, and Child Health
  • Mental Health and Illness
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Physics
  • Reproductive Health
  • Statistics

Graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree typically include:

  • Required courses
  • Clinical rotations
  • Thesis (master's degree)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)

Course work will also include rigorous study in the area you will specialize in.

Nursing programs require you to participate in several clinical and laboratory rotations. This means that you work and study in hospitals and medical centers under the supervision of doctors, nurses, and professors. Typically you "rotate" through different hospital units, such as prenatal care, pediatrics, cancer, and surgery. Students continue learning about human biology and illness while also practicing skills and techniques of patient care. This usually includes administering medications, diagnosing illnesses, and writing reports. They also learn to apply their course work to real-life situations. Rotations also give students valuable experience that they can apply to their work after they complete their degree.

Career Related Programs

  • Advanced Nursing
  • Anesthesiologist Assisting
  • Health Aide
  • Licensed Practical Nursing
  • Medical Assisting
  • Midwifery
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Assisting
  • Nursing Education
  • Pre-Nursing
  • Surgical Technology

Schools That Offer This Program

Winona State University - Winona

St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Mayo School of Health Services - Rochester

College Choice
Winona State University - Winona

College Information

Size and Location

All undergraduates (including freshmen): 8,405

Winona State University is located in Winona, Minnesota

Admission Requirements

High school education:

High school diploma required and GED accepted.

Required high school courses:

4 years English, 3 years math (Alg, Geom. Alg II), 3 years social studies, 3 years science (biology, chemistry or physics), 2 years world language and 1 year elective.

College Expenses

In-state tuition for Winona State University is about $8,747. Fees cost about $1,850. Books and supplies is about $1,200. Room and board, if you live on campus, is going to be $7,800. Tuition rates vary by campus/location, class load, and degree level.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

FAFSA/SAR will have to be submitted by June 30th for the fall term. A typical financial aid package for freshman is $6,809. $3,226 in loans, $4,784 in scholarships or grants, and $3,425 in a work study award. About 1,563 freshmen apply for financial aid and 1,095 receive the financial aid.

List of financial aid programs at Winona State University:

  • Loans
  • Need-based scholarships and grants
  • Merit-based scholarships and grants
  • Student employment
  • Veteran's benefits

Housing

16 resident halls and university apartments; women and coed halls, students dine at university dining halls. March 1st is the housing application deadline. More students apply than can be housed so students should apply as soon as accepted to Winona State.

Activities

Winona State University is a Division II athletic association. Winona also has many clubs sports and intramural sports. There are 186 students in clubs and associations with open membership.

Informational Interview

The place and person I visited was clean, friendly, nice, and caring. I learned that I would love to work as a registered nurse and would want to work to become one. This is the kind of job for me. I like the people that work there, the way they care for their patients, their want to help, and the place was very nice. An advantage to this job is definitely the money. Another big advantage is the happiness you get of helping patients. Just a concern is seeing patients decrease with their illness or injury. I was advised to keep working and finding things to do with health care and to study and focus on health care. The work environment was quiet, clean, calming, friendly, and all good things. The environment had teams and work well together. I know I will be happy in this occupation.

Plans To Reach Your Goal

My plans to reach my goal to become a registered nurse is to continue taking my High-STEP class throughout high school and continue onto college and major in nursing. I may also be taking PSEO classes next year to further my college education faster.

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