Strict Standards: Non-static method PageInfoOperations::LoadPageInfoByContentAlias() should not be called statically in /home/ladders/public_html/index.php on line 117
Oswego Career Ladders - Registered Nurse (RN)

You are here: Home » Healthcare » Nursing and Direct Patient Care » Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered Nurse (RN)

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Nursing and Direct Patient Care

Registered nurses work in a variety of settings and their job descriptions depend largely on this setting. One of the primary roles of an RN in all settings is the assessment of patients’ needs, and development of an interdisciplinary care plan that includes all of the health care team. RNs also provide emotional support for patients and family, and education about wellness and disease processes, treatment plan options and self-care issues. 

Hospital nurses form the largest group of nurses, with three out of five RNs working in a hospital setting. Most are staff nurses who provide bedside nursing care and carry out medical regimens. They also may supervise LPNs and nursing aides. Hospital nurses usually are assigned to one area, such as surgery, maternity, pediatrics, medicine, emergency room, intensive care, or treatment of cancer patients. Some may rotate among departments.

Office nurses care for outpatients in physicians’ offices, clinics, surgicenters, and emergency medical centers.

Nursing home nurses manage nursing care for residents with conditions ranging from a fracture to Alzheimer’s disease. Home health nurses provide periodic services to patients at home.

Public health nurses work in government and private agencies and clinics, schools, retirement communities, and other community settings. 

Occupational health or industrial nurses provide nursing care at worksites to employees, customers, and others with minor injuries and illnesses. They provide emergency care, prepare accident reports, and arrange for further care if necessary.


Many community colleges and schools of nursing offer two-year RN programs. Individuals interested in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree (B.S.N.) must complete a four-year collegiate program. Students who have an associate degree in nursing may enroll in a BSN completion program.

Job Outlook

11 percent increase over the next 10 years - 561,000 new jobs expected in the U.S.


Average Annual Salary $32,000 - $64,000 (NYS Avg. $50,660)

Work Schedule

Most work a 40-hour week; day, evening and night shifts; some holidays and weekends

^ Top

<strong>Previous page:</strong> Nurse Practitioner
<strong>Next page:</strong> Nutrition