Registered Nurse (RN) Overview


Registered Nursing requires a large skillset consisting of information and experiential knowledge employed to assess, develop, and implement care plans to promote health. This often includes matters of disease prevention and coping with illness in that nurses observe patients to assess their condition by recording symptoms, reactions, and progress. This information then provides the basis for care planning and intervention. Registered Nurses are health educators and patient advocates.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sites Registered Nursing among the top ten occupations with the largest projected job growth. Employment of Registered Nurses is expected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all U.S. occupations.

RN Working Conditions

While the majority of professional nurses work in stationary positions within healthcare facilities, home health and public health nurses oftentimes travel to their patients at schools, homes, and other sites.

It is somewhat common for RNs to be physically active in the workplace, which requires the ability to walk, stand, and lift throughout the work day. Because nursing involves direct involvement with illness, medical emergencies, and other stressful situations, the RN must be able to cope well with these environmental demands.

 “During my 34 years in the profession, I have seen several cycles of shortage and oversupply. Even during the years of oversupply, plenty of options remain for nurses who demonstrate competence, a commitment to lifelong learning, and responsiveness to the needs of patients, families, and our health care system.”

 -Suzanne Prevost, PhD, RN, dean and professor at the UA School of Nursing


RN Video Overview

Note: Above video produced and provided by courtesy of Career OneStop with sponsorship of U.S. Department of Labor; implemented under Fair Use:17 U.S. Code § 107


RN Career Advancement

Registered nurses earn on average 65K+ a year, although compensation depends on level of education, experience, geographic location and the type of facility. Experienced registered nurses with advanced education can earn upward of $80,000 a year.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Registered Nurses, on the Internet at