Nursing

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N urses provide critical care around the country, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing indicates that the United States is projected to experience a shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) due to the aging population and their growing health care needs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment for registered nurses is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Reasons for growth include an increase in chronic conditions such as obesity, the aging baby-boomers and an emphasis on preventative health care.

What RNs Do

Registered Nurses usually work as part of a team with doctors and other health care specialists and typically do the following:

  • Assess and observe patients’ conditions
  • Record medical histories and symptoms
  • Collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals
  • Help perform diagnostic tests
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Administer medications and treatments
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Education, Licensing, Certification and Registration

Nursing programs usually include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences. Registered nurses usually earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Diploma in nursing from an approved nursing program and then must be licensed in order to practice. A bachelor’s degree program typically takes 4 years to complete; associate degree and diploma programs usually take between two and three years to complete.

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