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Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses
Quick Facts : Registered Nurses*
2010 Median Pay$64,690
Entry Level EducationAssociate's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20122,737,400
Job Outlook26% (Faster than average)
Employment Change711,900

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. Registered nurses sometimes work to promote general health by educating the public on warning signs and symptoms of disease. They might also run general health screenings or immunization clinics, blood drives, or other outreach programs.

What Registered Nurses Do

  • Record patients' medical histories and symptoms
  • Set up plans for patients' care or contribute to existing plans
  • Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries

Work Environment

Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. They also work in correctional facilities, schools, summer camps, and with the military.
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Job Outlook

Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, primarily because of technological advancements, permitting a greater number of health problems to be treated.
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The average salary of registered nurses in May 2010 was $64,690.
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Registered Nurses*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Registered Nurses


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Registered Nurses*
Percent Change in Employment

Registered Nurses


Healthcare Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Registered Nurses

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. BSN programs typically take four years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually take two to three years to complete. Registered nurses must also be licensed.
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