Registered nurses work with patients through the provision of care, educating them and the public about the existing disease as well as offering emotional support to patients and their immediate family members (Juraschek, Zhang, Ranganathan, & Lin, 2012). A registered nurse’s duties include but are not limited to following the patient’s records and symptoms, administering treatment and medication, observing patients, and recording their progress.
Furthermore, they are mandated with the duty to consult with physicians and other health professionals regarding the matters of patient’s health and treatment. They may additionally make the diagnosis for certain categories of patients and perform the analysis of the results (Juraschek, Zhang, Ranganathan & Lin, 2012). Besides, they are expected to offer training to the family members of the patient on how to take care of them after hospitalization.
Registered nurses have a particular code of ethics based on certain values that guide their operations. As healthcare professionals, they are to provide such care to patients which are of high competency, as well as safe, compassionate, and the one that observes the nursing ethics (Lundmark et al, 2012). They must keep the dignity of the patients. They are also supposed to uphold justice as well as maintain confidentiality and the privacy of the patient together with promoting and respecting sound decision making. Moreover, they are to be attentive to accountability.
Registered nurses obtain their education at three levels. These levels mean receiving a nursing diploma, advanced diploma in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The nursing diploma or advanced diploma in nursing takes two to three years to complete, while the bachelor’s degree in nursing takes an average of four years to be completed (Lundmark et al, 2012). The registered nurses can also take master’s degree. It is open for specialists with a bachelor’s degree even in other fields who want to enter into a nursing career.
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There are opportunities for diploma and advanced diploma holders to advance to bachelor’s degree qualifications. The majority of the institutions that offer nursing training provide the preparation for the advancement of studies to bachelor’s degree qualifications. In the United States, one can join public universities for nursing courses as well. The universities such as Ohio State University and Texas A&M University offer the course for four years. In Texas A&M University, the fee ranges from $15,406 to $20,506 per academic year depending on the program a student chooses. At Ohio State University, the fees range between $648-and $14,505 per semester depending on the grade (Altmann, 2011).
Registered nursing is offered by both private and public institutions that are accredited. The registered nurses need certification from the board of nurses to be qualified for which one needs to have graduated from the studies with a diploma, advanced diploma, or a bachelor’s degree. The certification is necessary as it affirms to employers that the candidate is committed to high standards of practice (Auerbach, Buerhaus, & Staiger, 2011). Candidates must take a test offered by the certifying board of nurses to qualify for the certification.
Currently, there are numerous job opportunities for registered nurses in the United States. However, the number of graduates from training institutions is increasing (Altmann, 2011). Hence, the competition for the available opportunities is growing too. Additionally, employers are now seemingly becoming more selective in offering opportunities. The holders of bachelor’s degrees have better chances of securing these opportunities. Nursing career chances are projected to grow steadily for the next ten years from 2014. The growth can be credited to the aging population that is currently on the rise in the country (Auerbach, Buerhaus, & Staiger, 2011).
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The older people will require more care and consequently, more professionals will be needed. The number of individuals accessing health insurance is increasing in parallel with this as a result of the federal government health policies that are favorable. Many citizens, who could not previously access health care, can now afford it. This trend will increase the number of people accessing health care, hence the need for more registered nurses. There is an average of four job adverts in the Sunday Herald with varying a number of positions for the registered nurses.
The employers are currently seeking candidates with prior work experience in nursing. The hospitals are citing the high cost of inducing fresh graduates to the hospital setting as the main reason why they prefer experienced nurses. The registered nurses with over five years of experience are preferred. The average salary for a registered nurse is $67,490 per annum (Altmann, 2011). The entry-level salary is around $49,630, and the highest-earning is $101630 per year. A registered nurse can further advance from the first level of a novice to the second level of the proficient nurse. There is also the third level of an expert, the level from where they proceed to a senior stage three of a mentor nurse meaning they can subsequently reach the highest level of a nurse leader. A registered nurse can grow through experience and advance in their education (Altmann, 2011).
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There are some professional bodies that the registered nurses can join. Some of them include the American Nurse Association, National League for Nursing, National Student Nurses Association, American Organisation of Nurse Executives, and the International Council of Nurses (Matthews, 2012). These organizations are the best recognized for nurses nationally. They are free membership establishments, though the registered nurses pay $191 for membership to the American Nurses Association. There are special nursing journals in the US. The best include the American Journal of Nursing, which costs $33.90 for its online version, and its address is www.ajnoline.com.
The other one is Geriatric Nursing, costing $119 for both printed and online copies and can be found on www.journals.elsevier.com/geriatric-nursing. One more instance is the Journal of Nursing Education, with $145 for an annual subscription, located on www.healio.com (Matthews, 2012). Laws in different states require registered nurses to take continuing education before license renewal. The continuing educational units should not be less than thirty contact hours every two years in the institutions recognized by the licensing board. The continuing education units are the responsibility of professional nurses, but the professional bodies, that they are the members of, share that responsibility with them. The professional bodies help their members in achieving the continuing education units through various activities increasing their contact hours (Altmann, 2011).
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I envision myself fitting well in a Registered Nurse career. It is a profession requiring hard work and devotion but it does not scare me. I am an empathetic person and can connect emotionally with my patients. I am also emotionally strong in a way that I can stand the conditions of the patients and withstand the stresses linked to such experiences. What is more, I am a good communicator, and I can converse well with the patients, their family members, and my colleagues. I am also patient and very calm, the factor that helps me deal with the most complicated and painful conditions of the patients easier as compared to some of my colleagues.
I have a quality of being attentive to details, and therefore I can obtain a larger number of these from the diagnosis and treatment. I am physically strong to stand long working hours and I am willing to train further to be even more stable. In this career, I plan to grow professionally in the short term to take advantage of better benefits in the second and third levels. Additionally, I have the ambition to develop into a full expert in the Nursing field. To achieve my goals, I will have to take the continuing education units to ascertain I am always registered with a professional body. I will strive to increase my knowledge by reading various journals or any other literature required for my professional advancement. Finally, I have the intention to undertake a master’s degree to qualify for development.