General Duties

  • Registered nurses (RN) care for patients, educate their patients and their families and
    administer medicine.
  • RNs also consult with other healthcare providers, monitor their patients throughout their
    day, and take on the responsibility of managing medical records.

What environment(s) and/or settings is this profession employed?

  • RNs are typically employed within hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and
    residential care facilities, the government, and educational services.
  • 60% of RNs work within hospitals

What are the skills/qualities needed to be successful in this field?

Communication skills, emotional intelligence, teamwork, problem-solving and critical
thinking, organizational skills, stress management, patience

What is the employment outlook?

  • Employment is projected to grow 12% from 2018-2028 which is much faster than the
    average for all occupations.
  • Several reasons for the expected growth include medical problems among the elderly due
    to the fact that they need to be monitored more carefully. In addition, RNs are expected to
    provide education on chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.

Average Salary/Indebtedness

  • Since 2018, the median salary is $71,730.
  • The lowest 10% receives less than $50,800 and the highest 10% receives over $106,530.
    70% of all graduated RNs have student debt, with a median debt of $40,000 to $54,999.

Other healthcare professionals someone in this career may interact and/or collaborate with:

Doctors, therapists, and social workers.

What kind of educational training/qualifications does entry into this career require?

  • RNs receive either a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree
    in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. RNs need to be
  • In nursing education programs, students take courses in anatomy, physiology,
    microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other social and behavioral sciences,
    as well as in liberal arts.
  • BSN programs typically take 4 years to complete; ADN and diploma programs usually
    take 2 to 3 years to complete.
  • There are also master’s degree programs in nursing, combined bachelor’s and master’s
    programs, and accelerated programs for those who wish to enter the nursing profession
    and already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.

Professional Interviewed
Lauren McAuliffe, RN at Newton-Wellesley Surgical Field

How did they become interested in this field?

Lauren used to be a design major because that is what she was good at. However, she
became interested in nursing after having seen the way her friend cares for patients and
how those patients are so grateful. After that, Lauren decided she wanted to spend the rest
of her life caring for others in the same way.

What do they like about what they do?

Lauren enjoys making a positive impact on her patients’ lives

How they think the field will change in the next 10 years?

In the next 10 years, Lauren believes that patients will be getting sicker and there will be
a greater need for nurses. She remarked that younger people are getting diseases that are
normally present in older people such as GI diseases, colorectal cancer, and lung diseases
due to vaping.

What is their advice for those interested in this career?

Lauren recommends that those who are interested in nursing should not be afraid to ask
questions, especially to those that are already in the nursing field because it will get them