What does a Registered Nurse do?

Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.

Jobs Roles

  • Maintain accurate, detailed reports and records.
  • Monitor, record, and report symptoms or changes in patients' conditions.
  • Record patients' medical information and vital signs.
  • Modify patient treatment plans as indicated by patients' responses and conditions.
  • Consult and coordinate with healthcare team members to assess, plan, implement, or evaluate patient care plans.
  • Order, interpret, and evaluate diagnostic tests to identify and assess patient's condition.
  • Monitor all aspects of patient care, including diet and physical activity.
  • Direct or supervise less-skilled nursing or healthcare personnel or supervise a particular unit.
  • Prepare patients for and assist with examinations or treatments.
  • Observe nurses and visit patients to ensure proper nursing care.
  • Assess the needs of individuals, families, or communities, including assessment of individuals' home or work environments, to identify potential health or safety problems.
  • Instruct individuals, families, or other groups on topics such as health education, disease prevention, or childbirth and develop health improvement programs.
  • Prepare rooms, sterile instruments, equipment, or supplies and ensure that stock of supplies is maintained.
  • Inform physician of patient's condition during anesthesia.
  • Administer local, inhalation, intravenous, or other anesthetics.
  • Provide health care, first aid, immunizations, or assistance in convalescence or rehabilitation in locations such as schools, hospitals, or industry.
  • Perform physical examinations, make tentative diagnoses, and treat patients en route to hospitals or at disaster site triage centers.
  • Conduct specified laboratory tests.
  • Hand items to surgeons during operations.
  • Prescribe or recommend drugs, medical devices, or other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy, inhalation therapy, or related therapeutic procedures.
  • Direct or coordinate infection control programs, advising or consulting with specified personnel about necessary precautions.
  • Perform administrative or managerial functions, such as taking responsibility for a unit's staff, budget, planning, or long-range goals.
  • Provide or arrange for training or instruction of auxiliary personnel or students.
  • Refer students or patients to specialized health resources or community agencies furnishing assistance.
  • Consult with institutions or associations regarding issues or concerns relevant to the practice and profession of nursing.
  • Work with individuals, groups, or families to plan or implement programs designed to improve the overall health of communities.
  • Engage in research activities related to nursing.
  • Administer medications to patients and monitor patients for reactions or side effects.
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