Nursing is one of the ten professions with the largest growth in job opportunities according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The demand for registered nurses has continuously grown globally since the turn of the century. Likewise, the health care industry is expected to grow as the baby-boomer generation retires.
Registered Nurses can enter the workforce after earning an Associate's degree and current median pay for RN's is $64,690/year.
The job description of a registered nurse is broad and general in scope. RN's are required to develop a vast understanding of all aspects of the healthcare system including how to plan, evaluate and intervene to promote health, prevent diseases, and help patients cope with their illness. The role of a registered nurse has increased from the primary role of assisting doctors. A registered nurse is also expected to provide direct patient care inside or outside a medical facility.
Other than direct patient care, a registered nurse is also involved in disease management, hospital policy, and establishing nursing practice standards. An experienced RN with a nursing degree can also be involved in developing quality assurance procedures, designing nursing care systems, conducting clinical research, teaching in nursing schools, and practicing in a corporate or civic setting. Registered nurses are also in high demand in the U.S. military, elderly care programs, and international medical missions. The career outlook of a budding registered nurse is definitely larger than its primary job profile.
The roles of nurses have changed through centuries as health care systems become more pragmatic and bureaucratic around the world. Today, a registered nurse has to meet the strictest standards and is considered an integral member of the health care team. An RN is expected to give timely advice to their attending doctors in the interest of their patients.
A registered nurse might choose to focus on a certain specialty and take further studies and intensive training. Specialty options for the nursing profession include trama nurse, emergency nurse, neo-natal nurse, nephrology nurse, oncology nurse, orthopedic nurse, and women's health nurse practitioner. A specialized nurse has a higher salary potential than general nurses. Registered nurses are thereby encouraged to train for numerous specialties.
In the United States, the nursing profession is regulated by the government and the American Nurses Association (A.N.A). The A.N.A. provides comprehensive labor benefits and assistance to registered nurses. They also set guidelines, regulations, and professional standards, including active participation in administering the nursing board exam in U.S. states.
The pay scale of a registered nurse is largely based on years of experience. The average salary of a new registered nurse is $21 per hour. The average salary of a registered nurse with ten to nineteen years of service is approximately $29 per hour, while nurses with 20 years of experience net an average of $31 per hour.
The average salary of nurses varies depending on the city and state. Nurses in California, particularly in Los Angeles, have the highest salaries. For more information on nurses' salaries, you can consult PayScale (http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Registered_Nurse_(RN)/Hourly_Rate) for the latest salary data.