Brief Description

Condensing a nurse’s scope of responsibility into a few paragraphs is virtually impossible. Registered nursing is a totality of patient care. Registered nurses are the backbone of health care services. Nursing is the healthcare profession concerned with providing and coordinating direct patient care to both healthy and ill patients. Some registered nurses provide bedside care ranging from simple but crucial tasks to highly complex procedures. Nurses record medical histories, obtain vital signs such as temperature and blood pressures, administer medicines, consult with physicians and healthcare professionals, and provide education to patients and family members on how to manage the condition. RNs rely on their medical knowledge, decision-making skills, crucial record keeping, and skilled nursing care procedures to determine each patient’s status and continuing needs.

HOW DO I BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE?

You must apply for admission into nursing school after completing certain prerequisite courses in subjects such as biology, chemistry, and psychology. Most universities require a certain grade point average and have other criteria, which determine your admission into the nursing program. Registered nurse training programs last from two to five years beyond high school. An associate’s degree is awarded for a two-year program and a bachelor’s degree is awarded for the four or five year programs. There are also a small number of three-year programs available in which a Diploma of Nursing is awarded. Advanced education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, is available also.

All nurses must be licensed. Individuals must graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a state licensing board exam.

WHAT WILL I LEARN IN NURSING SCHOOL?

Your nurse training will begin with classroom study of the sciences: biology, pharmacy, and chemistry. You will learn about the processes of the human body and how science and medicine intertwine Also, courses in psychology and behavioral sciences are required for more of the social aspect of nursing.. The latter part of your training will be clinical experience – actually working in health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.

LIFE AFTER GRADUATION

The need for registered nurses is expected to increase by 19% from 2012-2022 according to the United States Bureau of Labor. Although most RNs work directly with patients, many do not. Nurses can choose the setting and area of specialty best suited to their interests and career goals.

Nursing is physically, intellectually and emotionally taxing. In many situations, an error in judgment can bring negative consequences to the patient. Nurses who work directly with patients must have sensitivity, tact, compassion, and the ability to win the respect and trust of their patient. Nursing requires the ability to think and act quickly in high-stress situations.

Nurses with suitable education and experience will find expanding opportunities in clinical, managerial, academic and entrepreneurial fields. New graduates of RN schools usually find employment faster and at higher salaries than the majority of graduates from other degree programs. Salaries are rising steadily as demand increases for nurses, particularly for those trained as clinical specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners.

HOW DO I BEGIN MY CAREER AS A REGISTERED NURSE?

Not only are RNs expanding the types of services they provide, they are providing these services in a variety of settings in health care today. Most of the RNs in the U.S. work in hospitals. Some of the settings, besides hospitals, in which nurses provide care are clinics, nursing homes, community agencies, public and private schools, health maintenance organizations, outpatient care facilities, colleges and universities, public and private health promotion centers, hospices, homes, community health centers, rural health clinics, long-term care centers, and in the armed forces.
Nurses today can be administrators, researchers, political consultants, members of federal and state regulatory bodies, educators, and health care advisors to government and private businesses.

NURSING SPECIALTIES

Critical Care Nursing**
Providing nursing care for the critically ill patient in a critical care environment

24/7 Call Nursing

Provide telecommunication services over the phone for patients to determine if sign/symptoms are normal or if they should seek medical help—normally for doctors’ offices (peds or ob/gyn) or dialysis clinics

Dermatology Nursing
Working with all types of skin disease from the mildest to the most severe

Emergency Nursing
Commitment to safe and effective assessment, diagnosis and treatment of perceived, actual or potential, sudden or urgent, physical or psychosocial problems that are primarily episodic or acute

Enterostomal Therapy Nursing
Providing acute and rehabilitative care for people with select disorders of the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and integumentary systems

Flight Nursing
Evaluation, treatment and rapid transportation of the critically ill and injured by helicopter and airplane

Home Health Nursing
Providing nursing care in the home of patients

Infection Control Nursing
Administers the program for nosocomial infection control

Intravenous Therapy
Insertion of IV cannulas, changing dressings over peripheral and central cannulas, administering IV medication, solutions, and blood/blood component therapy, assessing venous access status, assessing nutritional status and determining need for enteral/parenteral nutritional therapy, developing and implementing patient education programs and participating in home care referrals

Management/Administration/Entrepreneurship
Executive nursing practice includes the broad diversity of leadership positions in nursing in health care delivery, typically including patient care management, human resource management, and fiscal and material resource management

Maternal/Child Nursing
Providing high quality care to women, infants and their families in a variety of settings

Medical/Surgical Nursing
Focuses on care of the patient before, during and after surgery

Military Nursing
Nursing positions are available in all branches of the Armed Forces

Nephrology Nursing
Focuses on the care of individuals with kidney disease

Neurological Nursing
Focuses on care of the patient with a neurologic dysfunction in all areas of delivery of care

Nurse Consultants
Providing consultation services to hospitals, home care agencies, schools of nursing, pharmaceutical and health care product manufacturers and others

Nurse Midwifery
The independent management of care of essentially normal newborns and women, before, during and after pregnancy

Nurse Practitioner
Usually defined as a Registered Nurse with education and experience enabling nursing performance in an expanded role. This person is capable of working without supervision in many nursing services

Occupational Health Nursing
Responsibilities include health assessment, counseling/crisis intervention, health education and promotion, health and hazard surveillance, injury prevention and loss control, and work-related injury/illness management

Oncology Nursing
Commitment to the provision of optimal care to the individual diagnosed with cancer and their families

Ophthalmic Nursing
Direct patient care through assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementing and evaluating treatment modalities specific to the acute or chronic visually impaired child or adult

Orthopaedic Nursing
Providing “hands-on” nursing care for patients diagnosed with musculoskeletal disorders

Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners
Performing well-child examinations, laboratory tests and health screening measures (including immunizations) in collaboration with physicians and other health professionals

Perioperative Nursing
Providing optimum care of patients before, during and after surgery

Post Anesthesia Nursing
Responsible for the patient immediately following the administration of anesthesia

Public Health Nursing
Community health nursing practice promotes and preserves the health of populations by integrating the skills and knowledge relevant to both nursing and public health

Reconstructive Surgical Nursing
Care of the plastic surgery patient in both inpatient and outpatient settings

Rehabilitation Nursing
Coordinates rehabilitation team, discharge planning, counsels and educates patient and family, and assists with adjustment to lifestyle change

School Nursing
promoting and protecting the optimal health status of children

Urological Nursing
Care of patients with urological conditions is the primary concern and activity of urology health care professionals

Work Schedule

RNs in a hospital setting typically work 12 hour shifts: night or day shift. Since nurses are needed for around the clock care,they work weekends, holidays, and even during national disasters. Nurses whoare employed in clinics, school settings, or any settings that do not require 24 hour care work during normal business hours.

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Salary Information

Average Annual Income: $65,470

Average Annual Income in Louisiana: $55,000
Average Hourly Income: $31.48

TOP   5 INDUSTRIES  
Government $68,540
Hospitals (state,   local, & private) $67,210
Home Health $62,090
Nursing &   residential care facilities $58,830
Office of physicians $58,420

 

Job Outlook

Projected to grow 19% from 2012-2022

Schools

  • Baton Rouge General Medical Center: Baton Rouge
  • Delgado Community College: New Orleans
  • Dillard University: New Orleans
  • Grambling State University: Grambling
  • Louisiana College: Pineville
  • Louisiana State University: Alexandria
  • Louisiana State University: Eunice
  • LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans
  • Louisiana Tech University: Ruston
  • Loyola University: New Orleans
  • McNeese State University: Lake Charles
  • Nicholls State University: Thibodeaux
  • Northwestern State University: Natchitoches
  • Our Lady of Holy Cross: New Orleans
  • Our Lady of the Lake College: Baton Rouge
  • LE Fletcher Technical Community College: Houma
  • Southeastern Louisiana University: Hammond
  • Southern University: Baton Rouge
  • Southern University: Shreveport
  • University of Louisiana in Lafayette
  • University of Phoenix- Louisiana Campus
  • Baton Rouge Community College
  • Louisiana Delta Community College
  • University of Louisiana in Monroe

Contact Information

PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION SOURCES:
American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Ave., Suite 400

Silver Spring, MD 20910

(301)628-5000
www.nursingworld.org

Louisiana Organization of Associate Degree
Nurses (LOADN)
www.loadn.org

Louisiana State Nurses Association
5713 Superior Dr. Suite A6

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

(800) 457- 6378

www.lsna.org