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Employment, Job Outlooks, & Nature of the Work

Nature of the Work

Registered Nurses (R.N.s) work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness.  They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities.  They are typically concerned with the whole person, providing for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of  their patients.  When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation.  R.N.'s also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health.

Here is what the American Nurses Association writes about "What is Nursing?"


Helpful links with information about current labor market statistics on the Nursing Profession.


Job Outlook

Overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting. Some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs. Employment of RNs is expected to grow much faster than the average and, because the occupation is very large, 581,500 new jobs will result, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of job openings will result from the need to replace experienced nurses who leave the occupation. There will always be a need for traditional hospital nurses, but a large number of new nurses will be employed in home health, long-term care, ambulatory care, hospice and palliative care.

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