My Unique Twist

Chance favors the prepared mind.

What IS a Nurse? Part III: RN

Posted by Sean RN on November 7, 2007

So we’ve reviewed what a CNA is, and an LPN. So now we’ll talk about the Registered Nurse (RN)

An RN is a licensed healthcare professional as well. Individuals interested in becoming an RN will have to enroll in an approved nursing program as well as pass the NCLEX-RN, a national licensing examination. An individual will have to successfully pass the exam as well as pass and complete the approved nursing program to be able to use the letters RN after their name.

The program for RN’s has evolved over the years. Most RN programs mirrored the set-up of LPN programs, except they were hospital based. Since the practice of nursing has evolved, so has the education of nurses. Individuals have options. They can either enroll in a 4yr Bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) college program, or enroll in a hospital-based diploma program. The diploma program (or sometimes called an Associate’s or ADN program) includes college courses. These course are either offered the hospital, or they are jointly offered between the hospital and a local community college. In either case you have to have close to 2yrs of college courses either concurrently or before you can enroll in the diploma program. Then the diploma program is another 2yrs of class work and clinical practice (patient care).

Both the BSN and ADN programs will qualify you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, only with the BSN route you attain a bachelors degree. After all that, and you pass the NCLEX-RN exam you can still advance your education further. Their are RN-BSN, RN-MSN, BSN-MSN programs as well as newly formed Doctorate degrees in nursing.

As stated in my previous posts, an RN’s duties and responsibilities include everything that a CNA, and LPN are responsible for as well as record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help to perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation, as well as many other duties.

RN’s can specialize in a particular field of nursing. Everything from Critical Care, telemetry, Long-term care, case-work, and a multitude of other arena’s that reach far beyond my explanation.

Here again are some links of interest:

I must mention that even though there are different disciplines within the profession of nursing (RN, LPN, CNA), all of the aforementioned work for the same team. All work with the same goal in mind, taking care of the patient.

The RN is responsible for the holistic care of the patient, as well as supervise the LPN & CNA with all the mentioned duties and responsibilities. The RN is also responsible for patient as well as ancillary personnel education and communication.

All in all the function of the nurse in today’s world is ever-changing and dynamic in nature. A nurse must adapt and react with the ever changing world of healthcare, all the while keeping the same  goal in mind, to take care of our patients.

I hope these post may have shed a little bit of light on what we nurses are and what we nurses do.

As always take care of yourselves and yours.


3 Responses to “What IS a Nurse? Part III: RN”

  1. g. spencer said

    I’d love to hear your comments on the nursing shortage and the irony of how hard it is to get into nursing school… (or you may not think so).

  2. I agree with G. Spencer. I would love to hear your views on the CRITICAL Nursing shortage and how it is so hard to get into nursing school, why there are such long waiting lists at most of them.

  3. Cherokee said

    It’s always good to find like-minded people. Thanx and I’m going to add you to my RSS feed.

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