RN Programs – Registered Nurse || RegisteredNursing.org

What Does RN Stand For?

RN stands for Registered Nurse.

What Is a Registered Nurse (RN)?

A Registered Nurse is licensed by their state to provide medical care to patients in various settings. He or she is extensively trained in critical thinking, anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, pharmacology, and courses specific to nursing, which provides the framework needed to accurately assess and intervene for sick patients.

RNs are licensed by each state after successfully completing an RN training program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN.

The minimum degree required is an Associate's Degree in Nursing, which is usually a 2-year program. Prerequisites for acceptance may be required.

What Are RN Duties?

Duties vary for RNs depending on where they work.

In general, RNs are responsible for complex head-to-toe assessments, developing a plan of care, carrying out physician orders, starting and maintaining invasive lines and devices, and safe medication administration. Learn more about what an RN does and nursing roles.

Where Do RNs Work?

RNs can work in many, many different settings.

They are found in just about every department of hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, working from home for insurance companies, for themselves as nursing consultants, as emergency responders, as traveling nurses, as instructors/educators, and the list goes on.

The job opportunities for RNs are practically endless, and they just keep growing!

Read more about where RNs work, how much an RN makes, finding an RN job, and APRN careers.

How Do I Become an RN?

The minimum degree to become an RN is an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), usually a 2-year degree. Prerequisites vary by school and are sometimes required before acceptance into the nursing program.

Once the RN has an ADN and is licensed, he or she can attend an RN to BSN program either online or in-person. The Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, or BSN, is not required by every place of employment, but some do require it. Students may also enter a direct BSN program without earning an ADN first. Sometimes an RN is hired with an Associate's degree and the hospital will have a set time frame for BSN completion. Often they will help the RN pay for school.

Learn more about how to become an RN, the TEAS test, and entry level nursing pathways.

How Do I Find an RN Program That's Right for Me?

Finding the right RN program can be challenging. The best ways to find a good fit are to research local schools, tour them, and compare requirements, cost, and length of program.

Consider NCLEX-RN "pass rates" when thinking about the quality of a nursing program. A "pass rate" is the percentage of students who underwent the NCLEX-RN Exam and successfully passed. This is a public record available on each state's nursing board website. This can be invaluable in determining how well a school is able to educate its students and help them learn how to pass the NCLEX-RN.

Read what to consider when choosing an RN school and get info on how much RN programs cost.

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