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What is a RN, or REGISTERED NURSE???


A wise nurse once said, “I’m a Nurse, that’s what I be, ain’t no one else like me, I’m a Nurse, I got the skills l and training, I can do ANYTHING!”

- Nurse Master Charlie

Nurses touch people in all aspects of a person’s life.

Nurses are there from pre-birth, birth, wellness, sickness, illness, recovery, and also, at a person’s end of life, or at death.

Nurses give support, caring, understanding, compassion, and dignity to patients in all stages of their lives. Whether helping to deliver a baby at birth, or holding a patient’s hand while they take their last breath, Nurses are there.

History documents nursing, although maybe not called nursing as it is meant today, has been around from as far back as 200 BC to 100 BC, and was part of early Buddhism to Christianity.

The Nursing professing is ingrained with a rich history, from being one of the socially outcast to one of the most respected professions, year in and year out.

Many nurses have paved the way to make nursing the honorable, and most respected profession in the world. It was the nurses of the past who would continually move the profession forward, advancing education, demanding recognition, changing legislature, which would in-turn impact the world LIKE NO OTHER PROFESSION.

So what is a NURSE?????? First there are many types of nurses: Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) Licensed Practical Nurses/ Licenses Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVN)…and Registered Nurses or RNs. All bear the title “nurse”.

Each “nurse” type has their own scope of practice, duties, certifications, degrees, education and training.

By definition word “NURSE” has a few meanings: In Latin NUTRIRE…was defined as to suckle…as a baby latches on to a mother breast to drink milk.

It was not until the 16th century did the term NURSE come to mean to care for the sick. As a noun (person, place, or thing), a nurse is a person trained to care for the sick or infirm, especially in a hospital. As a verb (shows action), a nurse is one who gives medical and care to the ill; and also one who feeds a baby via the breast.

Through the ages, nurse came to mean Registered Nurse, and included formal education and training, licensure, and continuing education.

A nurse is someone who is trained in the skill to physically, physiologically, and psychologically care for patients. A nurse can be the most intelligent person, and have the greatest clinical nursing skills, but without a caring heart, they are not a nurse, maybe only through title. What kind of nurse does not care for and about their patient?

Caring is central to nursing as a profession, and it is NOT something that can be taught or learned through training and education, but is in inherent, something inside, a desire and passion. It is what make a nurse study and study, train and train, to help them prepare for tests, get good grades, understand disease processes, and most importantly, to have the knowledge at the critical moment to help save a patient’s life.

A REGISTERED NURSE (RN) is someone who applied to Nursing school, after acquiring, completing, and passing the necessary prerequisites courses of the anatomy, physiology, math, chemistry, and English to name a few. An RN then attended and completed nursing school (either a 2-year or 4-year program), and met the minimum practice hours as required by their State’s Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) or similar type of governmental authority. In the United States, the BRN of each state acts as the overseeing body, responsible for granting licensure as a nurse, as well as suspension and revocations.

The Registered Nurse-graduate must then take and pass a national licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN exam to have the title REGISTERED NURSE.

A nurse must have continuing education every two years, and remain in good standing with the BRN, without having infractions that could jeopardize licensure.

Registered Nursing programs are unique in that they offer nursing degrees at two levels: the associate (ADN) and bachelor (BSN) degree.

The associate level RN attended a 2-year nursing program / college, while a bachelor level RN, attended a 4-year nursing program / college.

Registered Nurses can also have higher degrees such as a Master’s of Science degree (MSN) with certifications in Education, Management, Informatics, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Leadership; or, Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree (DNP); and Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing degee (PhD). which require additional education and training,

While in nursing school, nurses are given coursework and skillwork in Pharmacology,

The RN licensure is the same, however the degrees differ in the amount of information provided due to the amount of duration of education. The higher degree can provide increased job opportunities, job roles, and job pay.


A registered nurse can work in a variety of settings:

Hospitals, Physician’s offices, Clinics, Rehab hospitals, Psychiatric hospitals

Long-term care facilities / Convalescent / Nursing homes, Correctional facilities, In-Home care, Schools/Colleges.

A nurse can also work in a variety of specialties:

Medical-Surgical Units, Intensive Care Units, Emergency Departments, Oncology Units, Ambulatory Care units, Pediatric Units, Dialysis Units

Transfusion units, Endoscopy Units, Burn Units, Trauma Units, and many, many, more.

What Do Registered Nurses Do?

RNs perform a variety of functions and duties will vary depending on the type of setting: common function such as patient assessments, medication administration, administering treatments, managing patient care, assisting patients with basic care and ADL’s (feeding, grooming, bathing), assisting and performing procedures, preventing infections

Giving comfort and emotional support to patients, & family member.

What is a general salary for Registered Nurses?

The salaries for RNs will depend on a variety of factors: where a person lives, the experience, shift (day vs night), Hospital vs clinic.

In 2020 the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the United States listed the range of Registered Nursing salaries across the US (including US territories as $35,000-$113,000 per year.

“Save one life and you are a hero, save a hundred lives and you are a nurse” -anonymous

Nurses are highly trained professionals, with a nursing degree and nowadays, Nurses are encouraged to obtain a BSN after obtaining their ASN/ADN, and with online learning it has never been easier for nurses to advance their knowledge, degrees, careers…and the Profession.

I believe that as we learn about our past, we can learn to better shape our future…

And we learn from history how far the nursing profession has evolved…who knows where NURSING will go !!!!!!!!!!! So, go become a NURSE and take us there…

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