Think about the last time you or a loved one spent time in the hospital. Which member of the hospital staff did you see the most? It was probably a registered nurse –the person who served as the liaison between patient and doctor, administered medication, changed the IV, answered questions about the patient’s medical care, and provided emotional support to the patient and their family.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 26% through 2020, which is faster than the average of all other occupations. Part of the expected increase is due to technological advancements, allowing a greater number of health problems to be treated; an aging population; and a growing emphasis on preventive care.
In addition to education in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other sciences, nurses need critical-thinking skills, patience, strong communication skills, compassion, and they need to be detail-oriented. Passing the National Counsel Licensure Examination – or NCLEX-RN – is also required.