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What does a Registered Nurse do?

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I am a job corps student studying to become an RN. #registered-nurses #nursing-education #nursing-education

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Joanne’s Answer

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A professional registered nurse has a variety of responsibilities. The first priority as a newer nurse is to develop your physical assessment skills. This requires knowledge and experience in anatomy and physiology of all human body systems. It also requires skill in techniques such as obtaining a complete history and description of the present illness from the patient. Other skills included in the physical examination include taking vital signs, ausculation and palpation of various organs and body parts. These skills take many months and even years to perfect. In addition to physical assessment skills, documentation and communications skills are important to report and share your findings with colleagues so that appropriate care steps can be taken. The ability to work and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary care team is critical so that the patient receives care for all physical and emotional needs. The professional nurse must be able to recognize all of the needs of the patient both physically and psychology and be able to prioritize the most important problems to address first. The nurse must accept patients without judgement and remain neutral, objective and caring in spite of behavioral challenges or unpleasant demeanor of the patient. The nurse is required to become knowledgable in all of the policies and procedures of a particular health care facility because these guide all care and practice. There are many important resources that help nurses understand the scope and standard of practice .

Joanne recommends the following next steps:

  • Read the ANA Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice which can easily be found on the internet.
  • Read the Nurses Code of Ethics
  • Review some great websites such at Lippincott Nursing Center, National League for Nursing, Nursing World.org
  • Read Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing
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