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Registered Nurse

  • Summary
  • Job Overview
  • Salary
  • Training


Quick Facts: Registered Nurses
2010 Median Pay $64,690 per year
$31.10 per hour
Entry-Level Education Associate’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2010 2,737,400
Job Outlook, 2010-20 26% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2010-20 711,900
Like other jobs in the medical field, being a registered nurse carries with itself a great deal of responsibility. The special thing that anyone aspiring to be a nurse needs to remember, however, is that the job requires full dedication and often demands that you go beyond the “cold”, professional doctor/patient relationship in the effort of forming a closer bond with patients and making them feel  like they receive the care and consideration they need.

Job Overview

A legally registered nurse is a person who has graduated from a nursing program organized by a university or college and has passed the national licensing exam issued by the US government.

Ranging from pediatric to acute care specialties, a nurse’s practice is decided by the specific school program and by the government body responsible for healthcare in the specific state where the person in question pursues his or her studies.


Being a registered nurse doesn’t necessarily bring you the highest salaries in the medical field – or at least not at first. While, in your first year as a nurse, you may “only” earn between $32,000 and $64,000 per year, the salary of an experienced nurse can often reach an amount that exceeds $85,000. So if you think you might make a dedicated nurse, this is definitely a career worth pursuing as a long term goal.

There are three major things you also need to remember when it comes to the financial aspects of becoming a nurse:

  • Hourly rates can be quite generous, the numbers ranging between $20 and $38 per hour.
  • Bonuses and the number of vacation weeks generally tend to grow as you gain experience.
  • Geriatrics and ICU skills are among the most favored (and remunerated) ones after acute care and specialties required for providing assistance during surgeries.


The good news for those who want to become registered nurses is that the financial requirements are not that difficult to meet. The challenge, however, is in preparing at an early age to be able to cope with the competition, as many candidates aspire to reaching this goal, and the academic bar is set quite high.

Here are a few important points to remember in this regard:

  • Your math and science scores in high school and college need to exceed normal expectations, and you will have to pass your SAT or ACT exams with higher than average results. Also, an average college grade point of 3.0 or higher will often be mandatory.
  • Consider specific undergraduate studies, including 4 years of English, 2 of one or more foreign languages and 3 years of science and math.
  • A total of 6 years of studying will be required before you earn your bachelor’s degree in nursing and an Associate Degree.
  • Choose the right school to attend while keeping in mind that not all of them have a nursing program.
  • Finally, before becoming a registered nurse, you also have to pass the NCLEX exam. Remember to check with the Board of Nursing, however, since the regulations applying to the test may differ from state to state, and a successful result is mandatory for reaching your goals.

Reviews & Advice

Reviews and statistics, as well as statements from many people who have pursued a healthcare career in nursing show that the job itself can be both very demanding and extremely satisfying at the same time.

Whether you’re working with children and elders or are constantly called upon in the ER, completing your studies with the best possible results and constantly perfecting your skill and knowledge as a nurse is an invaluable asset both for the medical institution you work for and the patients themselves who rely on a genuine helping hand and a calming influence in their time of need.


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