A Day in The Life of an RN and Why This May be The Career Path for You

For registered nurses (RNs), caring for patients is a top priority. However, what that care looks like day to day varies greatly. The number of patients, types of patients, and settings all impact how RNs perform their responsibilities. The ability to problem-solve, provide compassionate human interaction, and thrive on a team are also key characteristics that are required for a successful career as a nursing professional.

The stereotypical workday of an RN on a hospital floor might look like greeting patients, reviewing doctor’s notes, administering medication, updating charts, admitting new patients, releasing patients who are ready to go home, and intercepting any medical emergencies that occur throughout the day. In another setting, such as home health, you might be traveling to several different patients’ homes throughout the day to provide care.

Here’s a brief look into factors that impact a typical day in the life of a nurse to help determine if this is the right career path for you.

Nursing Roles

While the traditional role of a nurse includes monitoring patient vital signs and maintaining patient medical records, RNs also educate patients and families, provide instruction and emotional support, and oversee physician-directed treatment plans. An RN’s role will vary depending on if they’re overseeing patient care or workplace safety and in what type of setting.

Healthcare Settings

The setting in which a nurse works determines a nurse’s role and responsibilities. The location also plays a role in what types of shifts a nurse works. In some settings, a nurse will interact with a primarily healthy population, overseeing education and compliance, while in other settings, a nurse may be responsible for patients with life-threatening conditions.

Depending on your personality, you can choose settings that are predictable and less stressful, like teaching. Or, if an intense, fast-paced setting is what you prefer, emergency rooms or intensive care units may be the right fit for you.

Here are a few common settings where you’ll find nursing professionals:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Emergency Rooms
  • Home Health
  • Schools
  • Prisons/Jails
  • Academic
  • Corporate

This is only a small glimpse into the daily life of an RN, but if the idea of knowing that you’re advocating for patients and making an impact on their health and well-being sounds like a rewarding job, this may be the career path for you.

In addition to choosing roles and settings, becoming an RN has other perks as well, such as higher pay, options for growth, flexible scheduling and job opportunities, high demand, and more!

Ready to take your first step towards a career as a registered nurse? Arbor Associates is here to help.