Complete Job Description of a Registered Nurse
June 2023

Complete BSN Job Description of a Registered Nurse

Complete Job Description of a Registered Nurse

BSN Job for a Registered Nurse

The BSN job description for an RN is to identify and monitor a patient’s needs to promote health and wellness. A nursing career is a highly rewarding profession with high growth prospects. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of RNs is expected to grow by six percent (6%) by 2031.

Registered nurses play an important role in promoting wellness and helping improve the quality of life in the community. There are great opportunities in the healthcare industry for those who are considering the RN career including job security, high salaries, and great advancement potential.

What is the Difference Between an RN and a BSN?

One is a nursing license and one is a type of nursing education. An RN is a state issued license to practice nursing. A BSN is a four year undergraduate degree. However, nurses can have an RN licenses with a two year associate’s degree, four year degree, or graduate degree. Below are the different levels of qualification and competency for RNs.

Type of NurseDescription
RN-ADNAn RN with a two year Associate Degree in Nursing or ADN.
RN-BSNAn RN with a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN degree.
APRNRNs with a master’s degree or doctoral degree in nursing.
They must be licensed as an RN and be board-certified in their area of specialization.

What are the Training & Certification Requirements for an RN?

There are several ways you can meet the RN certification requirement in nursing school. An aspiring registered nurse may earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN), a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN degree), or a diploma from an accredited and approved nursing program.

What is a Practical Nursing Diploma?

A Practical Nursing Diploma is a certificate program that typically takes nine months to one year to complete and prepares nurses for a career in practical nursing. The program covers a wide variety of topics, including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology, health assessments, nutrition, and nursing theory and practice. Students also learn about patient care and how to carry out common health care procedures, such as administering medication and wound care. Upon completion of the program, graduates are awarded a Practical Nursing Diploma. Then they can sit for the NCLEX PN state board exams to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) or Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs).

What is an ADN Degree in Nursing?

Can I Become an RN Without a BSN degree? Yes. An ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) is an undergraduate academic degree program that provides students with the foundational knowledge needed to pursue a career path in nursing. It typically takes two years to complete and includes coursework, clinical skills, and laboratory experience. Upon completion of the program, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX RN) standardized exam in order to become licensed registered nurses. This degree serves as the first step for ADN graduates toward a BSN or higher-level degree program.

What is a BSN Degree in Nursing?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is an entry-level nursing degree that is required for many nursing positions in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities. A bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) from a college or university usually takes four years to complete, whereas an associate degree takes two years in a community or junior college. It is a common way to obtain licensure as an RN. Most employers prefer to hire BSN qualified nurses because studies have shown the additional education leads to better patient outcomes and patient health. And, a nurse holding a BSN degree can make more money than other nurses.

What are the Different Bachelor’s Degrees for Nurses?

  • Traditional BSN program: A four-year program that is for students new to the healthcare field and nursing. The program includes general class, core classes and hands on training.
  • Accelerated BSN program: Nursing schools offer this entry level nursing practice program to individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field to obtain a nursing degree within a shorter amount of time.
  • RN to BSN program: This type of BSN program is for current nurses who already have an RN license and are looking to further their education in nursing.

RN License

In addition to nursing school training, nurses must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX RN exam). The registered nurse certification requirement may vary depending on the state, and it’s, therefore advisable to check with the State Board for details.

What Do Registered Nurses Do?

RNs provide various services depending on their areas of specialization and their work environment. They provide care for the patients as well as assist physicians in providing treatment to patients in various medical settings. In general, the RN job description includes monitoring, recording, and reporting symptoms or changes in a patient’s condition.

Also, they maintain accurate patient reports and medical histories. Additionally, RNs administer medication and treatment to patients and observe reactions or side effects. RNs also perform diagnostic tests, supervise less-skilled licensed or certified nurses, and prepare patients for examination and treatment. Finally, they advise patients and their families on various health conditions.

What is the Work Environment Like for Registered Nurses?

Registered nurses provide patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. A majority of nurses work in hospitals and surgery centers in rotating day and night shifts to cover 24-hour patient care.

In the recent past, healthcare has greatly evolved, and nurses are working in other healthcare facilities such as physicians’ offices, home healthcare agencies, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, dialysis centers, and outpatient facilities. RNs also work in correctional facilities and the military.

Nurses usually work in close contact with people who may have infectious diseases. They are also likely to come across harmful drugs and hazardous chemicals in their line of duty. For this reason, RNs must follow strict guidelines and protocols to protect themselves against illness and disease. Additionally, nurses may suffer from back stress due to the nature of their job which calls for constant standing, walking, bending, and also lifting.

Why Should You Earn a BSN Degree?

Earning a bachelor’s degree or BSN degree provides nurses with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of nursing science and its related practices. It also prepares them to be more qualified to serve as a leader in the nursing field, by teaching them critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills.

Additionally, having a BSN degree can open doors to higher salaries, more job responsibilities, and a greater chance of career advancement. For example, nurses with a BSN qualify for leadership positions and advanced specializations such as nurse education, public health nursing, case management, and forensic nursing.

Many employers prefer to hire BSN qualified nurses. Job candidates with BSN degrees have more education and training. So, many employers consider BSN prepared nurses to be more competent and have more diverse skills. Additionally, research studies show that additional education from a BSN vs ADN results in better patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. So many states are moving to make the BSN bachelor’s degree the entry level degree for nurses.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a BSN?

The time it takes to become an RN-BSN depends on many factors, including the individual’s learning style, course availability, academic history, prior academic credits, certification exams, and clinical placements. It typically takes four to five years to successfully complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

What is an RNs Average Salary Range?

According to the BLS, the national average salary of an RN is $77,680. The average salary expectation for the top 10 percent of RNs is $120,250 or higher while the bottom 10 percent make $59,450 or lower. Additionally, these findings show that the top earners have more years of experience and advanced nursing education.

RN-BSN vs RN-ADN Salary

The main difference between the salaries of an RN-BSN and an RN-ADN is the amount of education and experience each has. Generally, BSN prepared bachelor’s degree nurses have more education and experience than ADN nurses, and therefore they tend to earn higher salaries.

BSN nurses typically earn more in both salary and benefits compared to an ADN. The difference can vary depending on the location of the job and the experience of the individual.

Highest Paying States for Registered Nurses

Below are the top paying states for Registered Nurses as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

StateHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage

BSN Nurse Roles & Responsibilities

While working as an RN does not require a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing ( BSN ) degree. But there are some nursing roles only open to BSN educated nurses. Below are some nursing jobs for BSN degree holders.

Charge Nurse

The Charge Nurse is responsible for the clinical and administrative activities of a nursing unit for a given shift. Charge Nurses provide supervision to nursing staff, direct patient care, coordinate patient admissions/discharges, manage the unit’s patient care budget, and provide leadership and guidance to their medical team. They must also ensure quality standards are met, maintain clinical records, and stay up to date on the latest in medical advances. In addition, Charge Nurses must have excellent communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills.

Salary of Charge Nurses: $95,650 (Salary dot com)

Case Manager Nurse

Case manager nurses, also known as case coordinators, help people plan, coordinate, and manage the health care services they receive. These nurses help clients work through their medical needs, serve as a liaison between clients and their health care providers, provide community resources, and support clients through the health care process. Case manager nurses typically work with clients to:

  • Assess medical and functional needs
  • Establish a comprehensive care plan
  • Track and monitor outcomes
  • Coordinate care among providers in multiple settings
  • Monitor care for compliance with regulations
  • Educate and counsel clients • Provide advocacy in the health care system
  • Develop financial plans to manage the health care costs

Salary of Case Manager Nurses: $68,687 (Salary dot com)

Nurse Educator

A Nurse Educator is responsible for educating and training future and current nursing students, as well as other members of the healthcare team. Nurse Educators are experts in a variety of topics related to nursing, such as professional nursing practice, health promotion, teaching strategies, patient safety, nurse workforce development, and educational technology. The Nurse Educator is also responsible for creating and implementing educational plans and curriculum, providing clinical instruction, and evaluating and monitoring the performance of students. In addition, the Nurse Educator promotes the professional development of nurses as an integral part of providing quality patient care, and may also serve as a consultant or mentor for practicing nurses.

Salary of a Nurse Educator: $107,511 (Salary dot com)

What is the Job Outlook for a RN-BSN?

Nursing is the largest health occupation in the United States today. It provides many career options in hospitals, clinics, home health, and private practices, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The job outlook for a RN-BSN is very positive with the demand for BSN-educated nurses growing at a rapid rate. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of registered nurses (RNs) is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The need for nurses with advanced degrees and specialized skills is increasing in tandem with the growth of the healthcare industry. As more hospitals and healthcare systems focus on providing higher quality care, they are increasingly seeking nurses with a BSN or higher. With the RN-BSN educational pathway being a relatively efficient and cost-effective way to advance a nursing career, the job outlook for a RN-BSN is very promising.

Career Advancement for a BSN

Nurses interested in a direct care clinical leadership position can advance their career with higher education. With a master’s degree or doctoral degree, nurses can also increase their earning potential. Graduate degrees also offer more nursing specialty opportunities and leadership roles as a nurse executives or healthcare administrators.


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