What Do Nurses Do?

Nurses are important health care providers who are usually the first people you encounter in various medical settings. If you want to know more answer to the question "what do nurses do", read on and find out what role they play in helping patients and other health care professionals. Medical Information

What Do Nurses Do?

Nursing is a field that focuses on providing care for patients, families and communities to promote optimum health, while ensuring cost efficiency. Providing quality healthcare for patients is what nurses do. They function independently from physicians, but cooperate and provide support to the health care team. Their duties may vary, depending on the area they serve, which may range from a basic triage to the operating room.

  • ŸAt Hospital. Nurses who work in hospitals provide caretopatients round-the-clock. They monitor their vital signs, give them medicine, insert IVs, draw blood when needed, work with doctors and help keep families up to date on the condition of their patients. Nurses may be assigned various duties in the hospital, including assisting doctors during surgery.
  • ŸAt School. Nurses play an important role in promoting health for children in school. They also take care of kids who have minor problems such as stomach aches, nosebleeds, bumps and bruises. They may also perform screening tests for vision and hearing, as well as common problems such as scoliosis. They teach kids about good nutrition, hygiene and exercise. They may also assist kids who have special conditions such as diabetes by monitoring and teaching them.
  • ŸIn Community. Nurses who work directly in a community may teach people about managing common health problems like asthma or diabetes. Some may also travel to visit patients at home to provide care if they are too old or sick to go to a clinic.

What Are Types of Nurses in U.S.?

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)

To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, one has to take a class for 8-16 weeks and obtain certification. CNAs work under the supervision of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses to assist patients with daily activities. CNA classes include classroom learning, practice laboratories and clinical rotations. To qualify for certification, one has to pass a state examination.

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

To become a Licensed Practical Nurse, one must take a course that includes 18 to 24 months of training and pass the state/national board exams. LPNs perform simple, as well as complex procedures under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse. They can administer basic care, give medications, keep records, take measurements and perform CPR.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

To become a Registered Nurse, one must obtain a degree in nursing (diploma, associate’s, or bachelor's degree), do clinical experience and pass the state board exams. RNs often supervise LPNs, nursing assistants and orderlies. They provide direct patient care and support the care of families and individuals in various health care settings.

Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs)

Registered nurses who want to become APNs must obtain advanced levels of education and skills by taking an advanced degree in nursing and earning additional qualifications. They can become nurse practitioners (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA), certified nurse midwifes (CNM), or clinical nurse specialists (CNS) to perform duties in primary health care, diagnose, prescribe, do research, provide mental health services, and teach other people about certain aspects of health care.

How to Become a Nurse in U.S.

1. Finish Your High School

Any type of nursing degree requires the applicant to obtain decent grades and finish high school first.

2. Help in a Healthcare Arena

If you are serious about becoming a nurse, especially as aCertified Nursing Assistant, it will help if you volunteer to participate in various health care activities.

3. Choose to Be an LPN or an RN

You have to choose what type of nurse to become and take the appropriate licensing exam, which is National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN for LPNs and NCLEX-RN for RNs).

4. How to Become a Registered nurse (RN)

Majority of the workers engaged in healthcare are RNs. To take the NCLEX-RN examination, you can choose which path fits you:

  • ŸObtain an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), which takes about 2-3 years, and then take the NCLEX exam.
  • ŸObtain a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which is a four-year course, and then take the NCLEX exam.
  • ŸObtain a diploma from an approved nursing program, although this is becoming less common.
  • ŸGet military training for 2-4 years through an ROTC Nursing program in a university or college.

5. Prepare for the Board Examination

The Board Examination or NCLEX-RN consists of a series of questions to test your knowledge in different domains. You are given a maximum of five hours to complete the exam. Study hard, and if you pass, congratulate, you become a qualified nurse!

The video below gives you more information about becoming RNs:

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