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Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered nurses (RNs) provide treatment, counseling, and health education. They provide assessment, plan and implement care, and evaluate outcomes.

Nurses work as part of a health care team in a variety of environments, often under the supervision of a doctor. Most nurses work in hospitals. Others work in settings such as community or public health, outpatient care, nursing education, occupational health, nursing home agencies, hospice programs, schools, and student health clinics.

A registered nurse (RN) may hold either a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a 4-year university or an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from a 2-year college. All graduates must successfully pass the Registered Nurse Licensing Examination to become licensed to practice as a professional RN. Graduation from a state-accredited program is a prerequisite to taking the licensing examination. A registered nurse must hold a current license in the state in which he or she practices. Licensing requirements are managed by individual state boards of nursing.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised August 17, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.