Many people tend to believe that nursing can be described very easily, but that is not true. There are so many things that a registered nurse can do. The reflection of my first perception of a registered nurse to my current perception of a registered nurse. This new perception is from the increase in knowledge and education of most things that a registered nurse can perform and plan.
At the beginning of the semester, students had to respond to a question, what is nursing? Naturally, a response to this question prior to learning the foundations of nursing will produce a general and vague response. My response to this question at the beginning of the semester was:
“Nursing is a profession that one can take in order to help others in a community. Nurses mainly help those who need and seek medical attention. They focus on the health of their patients and aid them back to help. Nurses work with doctors and other healthcare workers to help the community. There are a large variety of nurses because there are so many specific health needs of the community. Nurses have a strong work ethic and are very devoted to their jobs.”
My understanding of what a registered nurse is was not incorrect, but can definitely be expanded since I talked very briefly about a portion of what registered nurses can do. My current perception of registered nurses has expanded greatly, but there are so many aspects of what they do, it would be very difficult to describe everything that they can do, so I will mostly talk about some main points and concepts that stuck with me.
Florence Nightingale was an influential person in nursing and made many improvements to nursing that can be used today. Florence Nightingale’s book; Notes on Nursing, explains the importance of basic care of not only the patient but also the environment around the patient. At the beginning of her book, she mentions what she briefly defines nursing. She states:
“I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet–all at the least expense of vital power to the patient” (Florence 8).
The importance of the use of evidence-based practice allows Florence to find the errors in the conditions that a patient had to experience while healing, which was nearly impossible. She used this method to find solutions and to provide optimal patient care.
Registered Nursing is something that has an important aspect to it, and this is the ability to change. This change is more of the multiple different types of specialties that a nurse can be in. The registered nurse is not stuck in one field of nursing and can be able to change what they want to do. “No matter which specialty is chosen a career in nursing is a dynamic and lucrative choice. It's the type of career where experience can transfer to many areas of nursing allowing for change” (Working as an RN). This ability to change also shows that nurses are not limited to working in one area, but have many different settings to work in. These can include hospitals, schools, clinics, offices, or can even travel.
RNs have many different tasks they have to achieve. Their tasks are very important and need to have certain qualifications in order to perform good patient-centered care. “RNs are a valuable and irreplaceable part of any healthcare ecosystem. Their work requires intelligence and advanced training, but also compassion and attentive care” (What Does a Registered Nurse Do?). These tasks are what make an RN so important to the medical field. They have the face to face interactions with the patient and help other professionals in the medical field to treat patients.
Going deeper into what a registered nurse does, it is imperative to understand the typical day. According to Rasmussen College, they state:
“…RN nurses might administer medication, consult with other healthcare providers, monitor patients, educate individuals and family, and be responsible for managing medical records. They must also stay up-to-date with new tools and technology to help provide the best care to patients and families, and the best support to doctors and other healthcare professionals” (What Does a Registered Nurse Do?).
Being a registered nurse, there are liabilities that one needs to maintain, and one of those is a license. RegisteringNursing.org also agrees with me that “..every RN must have an active nursing license in good standing for the state in which they reside and practice. Licensure is the first step in a lifelong and satisfying professional career path in healthcare” (Working as an RN).
There are many things that a registered nurse can do, and because of that, can work in different settings. “Registered nurses have the unique ability to basically choose the type of workplace which best suits his or her ideal environment, usually this happens through trial and error and years of experience” (Working as an RN).
- Notes on Nursing. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/nightingale/nursing/nursing.html
- What Does a Registered Nurse Do? (Understanding Their Impact) | Rasmussen College. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/what-does-a-registered-nurse-do/
- Working as an RN (Registered Nurse) || RegisteredNursing.org. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2019, from https://www.registerednursing.org/guide/working-rn/