Registered Nurse Jobs and Average Salary

Registered Nurse Jobs and Average Salary

May 24, 2024

Registered nurses (RNs) play one of the most crucial roles in the healthcare industry. They perform a wide array of tasks, from caring for patients at the bedside to educating them and the public about health conditions. 

Often, people considering becoming registered nurses don’t realize the vastness of the position and the wide variety of specialties available. Learn more about the most popular RN specializations and how you can get started. 

Intensive Care RN

Registered nurses who work in intensive care units (ICUs) provide treatment and medical care to patients with life-threatening or complex conditions while following proper facility policies and protocols. These professionals have a responsibility to monitor a patient’s condition and begin urgent treatment as necessary. 

In the ICU, RNs play a significant role in coordinating and implementing treatment plans. They also serve as liaisons between patients and other medical professionals. 

To become an ICU RN, you need to have an RN license and complete the two-year or five-year certification program outlined by The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The median annual salary is $86,070.

Acute Care RN

An acute care RN must be able to offer care to patients who are dealing with acute conditions like strokes, heart attacks, respiratory distress, and more. They can work in trauma units, emergency departments, nursing homes, and a variety of other medical settings.

As an acute care RN, you can further specialize by choosing to focus on pulmonary, cardiac, or neurological issues. The exact qualifications you will need to become an acute care RN will depend on the setting in which you want to work. But in most cases, you need to be a licensed RN with at least two years of experience in acute care. 

The average annual salary for acute care RNs is $112,049.

A female nurse smiles at a child and her parent.

Pediatric RN

Another very popular option for registered nurses is to specialize in pediatrics. Pediatric RNs give medical care to children ranging in age from newborn to 18 years. They help young patients through many conditions at any development stage, providing assistance with creating treatment plans. 

Pediatric RNs also provide education to parents so that they can help their children manage health issues. They perform physical exams, give medications, and collect information like vital signs. 

To become a pediatric RN, you first have to be a registered nurse. It’s important to consider getting additional certifications, such as applying for Pediatric Nursing Board Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. 

These types of certifications require that you hold a current unrestricted license and that you have at least two years of full-time pediatric nursing experience. Once you meet these requirements, you can begin working in the field. The average annual salary for a pediatric RN is $67,500.

Post-Surgical RNs

A post-surgical RN is the person who is there the moment the patient wakes up after an operation. They offer vital sign monitoring, aid patients in coming out of anesthesia, and ensure that they receive the right medications. Post-surgical RNs can also help prevent the development of complications and offer wound care along with emotional support. 

To become a post-surgical RN, you need to be a licensed RN and get certification in this specialized field. That means completing 1,800 hours of clinical experience along with passing an exam. The median salary for this type of RN is $36.36 per hour, which comes in at around $75,629 per year.

A nurse consoles her elderly female patient lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask.

Operating Room RN

An operating room RN helps patients throughout the entire operative process: before, during, and after surgery. They can help patients complete paperwork and answer any questions they have about the procedure. 

During and after surgery, operating room RNs monitor the patient’s condition, and they select and pass surgical tools to the physician. They’re the ones in charge of cleaning the tools, too. 

Once you’re an RN, you can complete a perioperative nurse certification program. The median annual salary for an operating room RN is similar to that of standard RNs, coming in at about $86,070.

Long-Term Care RN

Long-term care RNs offer extended care to patients who have disabilities, disorders, or progressive illnesses. You’ll spend most of your time coordinating and providing patient care. This will involve working closely with the entire care team to be able to offer a comprehensive treatment plan. 

To become a long-term care RN, you need to be a licensed RN and have completed clinical hours in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or other similar settings. You can also consider earning certifications in fields like pain management, gerontology, and more. 

A long-term care RN’s median annual salary is similar to that of a standard RN: $86,070.

Deciding on a Rewarding Career

Working as a registered nurse can be a fulfilling and rewarding career decision, even more so when you find a specialty you love. At Prolink, we’re ready to help you choose the right career path for your unique needs and priorities. Reach out to us today to click below to create your account.

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