Search for school

A Quick Refresher Course on an RN’s Role in the Hospital

Registered Nurse (RN) Role in the Hospital

Hospitals are the major employers of registered nurses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. General medical hospitals make up 48% of the job opportunities for nurses, and that number is on the rise. Registered Nurses (RNs) are the core of patient care. They serve as coordinators for almost every aspect of medical treatment a patient receives while in the hospital. The exact role varies by location, but a RN refresher course will point out some of the common duties they perform in a hospital environment.

Patient Assessment

It is the job of a registered nurse to assess the patient’s medical state. This includes listening to the heart, lungs and bowels for abnormalities. The nurse monitors pupils, and mental status of a patient. Assessment requires evaluation and documentation of body functions such as urine output, bowel movements and vital signs. Assessment goes beyond the physical findings. A nurse must evaluate test results and drug levels to document critical findings and changes in status. Assessment includes getting a complete medical history and recording any complaints made by the patient.

Charting

Charting is a key function of a registered nurse. A chart is the primary means of communication in a hospital. It is where doctors put orders; nurses make notes about the patient’s status and document their assessments. The chart holds test results and diagrams treatment protocols. Part of the duties of a RN is to manage the documentation in the chart for patients under their care. In some cases, registered nurses evaluate charting done by licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), as well. Documentation requirements vary by hospitals, but most include progress notes, flow sheets, telemetry strips and patient education.

Administration

Most hospitals put registered nurses in an administrative position, especially if they utilize LPNs, LPVs and nurses aides. A registered nurse might be in charge of a ward or floor, supervising the staff. The management responsibilities might include diagnostic assessment when there are changes in a patient’s condition, communication with physicians for new orders and reviewing the work of other medical personnel.

Care Plans

Registered nurses diagram and update care plans for patients based on orders from their primary care physician, consulting specialists and the treatment standards. It is the responsibility of the nurse to monitor cares to make sure that proper treatment is maintained and documented.

Diagnostic Testing

The nurse takes specimens and performs on-site diagnostic testing. This includes drawing blood, collecting urine, stool, emesis and sputum samples, blood gases and culturing. In certain situations, RNs may take samples of hair and skin, as well. On-site testing is done for blood sugar, specific gravity, hematocrit, blood gases and typing.

Education and Training

Registered nurses educate patients and family members regarding disease and pain management. They provide instructions about taking medications, wound care and outpatient services. It is the RNs job to ensure patients are well informed about taking care of themselves after discharge. This might include wellness and lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise. The goal is to give the patient whatever education they need to stay healthy after they leave the hospital.

RNs may also be in charge of educating staff members about hygiene, patient care and continuing education for LPNs.

Medical Procedures and Medication Disbursement

The RN role includes procedures such as starting IVs and inserting nasogastric tubes. With advanced training, some RNs also manage PICC lines and other forms of intravenous access. Nurses hand out medication in oral doses, intravenous solutions and through injections. Drug disbursement includes calculating proper dosages and setting up titrations.

Registered nurses are the key to patient care in a hospital. Whether working in the emergency room or on the floor, it is the RN that manages the treatment a patient receives and communicates regularly with the doctors and family. Employment opportunities for nurses are expected to rise over the next few years. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 26% increase in available nurse positions by the year 2020. Much of that increase will involve RN positions in hospitals. Now is the time to get a RN refresher course of the responsibilities of working in a hospital environment.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Purdue University Global

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.

Programs:

  • BS in Business Administration
  • MS in Accounting - Audit Specialization
  • AAS in Criminal Justice
  • And more...

Argosy University Online

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

Programs:

  • Business Administration (BS)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (EdD)
  • Liberal Arts (BA)
  • And more...

Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
  • M.Div: Homiletics
  • And more...

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance schools are distinguished institutes committed to the education and personal enrichment of each student interested in the Aviation Industry.

Programs:

  • Aviation Maintenance Technician
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

Ohio University - Online

Ohio University has offered distance learning educational opportunities for more than 100 years.

Programs:

  • Master of Business Analytics
  • Master of Health Administration

University of North Dakota

Whether you’re looking to advance in your current role or transition into a new one, UND’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security is a great choice. Our master’s program allows you to complete general coursework or specialize in one of three areas that can prepare you for leadership in the growing field of cyber security.

 

Choose from four tracks:

- Autonomous Systems Cyber Security

- Data Security

- Cyber Security and Behavior

- General Cyber Security

 

100% Online. Transfer credits accepted. 20 months to complete. No prior work or education experience required.

 

About University of North Dakota:

UND is ranked alongside Stanford, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) among the Top 25 Most Innovative Schools by US News and World Report. Our groundbreaking discoveries, economic impact and notable alumni are a testament to our belief that results matter. Our online master’s in cyber security program is offered through the UND College of Engineering & Mines (CEM) — one of the most well-respected engineering schools in the upper Midwest. That means when it comes to quality, you can be confident in UND.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Cyber Security

Ashworth College

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

Programs:

  • Payroll Clerk
  • Private Investigation
  • High School
  • And more...

All-State Career

Prepare for an exciting career in the trucking industry at All-State Career. * Programs vary by location * Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information

Programs:

  • Class A CDL Driving Programs

ECPI University

Making the decision to earn your degree and pursue your career goals could be the best decision you ever make. Enroll at ECPI University and you’ll join a collaborative and fostering learning environment, surrounded by faculty and staff who are there to support you through the entire process.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Cloud Computing - Bachelor's
  • Cyber and Network Security - Bachelor's
  • Network Security - Associate's
  • And more...

Villanova University

You can receive a top-notch education in a flexible environment. Learn more about the Villanova online learning experience and the difference that sets us apart by further exploring our online programs.

 

Programs:

  • Online Master of Laws in Taxation
  • Online Master of Science in Analytics
  • Online Master of Business Administration
  • And more...

Northcentral University

  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.

Programs:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

Related Post

How to Obtain a Career in Correctional Nursing

Choosing to become a corrections nurse is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A corrections nurse is responsible for attending to inmates at correctional facilities across the country.

Why Taking a NCLEX Refresher Course is Important

Every licensed nurse in the United States has gone through the grueling experience of taking the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and most likely every nurse can verify that an NCLEX