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

Full Sail University

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

Programs:

  • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
  • And more...

Liberty University

Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview

Programs:

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

Ashford University

You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree online.

Programs:

  • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
  • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
  • BA/Education Studies
  • And more...

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...

Penn Foster High School

Penn Foster's accredited high school diploma — your way

 

Earning a High School Diploma is one of life’s greatest accomplishments. Having a diploma can put you on a path to so many opportunities…college, promotions, pay raises, new careers, or even just the sense of pride and confidence that comes with such an achievement.

 


Programs:

  • High School Diploma

Ashworth College

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

Programs:

  • Payroll Clerk
  • Private Investigation
  • High School
  • 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
  • Maintenance Technology
  • Aviation Maintenance Technical Engineer

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...

Boston University

Gain the skills needed to become a project manager in a highly acclaimed masters program.

Programs:

  • MS in Supply Chain Management
  • MS in Project Management
  • MS in Financial Management

Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

Programs:

  • Bachelors - Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction - Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom
  • 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

Regis College

As a leader in education, Regis is dedicated to offering programs with a holistic view of health services that are designed for the future of the field. Through cutting-edge coursework, industry-active faculty members, and an array of majors and graduate programs, Regis has been able to positively impact the educational community, health services landscape, and personal lives of students nationwide.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Social Work
  • Online Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Concentration
  • Online Master of Public Health
  • And more...

Pepperdine University - Psychology

Pepperdine University’s online Master of Arts in Psychology program is open to all undergrad majors and prepares students to pursue doctoral study or a career in psychology in about 18 months.

Programs:

  • Master of Arts in Psychology

Keiser University Graduate School

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.

Programs:

  • Accountancy with a concentration in General Accounting
  • Master of Business Administration, MBA - International Business
  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security
  • 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