Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN)
Registered nurses (RN), regardless of specialty or work setting, treat and educate patients and the public about various medical conditions and provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical equipment, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation.
RNs teach patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries by explaining post-treatment home care needs; diet, nutrition, and exercise programs; and self-administration of medication and physical therapy. Some RNs may work to promote general health by educating the public on warning signs and symptoms of disease. RNs also run general health screening or immunization clinics, blood drives, and public seminars on various conditions.
When caring for patients, RNs establish a care plan or contribute to an existing plan. Plans may include numerous activities, such as administering medication, including careful checking of dosages and avoiding interactions; starting, maintaining, and discontinuing intravenous (IV) lines for fluid, medication, blood, and blood products; administering therapies and treatments; observing the patient and recording those observations; and consulting with physicians and other healthcare clinicians. Some RNs provide direction to licensed vocational nurses and nursing aides regarding patient care.