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Registered Nurse RNs provide round-the-clock direct care to patients in hospitals, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, and residential care facilities. Their job consists of recognizing abnormalities, assessing patients, and administering medication while maintaining communication with a team of healthcare professionals. They can gain specialized training in oncology, acute and critical care, gerontology, or pediatrics.
The licensing of nurses in the United States, Canada, and Australia is tested by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) by organizing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) was the latest agency to adopt this increasingly centralized method of licensing.
A licensed RN has completed the educational requirements—either an associate in nursing degree or a bachelor’s in nursing degree—clinical nursing requirements, and has passed the NCLEX-RN to earn licensure in their state.
After earning a graduate nursing degree, RNs can advance to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, or nurse anesthetists.