7 Registered Nurse FAQs: RN Jobs, Salary, Licensing, Etc.

picture of a registered nurse outside of a long term care facility
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
June 1, 2023

Are you curious about the nursing profession? Perhaps you're looking into a nursing career or wondering about remote jobs or gig nursing. You've got questions, and we've got answers to those questions and more in today's article. Here are our seven frequently asked questions about registered nurses and our answers.

7 FAQs About Registered Nurses

1. What's the Average RN Salary?

This is often the first question in anyone's mind when exploring the idea of becoming a nurse. RN salaries vary greatly based on your geographic location. So here, we'll break it down for you based on comprehensive salary data from 2022 provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • Average RN salary nationwide: $89,010 annually, $42,80 hourly
  • Average RN salary in general medical and surgical hospitals settings: $90,600 annually, $43.56 hourly
  • Top paying states for RN average salaries (average RN salaries all over $100,000 annually): California, Hawaii, Oregon, Massachusetts, Alaska

For more information about top RN salaries, check out our article that looks not only at salary but also adjusts for cost of living, "10 States with Highest RN Salaries and Cost of Living Adjustments".

2. What is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse is a nurse who educates patients about their health and provides advice and plans to patients and families. RNs have a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities. The responsibilities of an RN may include the following: 

  • Recording patient medical history
  • Patient assessments, administering prescribed treatments and medications, ensuring nurse and patient safety, and taking samples for laboratory testing.

3. How Long Does it Take to Become an RN?

You can become an RN by either completing an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) and then passing the NCLEX-RN to become licensed to practice as a nurse. The ADN route can take two to three years, while the BSN route takes longer, typically four to six years. For more information about the types of nursing programs that are available to interested candidates, check out our in-depth guide, "RN Nursing Programs-Everything You Need to Know."

4. Do RNs Have Job Security?

The healthcare industry is booming parallel alongside the aging of the baby boomer generation. That critical factor, in addition to the continued advancements in technology and the worldwide crisis of a global pandemic, combine to signify a steady projected growth of jobs in the nursing industry. Nevertheless, those aren't the only factors to consider. The baby boomer generation also includes a significant number of nurses who have reached retirement age or are nearing it, which means the industry is facing a mass exodus of experienced nurses, alongside the exodus of many younger nurses who've burnout among staffing shortages and pressurized work circumstances in the midst of the pandemic. Nursing supply does not meet the demand, and hospitals and healthcare facilities are struggling to fully staff their units. To gain a clearer picture of the factors contributing to the nursing shortage, check out our article, "What is the Nursing Shortage and Can it Be Fixed?"

5. How Can I Find RN Jobs Near Me?

If you want to find work closer to home, you can explore working PRN shifts through Nursa. The app is an open marketplace platform in which hospitals and healthcare facilities post shifts that need RNs. Nurses using the app create a professional profile, verify their licensing information and then they can browse posted shifts and apply for them. Searching for PRN shifts near you can be accomplished by adjusting the search filters to narrow the shift results. There are even more benefits to working as a PRN nurse aside from the proximity to home.

6. What Are the Benefits of Working Per Diem Shifts?

Working PRN shifts has the added bonus of being single-shift hiring. This means when you use the Nursa app, you work as an independent contractor and are hired one shift at a time. This allows you to experience working in a variety of different medical settings, which means you get to choose when and where you work. You may find that there are several places near you, but only a few of them are settings that you truly enjoy working at. Alternatively, you may find that you're willing to work a bit further from home because you like the work. For more about the benefits of working PRN shifts, check out our article, "Nurses Achieve Work-Life Balance through PRN Work."

7. How to Find Remote RN Jobs?

Remote nursing work boomed during the height of the COVID pandemic, and while facilities have opened their doors again and people are back to doing face-to-face medical care, the industry learned a lot about how technology and telehealth can help expand the reach of healthcare. There remain today many remote healthcare positions for nurses. In fact, some of these positions are high-paying as well. Our article, "5 High-Paying Registered Nurse Jobs in 2023," includes Nursing Informatics and Remote Nursing jobs on its list.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
June 1, 2023

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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