Registered Nurse

What does a Registered Nurse do?

Registered nurses care for patients, providing them with treatment, counseling and education. RNs work closely with a patient’s physicians and other health professionals as part of the health care team. Depending on their area of specialization and work setting, RNs perform some or all of the following:

What might a Registered Nurse do in a workday?

Registered nurses:

  • develop and implement individualized plans for a patient’s care.
  • monitor and record patients’ needs and changing conditions.
  • administer prescribed medications and treatments.
  • educate individuals on self-care, including maintaining health and preventing illness/injury.
  • conduct health screening tests and procedures.
  • direct and supervise other nursing personnel.

Registered nurses are sought in a wide variety of work settings: hospitals, physicians’ offices, industrial and corporate sites, clinics, government or community health agencies, nursing homes, hospices or patients’ homes. RNs also may choose to pursue careers in health administration, teaching, utilization review, consulting, research and many other specialties.

How much salary do Registered Nurses make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Registered Nurse?

Students intending to pursue a career as a registered nurse should take challenging courses in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses.

Educational preparation to be a registered nurse is offered in three different types of programs in Virginia: four-year colleges offering baccalaureate degrees; community and junior colleges offering associate degrees; and hospital-based schools offering diplomas. Graduates of all three programs are eligible to take the national licensure exam, NCLEX-RN, to become a registered nurse.

A baccalaureate degree is required to enter graduate programs in nursing, which prepare advanced practice nurses, nursing administrators and nurse educators.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Registered Nurse?

Professional Associations:

Virginia Nurses Association
6912 Three Chopt Road
Suite H
Richmond, VA 23226
(804) 282-1808

American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Avenue
Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
(301) 628-5000
(800) 274-4ANA (4262)

Registered Nurse Professional Association
950 S. Bascom Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 292-6061

State License Requirements for Registered Nurses

A license is required to practice as a registered nurse in the state of Virginia. For more information on licensure, applications and forms, visit

Virginia Board of Nursing
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233
Phone: (804) 367-4515

Find Local Support

Blue Ridge Region AHEC – Shenandoah Valley

Capital Region AHEC – Richmond Metro and surrounding areas

Eastern Virginia Region AHEC – Southeast Virginia and Peninsula

Northern Virginia Region AHEC – Northern Virginia

Rappahannock Region AHEC – Northern Neck, Fredericksburg, and Middle Peninsula

South Central Region AHEC – Lynchburg, Danville, and surrounding area

Southside Region AHEC – South of Richmond

Southwest Virginia Region AHEC – Roanoke Valley and West