Registered Nurse (RN) Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Registered Nurse, or Adult Nurse cares for patients who need hospitalisation. Their duties include overseeing other Nurses, handing out medications to patients and attending and caring for patients.


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Registered Nurse (RN) duties and responsibilities

The primary task of Registered Nurses is to ensure that patients get adequate care and support and recover on time. Some of their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Recording patients’ vital signs and medical information
  • Monitoring patients, record and reporting symptoms or changes in their conditions to provide the most suitable care and advice
  • Performing routine procedures such as administering non-intravenous medications, taking blood pressure measurements and completing patients’ charts
  • Administering medications to patients, monitoring them for potential reactions or side effects and reporting to the physician
  • Assisting Surgeons during operations and emergencies
  • Creating and maintaining accurate, comprehensive healthcare records and reports of patients
  • Working with physicians and other health professionals to create personalised treatment plans for patients
  • Training and supervising Nursing Assistants and Licensed Practical Nurses


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What does a Registered Nurse (RN) do?

The primary responsibility of a Register Nurse is to treat and care for patients. Registered nurses facilitate the speedy recovery of patients through various treatment methods and procedures. They offer advice and emotional support to them and their families, educating them on medication use, healthy habits and preventive measures. Usually, RNs administer medication, monitor and record patients’ vital signs and look for symptoms of potential adverse drug reactions. They create and maintain accurate patient records and oversee the work of other nurses. The Registered Nurse is one of the few professionals allowed to handle controlled substances.


Registered Nurse (RN) skills and qualifications

A successful Registered Nurse candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform duties effectively. They are well-known for utilising their tolerant, calm and tender demeanour to provide care for patients experiencing pain and discomfort. These qualifications and skills include:

  • Proven experience as an Adult Nurse or Registered Nurse
  • Outstanding knowledge of nursing care procedures and methods
  • Excellent understanding of health and safety protocols, including decontamination and sanitation
  • Patient, compassionate and empathetic nature
  • Knowledge of emergency care
  • Ability to lead and work well as part of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills 
  • Valid nursing licence


Registered Nurse (RN) experience requirements

The experience requirements for Registered Nurse candidates depend on the role. RNs require different levels of experience for paediatrics, critical care, ambulatory care, clinical care and other specialities. It’s important to choose candidates who have adequate specialist expertise in your field. RNs should also have basic teaching experience because their responsibility includes training other nurses. Registered Nurses can gain vital experience through voluntary work in healthcare and social services.


Registered Nurse (RN) education and training requirements

Registered Nurses can qualify for employment if they have a degree in adult nursing from a Nursing & Midwife Council-approved programme. Some employers also accept candidates who have a background in psychology, social work, life sciences and related disciplines if the degree has a nursing component. In some healthcare establishments, employers provide a degree apprenticeship in nursing for employees looking to become Adult Nurses. Registered Nurses must register with the Nursing and Midwife Council to qualify for employment.


Registered Nurse (RN) salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Registered Nurse candidates in the UK is £29,171 per year. Actual pay may depend on the employer, the location, the speciality, experience, qualifications and specific job duties and responsibilities.


Job description samples for similar positions

Here are job description samples for related roles if you are not looking to recruit a Registered Nurse:


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Registered Nurse (RN) job description FAQs


What qualities make a good Registered Nurse?

Registered Nurses must have several qualities, including a commitment to patient advocacy. Good RNs do their best to hasten the recovery of patients. They must also have exceptional attention to detail, as this is important for monitoring patients’ vital signs and response to treatment. Successful RNs have heightened physical stamina and endurance because they need to move patients and lift heavy loads. Many Registered Nurses have a sense of humour which can help patients and their families see the positive side of every situation.


How can you make your Registered Nurse job description stand out?

When writing a Registered Nurse job description, include the key information about the role that will convince candidates to apply for the position. You can discuss the opportunities candidates will have to improve patients’ lives and gain valuable experience. Also, describe the organisational culture and how candidates will help promote your core values and vision. It’s also helpful to include information about the duties and responsibilities, along with any employment benefits.


Who reports to a Registered Nurse?

A Registered Nurse can supervise a wide range of professionals, including other Nurses and Nurse Assistants. Medical Assistants, nursing students, Porters and other junior workers can also report to a Registered Nurse.

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