Registered Nurses

Annual Earnings Percentiles

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  • Social: 98
  • Purpose: 94
  • Supported: 89
  • Analytical: 79
  • Creative: 48

What Registered Nurses Do

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Work Environment

Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. Others work in correctional facilities or schools, or serve in the military.

How to Become a Registered Nurse

Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.

College Majors

Showing data from the American Community Survey for the following US Census occupation categories:

  • Registered nurses

Bachelor's degree majors are shown.

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    Job Outlook

    Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives.

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    Job Trends for Registered Nurses

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    This occupation supported 2,711,500 jobs in 2012 and 2,751,000 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 1.5%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 19.4% in 2022 to 3,238,400 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 2,816,800, compared with an observed value of 2,751,000, 2.3% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 16.2% in 2024 to 3,190,300 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 3,343,700 jobs for 2024, 4.8% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.

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