Staff nurses are part of a fabulous healthcare team that provide medical treatments and nursing interventions. They take charge of providing care to patients inside a facility, whether a physician is or not around.
Their role is vital in order to provide a holistic, outstanding care plan for the patients. They promote wellness and well-being, care and respect, guidance and support, medical interventions and most importantly, education.
Working as a staff nurse is never an easy task. Their job includes long and extended working hours, non-stop patient responsibility, the hustle and bustles, and lengthy standing time.
Also the thirst, hunger, and lack of toilet-time that they withstand just to accomplish everything on time. Not to mention the irregular working shifts these nurses endure and get used to.
In reality, they don’t deal only with patients alone as they cater the patient’s family as well. Staff nurses provide them the information to manage and prevent conditions and diseases where they are predisposed.
Here are some YouTube videos that depict how it is to be a Staff Nurse:
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Staff nurses bear hefty responsibilities. However, their obligations may differ according to the type of ward or unit they function.
It may be in a general medicine or medical-surgical ward. Although in general, staff nurses responsibilities include:
- Properly assess and record patient’s behavior and status.
- Establish rapport with patients and families.
- Coordinate with physicians and other member of the health care team.
- Create a patient-focused care plan.
- Provide emotional and psychological support to the patients and their families.
- Establish nursing diagnoses to act as guide in care plan.
- Keep record of patients’ medical histories, and monitor changes in their condition.
- Carry out physician’s orders.
- Supervise Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA).
- Administer medications, as appropriate.
- Participate in researches in order to improve healthcare practices and procedures.
- Work according to procedures and protocols.
- Maintain a safe working environment.
- A harmonious working relationship is vital. Therefore, nurses should cooperate with the other members of the healthcare team.
- Make sure that patients follow all dietary requirements.
- Evaluate nursing interventions and medical treatment.
- Most of all, educate patients and families on health maintenance, disease prevention and treatment.
REQUIREMENTS: EDUCATION AND LICENSE
Same with all of the RN positions, there are 2 mandatory requirements in order to practice.
First, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree;
and second, pass the National Council on Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in your state.
While it is not required to practice as a staff nurse, one may consider to advance profession by obtaining a Master or Doctorate degree in Nursing.
CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Registered Nurses is projected to grow for up to 15% from year 2016-2026. It is most noteworthy that the projection is much faster as compared to other jobs.
Consequently, the growth of employment opportunities may be attributed with the ageing population and reforms in health care.
On the other hand, the same bureau have also reported that in May 2016, registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $68,450 or $32.91 per hour.
It is especially relevant that one’s salary may become lower or higher depending on the staff nurse’s skills and education qualifications.
Registered Nurses may execute their functions in a variety of sectors in healthcare.
As a Staff Nurse, they may work in a hospital or care centers and function according to the group of patients and medical conditions.
Moreover, staff nurses also work in different shifts which may be morning, evening or graveyard, as well as during weekends and holidays.