What is a Registered Nurse (RN)?

RNs are prepared to practice across the nation in acute, intermediate, long-term, and other community-based settings which provide promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. RNs function in a variety of settings such as hospitals, home health, nursing homes, prisions, mental health facilities, schools, public health, management, research laboratories, and education.

RNs may supervise LVNs, nursing assistants, home health aides, medical assistants, and other unlicensed assistive personnel. The RN is responsible for assessing the patient and developing the plan of care to guide clinical decision-making. The RN manages patient care by providing and delegating patient care and collaborates with the interprofessional healthcare team. Therapeutic communication skills are used as the foundation to facilitate the patient's achievement of established healthcare goals.

RNs may provide levels of care  from a basic to complex care. The RN may work in a variety of specialty areas such as Medical-Surgical, Labor and Deleivery, Pediatrics, Oncology, Perioperative, Emergency Room, Intensive Care Units, Telemetry, Hemodialysis, , Public Health, Hospice, Mental Health, and Home Health. In skilled nursing facilities, clinics, and other outpatient settings, RNs may be in management or administrative positions.

Graduates of ADN programs may go on to complete a baccalaureate (BSN) degree through the college/university of their choice. A number of four year universities/colleges in the Southern California area offer ADN-to-BSN or ADN-MSN programs.

For more information about the RN role and licensing board, please visit the California BRN website.

For information on RCC SON's ADN (RN) program, please refer to the ADN (RN) Information Sheet.