Summary: A staff nurse is a registered nurse (RN) whose primary responsibility is personal patient care with clients and their families. Settings for nurse care include rehabilitation, hospice, mental health, pediatric, orthopedic, hospitals, acute care, community health, public health and long-term care.
Duties: The job of a staff nurse is to provide nursing care to those who need it. Providing nursing care involves regularly checking up and/or monitoring the patient’s vital signs, statistics and health condition and to report his status to his personal care provider. Staff nurses are responsible for the distribution and provision of medications and treatment of the patient. These are usually regimented and scheduled and should be accomplished for the patient’s health maintenance. Staff nurses also have the duty to instruct and explain treatment to the patient in a clear and proper manner. Understanding the condition of the patient is necessary for the staff nurse to better appreciate and explain the treatment the patient is undergoing. Staff nurses usually work as a group or a team. They are responsible for planning and implementing healthcare policies. They also need to evaluate ongoing practices and execute alterations if necessary, to better the care provided to the patient. Staff nurses need to gather and record information on the patient’s medical history. Any changes in the person’s health must be reported immediately to the patient’s healthcare provider. They need to accomplish paperwork and reports before their shift ends.
Education and Training Requirements: A bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma are the ways to qualify as a staff nurse. All nurses need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN, in order to obtain a nursing license.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Enjoying working with people, patience, empathy, and calmness are qualities nurses must possess. It is important that nurses to give out directions clearly as well as follow instructions. They need to be team players and work as part of the health care team.
Working Conditions: Most staff nurses work in comfortable and well lighted healthcare facilities. A regular work schedule is followed but overtime work is usually done. Oftentimes, weekend and night work is required. Staff nurses may deal with patients having infectious diseases and with toxic, hazardous materials. They are also prone to back injury when moving patients.
Salary: A staff nurse makes $50,000 annually on average. Factors like size of company, location, nature of the industry, benefits and experience may cause salaries to vary considerably amongst staff nurses.