Career Development

What Does a General Nurse Do?

Find out what a general nurse does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a general nurse.

General nurses are the most common type of nurse in the healthcare system. They provide a wide range of services to patients, from administering medications and performing basic procedures to providing emotional support and counseling.

General nurses may specialize in certain areas of nursing practice, such as emergency care or intensive care. In some cases, they may also be responsible for supervising other nurses or medical professionals.

General Nurse Job Duties

A general nurse typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Monitoring patient health and administering medications as ordered by a physician
  • Providing post-operative care for patients who have undergone surgery
  • Communicating with other health professionals to ensure that all aspects of patient care are being addressed
  • Performing diagnostic tests in accordance with established protocols to assess patient health status
  • Providing information about treatment options and follow up care to patients and their families
  • Making sure that all equipment used in the operating room is ready for use during surgery or other medical procedures
  • Performing basic nursing tasks such as administering injections or changing bandages
  • Observing patients in order to monitor their health conditions and identify any signs of illness or distress
  • Assisting physicians during examinations and surgical procedures

General Nurse Salary & Outlook

General nurse salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the type of hospital or facility they work in, and the geographic location of their job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of general nurses is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for healthcare services will increase as the large baby-boom population ages and people continue to live longer. As the large generation of baby boomers grows older, they are more likely than previous generations to have multiple chronic conditions, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

General Nurse Job Requirements

A registered nurse typically needs the following qualifications:

Education: All general nurses are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The most common majors for aspiring nurses are nursing, pre-nursing and health science.

Many employers prefer to hire nurses who have a master’s degree in nursing. Earning a master’s degree takes about two years and includes coursework and clinical practice.

Training & Experience: After graduating from nursing school, you must complete a period of supervised training to earn your license. This training period is known as the clinical period and is part of the associate degree program. During this period, you will work under the supervision of a registered nurse in a clinical setting. You will gain experience in a variety of areas, including:

Taking patient histories Administering medications Performing physical exams Administering treatments Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection control procedures Following safety procedures Following sterilization procedures Following infection

Certifications & Licenses: After completing your nursing degree, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This exam certifies that you are a competent and trustworthy nurse.

General Nurse Skills

General nurses need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: General communication skills can help nurses convey information to patients and other medical professionals. They can also help you interpret and understand information from patients and other medical professionals. General communication skills can also help you communicate with patients and their families, as well as other medical professionals.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. General nurses use empathy to help patients feel comfortable and cared for. For example, if a patient is nervous about a procedure, a nurse might use empathy to comfort them and explain the procedure in detail.

Organization: Organization is another skill that can help general nurses be more effective in their careers. General nurses often have many tasks to complete in a short period of time, so being able to prioritize and manage their time effectively can help them meet their goals. General nurses can also use organization skills to keep their work spaces clean and safe for patients.

Adaptability: General nurses often work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, schools, rehabilitation centers and more. They may also work with a variety of patients, including those with different ages, genders, health conditions and more. General nurses must be adaptable and willing to change their approach to care as needed.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to make quick decisions based on the information you have. General nurses often need to make quick decisions about patient care, so it’s important for them to be able to think through a situation and determine the best course of action. General nurses also need to be able to think through potential complications and how to address them.

General Nurse Work Environment

Nurses work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and home health agencies. They may also work in schools, camps, and industrial settings. Nurses who work in hospitals may work in a variety of departments, such as medical-surgical, critical care, obstetrics, or pediatrics. Nurses who work in clinics may specialize in family practice, gynecology, or other areas. Nurses who work in home health agencies make visits to patients’ homes to provide nursing care. Nurses who work in schools provide health services to students, staff, and faculty. Nurses who work in camps provide health services to campers and staff. Nurses who work in industrial settings provide health services to employees.

General Nurse Trends

Here are three trends influencing how general nurses work. General nurses will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Specialized Nurses

The healthcare industry is rapidly changing, and one of the most significant changes is the increasing demand for specialized nurses. As hospitals and other healthcare facilities look to provide more specialized care, they are increasingly looking to hire specialized nurses who have the training and experience to provide this care.

General nurses will need to be able to adapt to this new trend by becoming more specialized themselves. This may include learning new skills or specializing in a particular area of nursing. In order to be successful in the future, general nurses will need to be able to work with a variety of different patients and provide care that is specific to their needs.

Patient Demands Are Increasing

As patient demands increase, so too does the need for nurses who can meet those demands. Patients are looking for more individualized care, which requires nurses who are able to provide it.

Nurses who are able to meet these demands will be in high demand in the coming years. They will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and understand their needs in order to provide the best possible care. Additionally, they will need to be able to manage their time efficiently in order to meet the demands of multiple patients at once.

More Attention on Patient Safety

As the focus on patient safety continues to grow, nurses will need to develop new skills and knowledge in order to keep patients safe.

Nurses will need to be able to identify potential hazards in the hospital environment and take steps to prevent them from happening. They will also need to be able to respond quickly to emergencies and provide emergency care when necessary.

How to Become a General Nurse

General nurses have a lot of options when it comes to their career path. They can specialize in a certain area, such as oncology or pediatrics, or they can choose to become a nurse manager or administrator. They can also choose to work in different settings, such as hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes.

No matter what direction they choose, general nurses should continue to learn and develop their skills. They can do this by attending continuing education courses, participating in online forums and discussions, and reading articles and journals. They should also stay up-to-date on the latest research and developments in their field.

Related: How to Write a General Nurse Resume

Advancement Prospects

Nurses advance their careers by taking on additional responsibilities, increasing their education, and becoming involved in leadership roles. As they gain experience, nurses can move up from entry-level positions to more advanced roles, such as charge nurse, head nurse, or clinical nurse specialist. Those who wish to move into management or administration can get a master’s degree in nursing or health administration.

Nurses can also specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, or critical care. Specialty certification is available for many nursing specialties and can demonstrate expertise and commitment to the field. Those who wish to teach nursing can get a PhD or become a nurse educator.

General Nurse Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide high-quality, compassionate care to all of our patients. We are looking for a registered nurse to join our team and provide general nursing care to our patients. The ideal candidate will have a valid RN license, as well as experience in providing general nursing care. He or she will be responsible for assessing patients, developing and implementing care plans, and providing education to patients and their families. The nurse will also collaborate with other members of the healthcare team to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide direct patient care, including assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation
  • Serve as a patient advocate, providing emotional support and guidance throughout the healthcare process
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary team members to develop and implement individualized care plans
  • Educate patients and families on disease prevention, health maintenance, and available resources
  • Administer medication and treatments according to established protocols
  • Monitor patients’ progress and response to interventions, modifying care plans as needed
  • Document patient history, condition, and care plan in electronic medical records
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment for patients, families, and staff
  • Participate in quality improvement initiatives to enhance patient outcomes
  • Attend continuing education courses to keep abreast of latest evidence-based practices
  • Supervise and delegate tasks to licensed practical nurses and certified nurse assistants
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to less experienced staff

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Registered nurse with valid state license
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) preferred
  • 2+ years of experience as a nurse in a hospital setting
  • Ability to work well under pressure and multitask
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
  • Commitment to providing high-quality patient care

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Specialty certification in area of practice
  • Master’s degree in nursing (MSN)
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment
  • Leadership experience

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