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Registered nurses provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing. They are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centres, doctors' offices, clinics, private homes and community health centres.
Licensed nurses perform some or all of the following duties:
- Assess patients to identify appropriate nursing interventions;
- Collaborate with members of an interdisciplinary health team to plan, implement, co-ordinate and evaluate patient care in consultation with patients and their families;
- Administer medications and treatments as prescribed by a physician or according to established policies and protocols;
- Monitor, assess, address, document and report symptoms and changes in patients' conditions;
- Operate or monitor medical apparatus or equipment;
- Assist in surgery and other medical procedures;
- May supervise licensed practical nurses and other nursing staff;
Registered nurses may specialize in areas such as surgery, obstetrics care, psychiatric care, critical care, pediatrics, geriatrics, community health, occupational health, emergency care, rehabilitation or oncology;
- Occupational health nurses develop and implement employee health education programs and provide registered nursing care in private businesses and industry;
- Community health nurses provide health education and registered nursing care in public health units and through home visits, manage complex home care cases, participate in community needs assessment and program development, conduct disease screening and deliver immunization programs;
- Nursing researchers engaged in research activities related to nursing are self-employed or are employed by hospitals, public and private organizations and governments.
- Completion of a university, college or other approved registered nursing program is required;
- Additional academic training or experience is required to specialize in a specific area of nursing.