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What does a Nurse do?

A nurse is a health care professional who works with a doctor to ensure a patient's health and well-being. They commonly work in hospitals and outpatient facilities as well as physician offices. There are many opportunities for advancement, such as working in administration, research, consulting, teaching or working with patients as a nurse practitioner.


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Working as a Nurse

Depending on their specialization and years of experience, a nurse may:

  • Provide hands-on care by administering medications and managing intravenous lines.
  • Observe and monitor the condition of patients.
  • Provide emotional and psychological support to patients and families.
  • Give direction and supervision to nurse aides and home health aides.
  • Maintain records and communicate with doctor's regarding the patients' conditions.
  • Assist patients with physical therapy and self-medication.
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How much does a Nurse make in the United States?

Average base salary

Average $38.60
Low $22.78
High $65.43
$10,000per year
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a nurse is $38.60 per hour in the United States and $10,000 overtime per year.22.3k salaries reported, updated at November 27, 2023

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Where can a Nurse earn more?

Compare salaries for Nurses in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Registered Nurse

Job openings

Average $43.42 per hour

Registered Nurse - Operating Room

Job openings

Average $69.48 per hour

Registered Nurse - Medical/Surgical

Job openings

Average $2,181 per week

Licensed Practical Nurse

Job openings

Average $32.87 per hour

Registered Nurse - Infusion

Job openings

Average $46.43 per hour

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Common questions about for a Nurse

How many different types of nursing jobs are there?

There are several different types of nursing careers you can choose. Certified nursing assistants take care of people who are unable to care for themselves due to injury or illness. Licensed practical nurses are personally responsible for patient care. Registered nurses work under the supervision of physicians, with direct responsibility for patients' health.

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What is the typical nurse shift?

The field of nursing is extremely varied depending on education level and certification. For example, a registered nurse will most likely work many more hours per week and longer shifts than a school nurse or family practice nurse. Hospital nurses most commonly work 12-hour shifts 3 days per week. Other shift lengths include 8 and 10-hour long shifts 4-5 days per week.

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How many years does it take to become a nurse?

A Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is normally a four-year college or university program. If you're already a registered nurse (RN) or have a nursing diploma, an RN-to-BSN program will take about two to three years.

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