BSN: What is the Role of a Nurse?
Nurses are an important component of any healthcare team or facility.
Different types of nurses play different roles, and if you’re considering a career as one, it’s important to understand and recognize the differences between each type of nurse’s responsibilities.
With a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), you create for yourself an eligibility to perform a higher role on the nursing spectrum, above a nursing assistant, LPN, or RN. You can seek licensure as a nurse practitioner (NP), which opens you up to job opportunities and professional responsibilities at the top tier.
The BSN educational pathway covers a few topics not covered in other programs, which help you prepare for the responsibilities specific to an NP. At Health Career Institute, these topics include:
1. Wellness of self and others – “Wellness” is a comprehensive term, and coming to a complete understanding of it helps you communicate better in your role as a nurse. Notice there is emphasis also on wellness of the self, because part of being a productive nurse involves being healthy and well yourself
2. Technical nursing skills – These technical skills expand upon those learned in other nursing programs, building on what an RN is exposed to in school. This self-explanatory piece is the meat of the job preparedness track, where you’ll learn how to do what nurses do.
3. Critical care – You may not end up working in an intensive care unit regularly, but these skills are important to have as a nurse needs to be able to respond to changes in medical situations and be prepared to support medical teams as needed.
4. Professional development – Higher-level nurses like NPs may also serve an administrative or supervisory function in healthcare settings, and things like nurse management, leadership, and facility coordination are important pieces of that role.
Once on the job, a nurse practitioner can operate without the direct supervision of a doctor in the following scenarios:
- Diagnose, treat, and help patients manage chronic illnesses
- Conduct physical examinations
- Interpret medical history
- Prescribe age-specific physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescribe pharmacologic treatments
- Provide prenatal care, family planning services, and screening services
- Perform minor surgical procedures
- Counsel and educate patients about preventative measures