Job Seeker Resources November 23, 2022

What’s it Like as an RN in the U.S.?

Universally, nurses all have the same passion – to help heal their communities. Nurses are resilient, wise, and empathetic. However, the day-to-day duties and responsibilities can vary depending on the country or even region you’re working. Listed below are some of the expectations of nurses working in the U.S.

1. Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses are RNs who work in the pediatric unit, specifically caring for children and young adolescents. Nurses complete full body assessments such as changes in symptoms, pain assessments, monitoring vital signs, and administering medications. Pediatric nurses must also intervene in emergency situations that may include ventilated patient care. To work in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), nurses must be level 2 or 3.

2. ICU Nurse

ICU nurses are RNs who work in the ICU (intensive care unit). They are highly trained and work with patients who are facing life-threatening illnesses. While they have extensive technical skills (training and certification), they also need to be agile, organized, and communicative. ICU nurses in the U.S. are required to have at least nine months of current experience and varied skillset including cardiac rhythm interpretation.

3. ER Nurse

ER nursing is a high-demand nursing specialty and these nurses work in a hospital’s Emergency Room Department. The environment is fast-paced, and they care for patients who have experienced trauma or who are critically ill, including injuries and mental health issues. ER nurses must work in a level 1 or 2 trauma center, and they typically treat a minimum of 100 patients per day.

4. Labor and Delivery Nurse

Labor and delivery nurses (also called L&D or LD nurses) work in maternity units helping women through the birthing and delivery process or assisting with cesarean sections. They also provide postpartum care and provide care to women with high-risk pregnancies. L&D nurses must have experience with the latest equipment and technology and should expect to handle at least 150 births per week.

5. Psychiatric Nurse

Psychiatric nurses, or psych nurses, work with patients will mental health issues or illnesses to help get them through complex emotional and physical challenges. Some of the mental health illnesses psych nurses work with are schizophrenia, depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety disorders. A key trait in psych nurses is the flexibility to adapt to new or unexpected situations. Psych nurses have the option to work in a variety of facilities such as community mental health centers, assisted living facilities, long-term care centers, military clinics or hospitals, rehabilitation centers, private practices, and hospitals.

6. OR Nurse

OR nurses, or operating room nurses, care for patients going into, receiving, and recovering from surgery. This nursing specialty is notorious for having active, high-stress work environments in addition to 12-hour shifts. Fortunately, since operating rooms must always be staffed, this offers flexibility to OR nurses because they have plenty of shifts to choose from. OR nurses are expected to circulate 50% of the time [that they’re working] and typically handle a minimum of eight cases per day. Working in the U.S. can be quite an adjustment for some nurses. Fortunately, the clinical team at
O’Grady Peyton International is here to support and be the biggest advocate for our nurses. If you’re an experienced, English-speaking RN curious about working in the U.S., apply today!

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