Careers in the Licensed Professions

Registered Professional Nurse

Registered Professional Nurse Print Profile PDF


A registered professional nurse, or RN, provides health care to patients with a variety of medical and mental health conditions. Examples of services:

  • administer medications and treatments, as prescribed
  • perform physical examinations
  • monitor patients’ health status
  • coordinate care and supervise healthcare staff
  • counsel patients on health conditions
  • consult with other healthcare providers


An associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. RN education programs in New York State must be approved by the New York State Education Department.

Note: effective June 2019, most newly licensed RNs must earn a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing within 10 years from their date of RN licensure. See the Office of the Professions website for guidance about this requirement and related exemptions.


NCLEX-RN examination developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Visit the Office of the Professions for a listing of all options and requirements.




Salary and Projected Growth

  • Median salary: $71,730 in the U.S., $86,780 in NY
  • Salary range: $61,620-$99,830
  • Projected growth: much faster than average

Where Could I Work?

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health facilities
  • Clinics and private practices
  • Home care and hospices
  • Schools and public health departments

Your Interests and Abilities

  • Biology, psychology, and pharmacology
  • Supervised clinical education

Professional Skills

  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Concern for others

What Interests You?

Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at

Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a registered nurse about what they do and how they got started!

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Last Updated: January 14, 2020