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What to Include in an RN Job Description

Creating compelling job descriptions for your agency takes time, especially since many of your positions require certain character traits as well as education and experience. If you’re looking to hire a registered nurse for your healthcare agency, here’s what you should include in the job description to attract the industry’s best talent.

What is a Registered Nurse?

A registered nurse (RN) is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program and is licensed to practice nursing in their state. RNs can be employed in a variety of settings and typically work in patient-facing roles. 

RNs can be hourly or salaried, depending on your state and agency. Registered nurses paid hourly should receive overtime pay, but there are certain exceptions apply. Check your state official requirements for non-exempt and exempt employees to make sure you’re following protocol. 

What should be included in an RN job description?

Your RN job description should include sufficient detail about the day-to-day of the role, any major responsibilities and essential functions, and requirements that are necessary to perform the job. Some nice-to-haves could include benefits offered at your agency, pay expectations, and some background information about your agency, including your core values and mission. This gives anyone applying for the role a full scope of what they can expect from working for you. 

What are the expectations of an RN at your agency?

What are the most important characteristics of an RN, and what do you expect from an RN that you hire? The expectations of the role should also reflect your company’s culture and commitment to patient care. Carefully consider what are the most important characteristics for RNs at your agency to have. Here are some examples of what you can include in your job description. 

An RN should be:

  • Responsible.
  • Caring.
  • Able to remain organized. 
  • Able to think critically.
  • Able to listen and communicate well with both patients and fellow staff members.
  • Patient with individuals and family members.
  • Able to remain composed in high stress situations.
  • Able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously without error.
  • Dedicated to the job and to the needs of patients.
  • Willing to work a variety of shifts.
  • Able to remain on their feet for long periods.

What are the responsibilities of an RN?

An RN’s main goal is to care for patients while upholding the standards of your agency or practice. While some responsibilities may differ from company to company, these are some of the most important core responsibilities of an RN.

  1. Consult with physicians and supervisors to decide on course of treatment
  2. Administer medication as prescribed by the client’s physician
  3. Perform ongoing patient data collection 
  4. Create and adhere to patient care plans
  5. Perform treatments, procedures, and tests to patients
  6. Ensure physician orders for patients are entered and acknowledged
  7. Initiate or assist with emergency response measures
  8. Ensure a clean, sterile environment, including equipment and environment 
  9. Build trust and form relationships with patients 
  10. Deliver exceptional patient experience through service, responsiveness, and care
  11. Perform medical services that fall within the licensure of a Registered Nurse
  12. Continuously educate clients, their families and other caretakers on proper home health care strategies and procedures 
  13. Direct and delegate appropriate tasks to nurses, nurse assistants, and nurse aids
  14. Monitor patient care staff for technique and adherence to company policy and procedural direction
  15. Serve as a resource for patient care staff 
  16. Research and pursue professional development opportunities
  17. Know, follow, and support the philosophy and mission of the company
  18. Adheres to all company policies, procedures, and standards of care
  19. Assess clients’ condition during every visit and track any observations
  20. Take and record measurements of vital signs such as blood pressure, temperature, heart rate etc. 
  21. Dress or redress open wounds and assess progress of healing 
  22. Provide palliative care as needed to keep the client comfortable 
  23. Make recommendations for devices or tools that might improve the client’s quality of life 
  24. Listen to clients and be prepared to respond to concerns or requests

When drafting your job description, add the essentials that you know your company will require, but don’t go overboard. If there may be additional responsibilities outside of what’s listed on the job description, add a line that says something along the lines of “Employee may be required to complete or be responsible for additional job duties as assigned” so that there’s no confusion.

What are the prerequisites and requirements for an RN? 

The prerequisites and requirements of the role should match that of your competitors. If you have more strict requirements, you’ll lose out on capable applicants. Here are what most RN positions require:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing 
  • Current nursing license in the state 
  • Basic Life Support Certification (Healthcare Provider Recognition)
  • Current CPR (American Heart Association) Certification 
  • Access to reliable transportation

Some preferred qualifications can be listed as well, such as related experience providing nursing care to patients, the ability to speak a different language, or experience with computers or technology. Just make sure these still fall under the category of beneficial to the job.

Ready to write your RN job description? 

To formulate your job description, give a quick overview of your company, outline the expectations and responsibilities of the role, include the certifications and requirements necessary, and list out the benefits your company offers. And voila! You’ll be on your way to hiring a standout registered nurse for your agency.

For more job description explanations, you can check out our Healthcare Job Descriptions eBook here.



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