Registered Nurses

Registered Nurses

Nurses are a key part of the staff at military hospitals and clinics. Registered nurses direct nursing teams and give patients individual care to help them recover from illness or injury.

What They Do:

Registered nurses in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Help physicians treat patients
  • Give injections of pain killers, antibiotics, and other medicines as prescribed by physicians
  • Change bandages and dressings
  • Assist physicians during surgery
  • Provide life support treatment for patients needing emergency care
  • Provide care for mental health patients
  • Keep records of patients' condition
  • Supervise practical nurses, nurse aides, and other support personnel

Training Provided:

Job training consists of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
  • Practices and principles of military nursing
  • Care of emotionally disturbed patients
  • Health care for children
  • Nursing techniques
  • Anesthesia, respiratory therapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Work Environment:

Registered nurses work in hospitals and clinics. Some work in sick bays aboard ships or in mobile field hospitals. Others work in airplanes that transfer patients to medical centers.

Civilian Counterparts:

Civilian registered nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and private medical facilities. They also work for public health agencies, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Civilian registered nurses perform duties similar to those performed in the military. They often specialize and may be known as public health nurses, nurse practitioners, or general duty nurses.

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