Career Exploration Program


RN (registered nurse)

A Registered Staff Nurse is responsible for providing safe, quality healthcare to patients in various settings with a variety of acute, critical, medical, surgical, and other rehabilitation needs.  They are found in all departments and are integral throughout the hospital.


RNs assess patient history, education, social, cultural and age appropriate factors to perform accurate, ongoing care for each patient and prioritize care based on a patient’s current needs. 

They must consistently interact with patients while maintaining a safe environment, and must document the assessment, planning, interventions and patient responses to evaluate the patient’s care and progress. 

According to an RN’s interest, they can train and specialize in different areas, with each specialty having specific duties.

Specialty Areas

RNs can work in any department, including clinics that provide patient care.  These include Oncology, Cardiac Services, Critical Care Areas, Education, Emergency Department, Imaging, Infection Prevention, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Therapies, Surgical Services, and Women’s and Children’s Services.


Depending on where they work in the hospital, they can interact with CNA, LPN, MD, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, Medical Technicians, and other various staff members.  They also work closely with patients and their families or care givers.


An RN can obtain an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and must have a current unencumbered licensure to practice nursing as a Registered Nurse in the State of Oregon.  Knowledge of medical terminology and basic clinical skills as well as current Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification is also required.


Associate degree programs include: Chemeketa Community College
Linn-Benton Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland Community College
Bachelor degree programs include: OHSU, OIT, Southern Oregon University, University of Portland


Oregon RN Licensure
Specialized Department Certification
Certification is offered through national Nursing organizations in many specialties.
ANCC—American Nurses Credentialing Center
AMSN—Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
AACN—American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
NCC—National Certification Corporation
ONCC—Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation


Reference: United States Department of Labor