Students and Teachers

What do nurses do?

Nurses care for patients and families.  They work to promote wellness, prevent disease and assist patients and families when coping with illness.  Nurses are concerned with caring for the "whole" person; physically, psychosocially and spiritually.  They are also advocates and health educators for patients, families and communities.

Nurses practice in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.  Inpatient care facilities include mental health institutions, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes or hospitals.   Outpatient care facilities include retirement communities, health maintenance or insurance organizations, ambulatory care centers, physician offices, patients' homes, schools and government agencies.

Nursing responsibilities may include monitoring a patient's progress and assisting them throughout their care, assisting the physician and other healthcare providers with the plan of care, administering prescribed medications and/or treatments and educating patients and families of current care-related or preventative healthcare measures.

Nurses may work part-time or full-time depending upon hours scheduled by their facility of employment, specialty practice area, or job responsibilities.  Some nurses may work on-call, at night or on weekends or holidays.

Scope of Practice
State laws, institutional policies and licensure specify "scope of practice" or what responsibilities, tasks or functions a nurse is allowed to perform while working.

For more information about Scopes of Practice for nurses practicing in New York State, please visit the following website:

Office of the Professions, NYS Education Department - Education Law

Office of the Professions, NYS Education Department, Nursing Guide to Practice

Office of the Professions, NYS Education Department, Differentiated Scope of Practice RN/LPN

Best Nursing Degree, Directory of Nursing Schools and Programs 

What is the career outlook?
For more information about the Career Outlook for nursing, please visit the following websites:

United States Department of Labor - Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-09, Registered Nurses - Johnson and Johnson Nursing Campaign - Job Opportunities

"Careers in Healthcare" (2004). New York State AHEC System