RN in a doctors office??

by KKB243 KKB243 Member

What does an RN do in a doctors office? I can't work 12 hour shifts due to family issues so I am assuming the only other place I could work is a doctors office. Also, how does the pay compare? Thanks


roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience. 6,504 Posts

In my experience, the pay is definitely less than in a hospital setting. Different Dr's offices use their nurses differently. And of course, over time, the MD may increase nursing responsibilities due to the nurse becoming more proficient, more used to the MD's desires/practices.

But as an example, the RN could take vitals, take a history, give a brief description of the reason for the visit. MD comes in, examines, decides treatment plan. RN comes back in and implements plan: prepares scripts, makes test appt, gives necessary patient education/injections/treatments.

Different MD's will entrust different levels of responsibility to the nurse.

Edited by roser13


classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator. 2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

I worked for a surgeon and earned equal to hospital salary. Responsiblities included managing techs/LVNs, assisting during surgery (out-pt mostly as hospital nurses were available there and I could be earning revenue back at office), performed ancillary tests, reviewed labs and MD orders (MD responsible for reviewing also, but I usually put them in priority order)---there are lots of things you can do in MD office.



Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU. 450 Posts

You have other options besides MD office also, as a RN. You could work in home health, if you have a BSN you could work public health, or you could be a school nurse. There's lots of options outside the hospital :)



727 Posts

Depends on what type of office/speciality you're looking at. I've worked in offices where RNs basically did medical assistant work with the occasional IV start thrown in if a pt came in with dehydration. I've also worked with RNs who are in mgmt of the clinical staff in a large office (lots of paperwork, Joint Commission junk, training, etc.). RNs may run such things as Coumadin Clinics in primary care or cardiology offices where they run the tests and then adjust pt dosages as indicated by the results. Sometimes they do a lot of phone work and may call in routine meds according to established protocols (standing orders)...which actually I did when I worked as a medical assistant.

In gastroenterology offices an RN might assist with endoscopy procedures, work in recovery for those who've been anesthetized for procedures, etc.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

There are other options for 8 hour shifts that do not involve clinics or doctors' offices. Workplaces such as dialysis centers, home health agencies, hospices, rehab centers, psychiatric facilities, schools, university health centers, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, group homes for developmentally disabled clients, and blood banks all utilize RNs.



Has 19 years experience. 364 Posts

I worked in an oncology office. Phone nurses, chemo administration, colony stimulator shots, it was multi-doctor so there were lots of jobs. I got exactly the same I was making at the hospital -15.50/hr in 1997 in Kansas - but I told them I wouldn't work for less.

I found office work to be much less stressful than hospital. Patients were more laid back and more pleasant. Lots of free lunches from drug reps. And I really didn't realize how much I hated working weekends until I didn't have to do it anymore. Only drawback was the nursing supervisor was a lunatic.


Specializes in OB, HH, ADMIN, IC, ED, QI. 2,170 Posts

document.png re: pima medical insutitute

"when i went to pima to learn about the rn program they told me i had to become an ma first. is that true? "

kkb 243:

i saw the above post you made, at your site, as well as other posts you made that indicate that you haven't found/been accepted to an r.n. program, yet you want to work as one asap......

it seems pima gave you good advice. i dislike the way some medical assistants want to "pass" as knowing as much as rns (which doesn't fly), and enjoy having their employer call them "my nurse". it is damaging to both professions, for someone to appear as something they're not. :nono:

there is a law against "practising nursing without a license".


Otessa, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience. 1,601 Posts

The RNs can be triage nurses or be called 'nurse clinicians'-they round with the clinic MD in the hospital and also round on people while the MD is with other patients or in surgery. The questions/orders needed are then presented to the clinic MD in "bulk".




727 Posts

When I worked as a CMA I corrected people on an almost-hourly basis when referred to as "nurse" because I wasn't one. I never would have tried to "pass" as a nurse since (until very recently) I never had any desire to BE a nurse! Now I'm in school working toward a MSN to work as an Adult Nurse Practitioner -- that'll get me right back to working outpatient primary care.

As for 8-hour shifts, lots of hospitals are offering "flex scheduling" and encourage nurses to make their own schedules. Although most of the nurses where I'm doing clinicals choose to work 12-hour shifts, there are some who work 8-hour shifts and the hospital works around that preference.



3 Posts

Hey there! I started as an LPN in the internal medicine office I work for now. I got my RN in December after being an LPN for 10 years. I make the same as the hospital nurses....

I do pretty much the same thing I used to....at this point we have 2 medical assistants, but I am responsible for all injections, INRs, etc....

I make sure logs are completed, QC checks, but generally do the same things the MAs do, I just get paid more...

I work my A$$ off. Alot of hospital nurses think we don't do anything, but we do....I am not responsible for 8 patients....I have over a 1000 to take care of....I do ALOT of triage, and the MD trusts my judgemet.

I wouldn't trade the weekends and holidays off for anything in the world! It is soooo worth it......Every nurse has to find their "niche." I learn something new EVERYDAY.....

Good luck to you, it is possible, but sometimes you do have to take a drop in pay to be in a clinic.



Specializes in Radiation Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 401 Posts

I work in a radiation oncology clinic as a radiation medical assistant and our RN is constantly busy. We only have one doctor that we work for but he does the workload of 2 physicians. We treat about 60-65 daily radiation patients. This is not counting the 4-5 new patient consults and follow-ups that come through. I work closely with the RN and because I am in school and the fact that we have worked together for 6 years helps her trust in me as far as delegation of tasks. If she is not busy, she takes the new patient consults, does assessments, H&P's, and educating them about radiation side effects. If she is tied up with something, then I do it. We do alot of internal radiation for our gynecology oncology patients and those usually involve conscious sedation which ties the RN up for about an hour. She also calls in prescriptions, triages patient phone calls, and once a week, the daily radiation patients must be seen and assessed by us and the physician. Like I said, she delegates very well to me the things she can't get to so we have a great working relationship. And she trusts that if I am assessing a patient and something is just "not right" that I will report it to her. She would rather me be wrong about a "not so right" feeling about a patient and bring it to her attention then for me just to shrug something off.

This is in great contrast to the RN's at our medical oncology clinic across the street. The "desk nurses" as we call them, do nothing but triage phone calls all day, fill prescriptions, and other desk duties. They rarely have face to face interaction with the patients and the MA's do the vitals and medication lists while the physicians do everything else.

Then of course we have the chemo nurses who start IVs and give chemo all day. The RN I work with was a hospital nurse for about 2 years after she graduated and she hated it. She likes the more relaxed atmosphere of the office setting and the fact that we are closed on holidays and weekends. She says the pay was comparable to day shift pay at the hospitals.