What do you think are roles of the RN?


Hi Everyone,

I searched the different roles of rn's and was really disappointed with what I found. I'm wondering what does everyone think encompasses the nurse? The nurse is a teacher, advocate, caregiver, at times a referee..... I'm doing an off site clinical rotation and one of the questions is asking to id the RNs role on the unit. The above that I keep coming up with just seems what every nurses role is. We wear many different hats and I was just wondering if anyone had any other input or experiences. I've found in depth info on NP, CNR, but I'm looking for the everyday RN role. Thanks for your input :nurse:


847 Posts

I have seen nurses also be a friend to a patient of a colleague, confidante, counselor, caregiver, a warming presence for those who are dieing, the only person who spends "time" with their patient since their families stopped coming around as much or at all, life savers, trusted colleague, a punching bag when the patient or doctor or fellow nurse is having a rotten day, a helping hand when a coworker needs assistance, patient advocate, at times the last person a dieing person sees, spiritual presence to a patient, I could go on and on.

Just listen to the nurses speak and you will see SO many who wear 50 hats a day.

One of our many nursing instructors, who has a PHD in Pscyh. nursing, came in today and gave our class a death, dying, and grieving talk and she said something that hit home today regarding this very issue.

She said, "Many nurses burn out because they either don't know or forgot to respect their limitations. We all have them, we all have to be constantly aware of what they are and when we step over them. Find a niche that works for you, when it stops, find another. Never strive to be a good nurse, but a great nurse, for your patients deserve the best you are."

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

This is from my clinical notebook (which I still have) when I was in my BSN program back in 1984. This might give you a few ideas:


  • Care giver

  • Health teacher

  • Counselor

  • Change agent/leader

  • Client advocate

  • Beginning researcher

  • Coordinator/collaborator

chevyv, BSN, RN

1,679 Posts

Specializes in Acute Mental Health. Has 15 years experience.

Thanks everyone :nuke:.

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