Where Do Registered Nurses Work?

Registered nurses work in various healthcare settings in the public and private sectors.

It enables them to provide direct care to patients, support healthcare workers, educate students, improve the healthcare industry, and advocate for better standards.

Some nurses operate in hospitals, urgent care centers, intensive care units, nursing homes, and other institutions.

Others work for community health centers, independent practices, and self-employed domains.

Finally, registered nurses operate in academic settings, government facilities, laboratories, and research centers.

Each employer has distinct needs nurses accommodate to ensure better patient care and healthcare industry standards.

The following section explores some attractive domains registered nurses work in to improve healthcare.

Occupational Settings:

  • Academic settings
  • Community health centers
  • Hospitals
  • Legal environments
  • Medical sales and marketing
  • Medspa’s
  • Pharmaceutical company’s
  • Private practices
  • Research centers
  • Schools
  • Work-from-home jobs


Hospitals are the largest employers of registered nurses.

These healthcare facilities operate in every state near most major cities and towns.

There are many departments registered nurses specialize in to accommodate patients with different healthcare needs.

For instance, they work as general care, trauma, cardiology, NICU, critical care, gastroenterology, emergency room, and travel nurses.

Registered nurses support many other hospital departments in providing adequate patient care.

These healthcare specialists provide patients with direct care and emotional support.

They are responsible for numerous healthcare-related tasks to treat patients throughout their recovery.

Firstly, nurses provide direct care by recording patients’ symptoms and recovery stages, assessing their ailments, administering medications and treatments, dressing wounds, and helping with rehabilitation.

They also educate patients about their current condition and how to best care for their ailments.

Finally, registered nurses answer patient or family questions and liaise between the patient and healthcare staff.

Registered nurses work alongside a team of medical professionals to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

It includes CNAs, LPNs, RNs, physicians, and nurse practitioners.

Private Practices

Nurses work for a variety of private practices and independently owned medical businesses.

For instance, some nurses work for physicians, independent nurse practitioners, cosmetic/aesthetics, or surgical offices.

Some nurse practitioners even open independent practices providing primary care to residents in their area.

In this case, they may hire registered nurses, CNAs, LPNs, or medical coders to assist with daily responsibilities.

Academic Settings

There are numerous roles nurses play in academic settings.

For instance, school nurses provide direct care to students and facility members.

It ensures the university provides adequate care to those on site and maintains essential healthcare standards.

Nurse educators develop course circulation, deliver lectures, hand out homework, grade papers, and mentor students.

As a result, they’re essential for helping students become future registered nurses.

These professionals vary drastically regarding responsibilities, career paths, and education routes.

I’ll describe each profession in detail below to clarify their roles and duties.

School Nurses

School nurses work for various academic institutions, school districts, colleges, and universities.

Many registered nurses operate as healthcare providers offering medical care and education to students and faculty.

These specialists perform duties similar to other registered nurses in direct care settings.

For instance, they treat minor injuries, assist people with special medical needs, and administer authorized medications.

They also provide education and implement better healthcare and safety standards to reduce the spread of illnesses and diseases.

School nurses have limited tools, expertise, and support to care for patients with more severe injuries/illnesses.

As a result, these specialists may help students and staff receive care and treatment at a hospital or urgent care center.

Nurse Educators

Nurse educators are advanced practice registered nurses with postgraduate (MSN/DNP) degrees.

These experts provide education, teaching, and instruction to students at colleges, universities, and clinical settings.

Nurse educators design, evaluate, update and implement class curricula to ensure students receive an adequate education.

They also conduct lectures, perform hands-on training, directly support students, grade papers, and provide mentorship.

Legal Environments

Some registered nurses work as legal nurse consultants helping attorneys determine the outcome of legal-medical cases.

These specialists use their medical background and expertise to provide various services.

For instance, they simplify complex medical jargon, determine the vitality of medical claims, interview witnesses and act as expert witnesses.

Legal nurse consultants operate at independently owned offices, attorneys’ offices, or from their homes.

Research Departments

Research nurses study and analyze the latest healthcare practices, technologies, and medicines.

They also identify new diseases, conduct clinical trials and explore whether specific approaches improve health standards.

These healthcare specialists work in various settings to support distinctive demographics and research tests.

It includes hospitals, research centers, government agencies, and community healthcare clinics.

Work From Home Jobs

Numerous nurses work from home, providing support, education, and information to various healthcare services.

Some professionals operate as telephone triage nurses answering questions and directing patients to the proper support.

Others work as medical writers, tutors, legal consultants, transcriptionists, case management nurses, and entrepreneurs.

Occupational settings:

  • Case management
  • Medical writing
  • Telehealth services
  • Tutoring
  • Legal consulting
  • Transcription services
  • Entrepreneurial work

Medical Sales and Marketing

Medical sales and marketing nurses sell products, services, and software to various industries.

As a result, their work environment depends on their industry and employer’s needs.

Some nurses visit suppliers and businesses routinely that purchase or may pursue their products.

Therefore, they often operate from a vehicle to reach different destinations to sell products and accommodate their buyers.

Others may work for a marketing company and commute daily to the local business to collaborate with staff members.

Some nurses conduct sales and marketing from home and don’t require commuting except for occasional checkups.


Numerous registered nurses operate at MedSpa as aesthetic/cosmetic nurses.

These specialists perform non-surgical procedures and treatments to help clients look and feel younger and healthier.

Common treatments include facelifts, dermal fillers, laser removal, and micro-needling.

However, MedSpa may offer extra services, depending on the nurse practitioner’s/owners expertise and scope of practice.

Non-Surgical Aesthetic Procedures:

Aesthetic nurses may operate under the supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner or become a practitioner themselves.

Those who become certified nurse practitioners can own and operate independent clinics.

It enables them to provide non-surgical procedures, hire nursing staff and act as primary providers.

Nevertheless, a nurse practitioner’s scope of practice and independence varies depending on their state.

Full-practice states enable nurse practitioners to operate independently with minor limitations.

Contrarily, reduced and restricted-practice states restrict the ability to provide particular services and work independently.

Pharmaceutical Company’s

Numerous pharmaceutical companies hire nurses to conduct research or sell pharmaceutical products.

Clinical research nurses review and analyze data and research trends, conduct clinical trials, and perform various tests.

They also educate participants on the clinical trial, answer essential questions, and ensure compliance.

Research nurses take vitals, perform ECGs, draw blood, and process and harvest lab specimens during trials.

In addition, they may provide questionnaires and interview the participants to gain additional data.

Research nurses investigate the usage and dosage of oral, intravenous, topical, and other approved drugs.

It enables research companies to decide if specific drugs, technologies, and procedures work effectively and as intended.

Community Health Centers

Community health nurses provide education, medical support, and assistance to their local communities.

These professionals research environmental, social, and genetic factors to determine the cause of certain illnesses. 

It enables them to provide communities with education and interventions for common health issues.

Community nurses advocate for better healthcare, exercise, nutrition, and rest to help people avoid injuries and illnesses.

They also research infection prevention, disease control, and sanitary practices to minimize the risk of diseases and illness.

Community health nurses help direct people to effective, low-cost healthcare solutions when needed.

Ultimately, they reduce healthcare costs and hospital visits by promoting better healthcare and providing interventions.

What Areas Have the Highest Concentration of RNs?

Registered nurses make up the majority of healthcare workers in hospitals.

However, specific metropolitan areas hire a substantial amount of registered nurses to accommodate their patients.

It includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.

Registered nurses who work in these locations obtain significant incomes and job opportunities.

On the high end, some registered nurses earn six figures annually by operating in the correct fields and work locations.

Registered nurses may also work as travel nurses enabling them to accept temporary assignments and operate nationally.

It’s an excellent way for nurses to work in different states, earn exceptional salaries, and experience exciting assignments.

Career Opportunities

The current job outlook for students interested in becoming registered nursing is exceptionally high.

As nurses retire and the economy increases, the need for educated and qualified registered nurses will continue to rise.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the healthcare industry will need to fill roughly 275,000 jobs to address the nursing shortage over the next decade.

As a result, those pursuing nursing degrees have excellent opportunities for career growth, job stability, and high salaries.

Beyond that, nursing is a rewarding career that provides an emotional return on your education investment.