View Full Version : Nursing questions

10-11-2005, 08:41 PM
I have a character in a short story who's a nurse, although she isn't the main character. I just need to know how she would describe herself--at the moment she says, "I'm an RN," but is that correct? She also refers to herself as being "off shift," but I suspect that's not the right way to describe having a certain day off. I don't know any nurses to ask, so I hope the great folks here can help me! Thanks!

Oh, another question: If this character has been a nurse for many years and is very good at it, what are her promotion prospects? I'd like to give her a more specific title than RN, and a position that pays more since in the story she's supporting her husband's small business (which doesn't make much of a profit).

10-11-2005, 10:57 PM
Hi there, I'm an Rn and yes that's how i refer to myself when someone asks me what I do for a living. When I'm not working it's my "day off" that all I never say I'm off shift.

You can be an Rn for years and years(20 for me) and you NEVER get a promotion. you get cost of living raises. If you want your character to make more money than her hhubby than she would have to be one of three things; a hospital administror RN she would need a masters in nursing for that, Big bucks there, or a CRNA Certified registered nurse anethesiest, or a Crnp certified registered nurse practioner. The Crna would make in excess of 100.000 / year just to start. depends on experience and on where you live.

10-11-2005, 11:00 PM
Thanks, that's exactly what I needed to know! I think I'll just have her say she's an RN and leave it at that. Thanks again!

September skies
10-12-2005, 02:46 AM
Hi Saanen,

I always say that I am an RN. I worked in an emergency room. We also had MICNs (mobile intensive care nurses) and they made quite a bit more money than I did.

On the regular hospital floors, we have staff RNs and we have specialty nurses.

My best friend works on the surgical floor. She is an RN and the Clinical Supervisor (makes more than the staff RNS there) but there is another RN over her, he is the Director of Surgical Services and he really makes the big bucks.

There are RNs as clinical supervisors and RNs as directors of the unit in different sections of the hospital, so you can pick any of several departments to place your character in.

Surgical floor
Pediatric Ward - at our hospital, all children 16 and under are here - (both surgical or medical)
CCU - cardiac care unit
ICU - Intensive care unit
OB/GYN - women's unit
Medical floor
Respiratory floor
Geriatrics - some hospitals may have a wing for the elderly, though not around my area.

Or she can be a Float Nurse and work different departments on different weeks.

When I am off, I just call it my day off. BUt....sometimes on days off you may be on call (in surgery department or ER dept. and then I say I am "on call" )

There are so many possibilities for your character as an RN.

Take care, Hopes this helps.

10-12-2005, 03:38 AM
That does help, thanks! And it would work beautifully to have the character working in a geriatrics unit--I hadn't even thought of that.

"On call" was the phrase I think I was looking for, too. Perfect.

September skies
10-12-2005, 07:38 AM
You might keep in mind that at most geriatric wards, the nursing assistants and the LPNs - Licensed Practical Nurses do almost everything. Of course, if they are at a hospital and it is more of a long-term care wing for patients with medical conditions - many might have respirators - then the RN will be in charge over that. Or I guess there can be an RN in charge over the LVNs. But if it's just a regular geriatric ward, it's unusual to see an RN with direct patient care.

10-12-2005, 04:37 PM
Well, since it won't actually come into the story directly, it's only for my satisfaction in knowing that much more about the character. But if I do decide the reader needs to know, I'm thinking the character might have more of a tangential role there in addition to her usual schedule.

Thanks again!