According to the Bureau of Labor and statistics, registered nursing (RN) is among the top ten occupations with the largest job growth.  Registered nursing requires a base of knowledge used to assess, plan and intervene to promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness.  When providing direct patient care, nurses observe, assess and record symptoms, reactions and progress, which provides the basis for care planning and intervention. They are health educators and advocates for patients, families and communities.  
They have a unique scope of practice and they also collaborate with all members of the health care team to provide the care needed by each patient as an individual.  
RN roles range from direct patient care and case management to establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality assurance procedures, directing complex nursing care systems, conducting clinical research and teaching in nursing programs, as well as practicing in many other invigorating settings.
RNs also develop and manage nursing care plans, instruct patients and their families in proper care and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health.  While state laws govern the scope of nursing practice, it is usually patient needs that determine a nurse's daily job activities.
Professional nursing responsibilities have changed considerably over time. Nurses today are highly respected and valued members of the health care team who bring their own body of knowledge to the process of healthcare. Nurses work in collaboration with physicians and members of other healthcare disciplines.  There are numerous specialty options -- each of which has its own training/certification requirements and related professional network or organization.

A "Completion Program" is a nursing program where an Associate degree RN (ASN) can complete the required coursework to earn a Bachelor's degree in nursing.  With the statewide changes in nursing programs, the ASN degree can be completed in as few as five semesters..  To finish the BSN Completion Program, a student will be required to take the equivalent of three more semesters or 49 credits.

Working Conditions

Most nurses work in healthcare facilities, although home health and public health nurses travel to their patients' homes, schools, community centers and other sites.
RNs may spend considerable time walking and standing.  They also need to be able to cope well with stress, since nursing involves direct involvement with human suffering, emergencies and other pressures.

Job Outlook & Salary

The median hourly wage for an RN in Montana is $28.78 and an experienced nurse can earn considerably more.

Curriculum Changes

One of HealthCARE Montana's main objectives is to evaluate, streamline and transform the nursing curricula at the statewide level to meet industry needs, such as workforce shortages.  To view the BSN Completion Program curriculum changes, please click the button below:

Programs Offered Here