A health care professional who has graduated from a formal nursing education program and is licensed to practice by the state board. RNs who provide direct patient care observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress, which provides the basis for care planning and intervention.  RNs educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

In addition to direct patient care and case management, RNs establish nursing practice standards, develop quality assurance procedures and conduct clinical research.