A Student Nurse's Duties


Student nurses regularly practice what they have learned in the classroom by attending clinical rotations. These rotations are supervised by a nursing instructor. Though student nurses have a limited scope of practice and must obtain supervision and approval for much of the care they provide to patients, they perform a variety of duties. Those duties include taking a health history, administering medication and drawing blood.

Health History and Physical Exam

  • One of a student nurse's first duties is to obtain a health history of her patient. The health history includes an extensive series of questions designed to allow the student nurse to understand the patient's health problems, family health issues and possible psychological issues.

    Upon completion of the health history, the student nurse must perform a head-to-toe examination of her patient. All abnormalities must be noted, even if they were previously discussed while obtaining the health history.

Administer Medication

  • The student nurse is responsible for administering all ordered medication to his patient during the day of his clinical rotation. Prior to administering the medication, he must research his patient's medications for their therapeutic uses, dosage limits, proper administration and any factors that would make administering them inadvisable. Once these steps have been completed, the student nurse, must prepare and administer the medication properly. This includes ensuring the right medication is administered to the right patient in the right dose by the right route at the right time, a procedure called the "five rights."

Provide Nursing Care

  • It is the student nurse's responsibility to care for her patient throughout the day of her clinical rotation. She is responsible for providing basic nursing care, including taking vital signs and assisting her patient with eating and bathing if necessary. She is also responsible for providing more advanced care, such as changing dressings, starting IVs, drawing blood and caring for catheters if necessary.

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  • "Mosby's Tour Guide to Nursing School"; Melodie Chenevert; 2006
  • "How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: Guide for Students by Students"; Kelli S. Dunham; 2008
  • "Nursing School Success"; Donamarie Wilfong; 2007
  • Photo Credit nurse chris image by John Keith from Fotolia.com
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