The Registered General Nurse (RGN) programme was introduced in Ghana in February 1999 with the goal of producing polyvalent nurses who would practice nursing in any sector of the community.
The Registered General Nurse programme seeks to equip the individual or student nurse with knowledge, skills and attitudes to recognize the total health needs of individuals, families and communities to enable them participate effectively and efficiently in meeting those needs.
Since health is a relative state which is determined by several factors, over 25 courses are taught within six semesters including Research and Patient Care Study.
Students are also exposed to the realities of nursing clients on the wards because Nursing is essentially a practice based activity.
Who is a Registered General Nurse?
There are many kinds of nurses. Many specialize in one area of medicine, such as a labor and delivery nurse who helps deliver children. But a general nurse is trained to handle a variety of injuries and illnesses. Registered General Nurses might be found in the emergency room, where staff has no idea what type of illness or injury a patient will come in with. They also perform daily tasks for patients such as checking their pain levels and administering treatments.
Where Registered General Nurses Work
Nurses are everywhere you can imagine them to be and some places that you might find surprising.
They work in hospitals, primary care clinics, schools, nursing homes and hospices. But they also work for government agencies, the military, on college campuses and Fortune 500 companies across the country as occupational health workers.
As organizations place a greater emphasis on keeping their employees healthy, many have opened in-house clinics staffed with nurses who address health concerns during the day to their workers.
What Registered General Nurses Do
In comparison to nurses who concentrate on one specific type of medical care, general nurses provide a broader range of services to a more diverse group of patients. A look at job postings reveals the following as some of the most common tasks expected of them:
General nurses are among the first professionals encountered at healthcare facilities. They may ask about symptoms and take vital signs. Information obtained helps them judge the severity of the problem and how quickly other medical attention is needed.
Doctors may ask registered general nurses to perform certain procedures, such as drawing blood, giving an injection, administering medicine, or cleaning out a wound.
Recording information on medical charts can be part of registered general nurse duties, as can analyzing this data to look at changes over time. In hospitals and other care facilities, general nurses may stop in to see patients on a routine basis to evaluate their condition and answer questions.
Registered General Nurses often act as healthcare teachers. They may help patients better understand their diagnoses and teach them skills such as how to administer their medication or how to improve their diet. As situations dictate, they may talk with people about disease prevention, exercise, smoking cessation, nutrition, safe sex, and other pertinent topics.
If health care were a baseball team, registered general nurses would be the utility infielders, able to play many different positions, make quick decisions and add value all over the place (ECPI University, 2023).
General nurses provide direct patient care, which can include bathing and dressing patients, administering doctor-prescribed medications, and collecting fluid samples. They also assist physicians with exams, manage electronic medical records, and work to educate patients about medications, treatments, and healthy lifestyles.
Behind the scenes, general nurses manage insurance forms, supervise nursing aides and make sure the unit on which they work are well-stocked with the right supplies.
How to Become a Registered Nurses
To become a registered nurse in Ghana, you will have to complete a three-year diploma in Registered General Nursing in an approved health training institution and pass your NMC licensing examination. Registered nurses are certified by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Ghana.
When choosing which track to take, it is important to think ahead and determine what the educational preferences are for the type of work you want. Many working RNs opt to go back to school later to earn their Bachelor’s degree in General Nursing.
But whichever nursing level you decide on, you will still have to pass the licensing examination from the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The Challenges of Being a Registered General Nurse
Like any profession, nursing has its share of challenges. There are everyday hazards that come with handling sharp instruments and needles, the risk of becoming sick by being around people dealing with illness, and the need to stay up-to-date with all of the latest treatments and technology.
Outside of the office, one of the biggest challenges is having friends and family constantly asking about their health. After all, everyone loves nurses and respects them so much they constantly turn to them for help in and out of the healthcare environment.
Benefits of Being a Registered General Nurse
Most registered general nurses will tell you that the rewards associated with the profession by far outweigh the challenges they go through.
Nurses get to help people in need. They get to be there during some of the most important moments of a patient’s life. They work on the cutting edge of medicine. And they have outstanding career opportunities.
Qualities of A Registered General Nurses
All great nurses share some important qualities. After all, caring for the vulnerable carries with it a large amount of responsibility.
Nurses need to be compassionate, so they can treat all patients even those who might not be in the best mood with the utmost care. They need to be observant so they can share information that can improve patient outcomes with physicians and family members.
Being Patience is another quality that goes a long way toward making a nurse successful. Hospitals, clinics, schools, and other healthcare settings can be fast-paced environments. But nurses can’t make rash decisions and avoidable mistakes–there is simply too much riding on their ability to get it right.
Perhaps the most important quality great nurses share is the ability to communicate. Nurses need to be able to talk to physicians, patients and families at the same time.