What is a Staff Nurse? : Salary & Job Description

If you are finding a detailed analysis of staff nurses, this is the post for you. We have brought up some important facts about staff nurses that will help you understand their role in healthcare. We will also discuss their salary and eligibility criteria. You will also know about other important aspects of staff nurse. 

What is a Staff Nurse?

A Staff Nurse is a registered nurse who typically works in hospital environments and provides direct care to patients. They may specialize in areas such as pediatrics, oncology, or surgery. Staff Nurses ensure patients receive quality care and work collaboratively with doctors, other nurses, and ancillary staff to provide comprehensive patient care.

What Does a Staff Nurse Do?

The role of the staff nurse includes assessing patient needs, developing and implementing nursing plans, administering medications, monitoring vital signs and diagnostics; providing education about treatments and procedures; providing emotional support to patients and family members; and advocating for patient rights.

They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, case managers, social workers, physical therapists, dietitians, and psychologists. Staff nurses are essential members of the healthcare team who work tirelessly to ensure that patients receive quality care.

What Unit is Staff Nurse?

Staff nurses typically work in a specific unit, such as intensive care or cardiac care. They may also be assigned to departments within the hospital, such as 

  • Emergency Room
  • Operating Room
  • Post-Anesthesia Recovery area

The role of the staff nurse is critical in providing quality patient care; however, they may also be called upon to take on additional duties and responsibilities such as medical record-keeping, scheduling appointments, and performing administrative tasks.

How to Become Staff Nurse?

Educational Eligibility- A diploma or ADN is the minimum educational requirement to become a staff nurse. However, many employers prefer that applicants have a BSN and/or other post-baccalaureate qualifications.

Licensure & Certification: All states require staff nurses to be licensed and/or certified. Depending on the state, this may include passing a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) or other certifying examinations.

Continuing Education: Staff nurses must complete continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with new developments in the healthcare field and maintain their licensure and certifications. Completing online courses and attending conferences are two common ways staff nurses can remain current in their area.

Essential Skills

  • Dedication to patient care
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Organizational and time management skills
  • Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Knowledge of medical terminology and procedures
  • Competency in the use of technology.

What is the Job Outlook for Staff Nurse?

The employment outlook for staff nurses is expected to remain strong, with a predicted growth rate of 16%. It will grow due to the aging population, advancements in medical technology, and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. 

The staff nurse is a critical player in the healthcare system who plays an integral part in providing high-quality care to patients. With the right qualifications and dedication, staff nurses can find meaningful employment opportunities that provide them with job satisfaction and career growth potential.

Pros and Cons of Being Staff Nurse


  • Rewarding and fulfilling career
  • Good salary and benefits
  • Variety of work environments
  • Opportunities for professional growth
  • Flexible schedules
  • Empowerment to help others.


  • High-stress levels due to patient care duties
  • Long and unpredictable hours
  • Risk of physical injury due to lifting and carrying patients
  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Financial strain due to high educational costs.

Overall, being a staff nurse is an enriching career that offers unique job opportunities and professional growth. With dedication and commitment, staff nurses can find meaningful employment in various healthcare settings. 

Salary of a Staff Nurse

A staff nurse’s salary varies based on factors such as experience, additional certifications/licenses, and the type of facility. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the median annual wage for registered nurses was $73,300. The highest 10% earned more than $109,820, while the lowest 10% earned less than $51,030.


Who is called staff nurse?

A staff nurse is a registered nurse who typically works in hospital environments and provides direct care to patients.

What is a senior staff nurse?

A senior staff nurse is an experienced registered nurse who may hold additional certifications and/or licenses. They typically have more responsibility within the hospital setting, such as supervising other staff nurses or managing patient care teams.

Is staff nurse a good job?

Yes, being a staff nurse can be rewarding and fulfilling. It offers competitive salaries and benefits, flexible schedules, and meaningful job opportunities. Additionally, the job outlook for staff nurses is expected to remain strong in the coming years.

Final Words

Staff nurses are an essential part of the healthcare system. They play a vital role in providing quality care to patients and often serve as patient advocates. Becoming a staff nurse requires dedication and commitment. Still, those who pursue this profession can find pleasure in knowing that they are making a positive difference in the lives of others.

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