Types of nurses.
Nursing is a diverse field that includes a lot of roles and specializations. Nurses are found to work in different healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare. They also provide care to patients, educate them and their families, and assist physicians and other healthcare professionals. In this article, different types of nurses and their roles are discussed:
Registered Nurse (RN)
They are licensed healthcare professionals who work in different healthcare settings. They do different tasks, such as administering medication, monitoring, providing care, and educating patients and their families about their health and different medications. Registered nurses often work closely with physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals to provide better patient care.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed practical nurses, also called licensed vocational nurses (LVN), used to work under the supervision of registered nurses and physicians. They help provide basic patient care, such as monitoring vital signs, administering medication, and assisting in other daily activities such as bathing and dressing. They usually work in nursing homes, clinics, and hospitals.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Certified nursing assistants help provide direct patient care but under the supervision of registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. They also assist with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and feeding patients. They work in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses with a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. They help provide primary and specialty care services, such as diagnosing and treating illnesses, prescribing medication, and ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests. Nurse practitioners used to work in various healthcare settings, like hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practice registered nurses specializing in a particular area. They help provide direct patient care, educate healthcare professionals and patients, and conduct further research to improve patient outcomes. Clinical nurse specialists work in different healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and universities.
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Certified registered nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthesia to patients before any surgical procedure. They work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, surgical centers, and dental offices.
Post Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse (PACU Nurse)
Nurses usually provide observation and treatment services to patients who have recieved anesthesia. They are deployed to provide post-anesthesia care to patients.
Travel nurses used to work on short-term assignments in different healthcare settings. They help provide temporary staff relief to hospitals and other healthcare facilities if there are staff shortages or peak patient volumes. Travel nurses must have a valid nursing license and at least one year of nursing experience. They work for a staffing agency and take temporary nursing positions in providing different nursing facilities nationwide and globally. The typical assignment length for travel nurses is usually an 8-week minimum.
Pediatric nurses specialize in providing Healthcare to children from birth to adolescence. They provide direct patient care, educate patients and their families about pediatric health issues, and assist pediatricians in diagnosing and treating illnesses. Pediatric nurses are found to work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and schools.
Oncology nurses specialize in providing care to patients who are diagnosed with cancer. They help provide direct patient care, educate the patients and their families about different cancer treatment options and side effects, and assist oncologists in administering chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Oncology nurses work in several healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and cancer treatment centers.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse
Psychiatric-mental health nurses specialize in caring for patients with mental health and behavioral disorders. They provide counseling and medication management, conduct therapy sessions, and collaborate with psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans. Psychiatric-mental health nurses work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, and community mental health centers. They take care of patients with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia, and substance abuse.
Geriatric nurses are specialists in providing Healthcare to elderly patients. They do different jobs, such as patient care, monitoring patients’ health and safety, managing medications, and assisting with daily activities such as bathing and dressing. Geriatric nurses work in different healthcare settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals. A nurse whose nursing practice focuses on the elderly population is a geriatric nurse.
Rehabilitation nurses specialize in providing care to patients with disabilities or chronic illnesses. They help in assisting with daily activities, like mobility, self-care, and communication, and monitor patient’s progress and response to their treatment. Rehabilitation nurses work in several healthcare settings, such as rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.
Forensic nurses specialize in providing care to patients who have experienced violence, abuse, or trauma. They collect and document evidence related to the patients, provide medical care to them, help in counseling, and also collaborate with law enforcement and other healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and justice. Forensic nurses work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and forensic labs.
Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nurses provide care to patients who have life-threatening illnesses or injuries. They help monitor patients’ vital signs, administer medication, and also help in assisting with life-saving procedures like intubation and mechanical ventilation. Critical care nurses work in various healthcare settings, including intensive care units (ICUs), emergency departments, and flight transport teams.
Neonatal nurses help in providing care for newborn infants who need medical attention. They monitor newborns’ vital signs, administer medication, and provide specialized care for premature or sick babies. Neonatal nurses work in various healthcare settings, including neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), hospitals, and pediatric clinics.
Nurse educators teach nursing students and healthcare professionals about nursing theory and practice. They develop curricula, teach different courses, and evaluate the student’s performance. Nurse educators work in various healthcare settings, including colleges, universities, and hospitals.
Perioperative nurses care for patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. They work with surgeons and anesthesiologists to prepare patients for surgery, monitor their vital signs during surgery, and provide post-operative care.
Let’s have a quick look at the short definition of other nurses to know about different types of nurses and their roles in short descriptions:
An agency nurse works for the period of their contract timing through a third-party agency. At the same time, a contract nurse will contract directly with the facility.
They are concerned with the HIV/AIDS problems and help handle those patients.
Ambulatory Care Nurse
A nurse that takes care of patients seeking medical care for acute or chronic illnesses. Typically the help is in an outpatient setting.
Associate Degree Nurse
A nurse who has the license to practice but has an associate’s degree in nursing from a 2-year junior college instead of a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a 4-year university.
A nurse who takes care of obese patients.
Burn Care Nurse
A nurse who treats patients who are burnt by any kind, such as fire, chemicals, etc.
When there is, a nurse is required far away from the hospital, then in that case, a camping nurse is needed. Typically a job that’s considered kid-focused, but not all camps are geared towards kids. Along with the kids, there are adults too.
Cardiac Care Nurse
A nurse who handles patients suffering from heart disease like heart failure (CHF) or coronary heart disease (CAD). They also care for patients recovering from heart surgery, such as a heart bypass.
Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse
A nurse who works with patients who have undergone a heart catheterization procedure.
Certified Nurse Midwife
An advanced practice registered nurse who specializes in childbirth and reproductive health.
Clinical Nurse Leader
An advanced practice nurse’s job is to improve safety and quality outcomes for a specific patient and population.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
A nurse who becomes specialized in a specific area or type of nursing.
A nurse who provides care to patients with urinary or fecal incontinence.
Correctional Facility Nurse
A nurse takes care of patients in jails, prisons, and other correctional-type institutions.
Critical Care Nurse
A nurse that takes care of critically ill patients. These are patients usually found in the intensive care unit or ICU.
A nurse who takes care of patients with skin disorders or diseases.
Developmental Disability Nurse
A nurse that works with patients who have mental or physical disabilities. For example, down syndrome.
A nurse who works with patients who have diabetes.
Domestic Violence Nurse
A nurse that takes care of patients who have been the victims of domestic violence.
Emergency Room Nurse
A nurse who works in the ER takes care of patients dealing with anything from minor bumps and bruises to acute and life-threatening symptoms.
A nurse that takes care of patients who have endocrine disorders. For example, diabetes and pituitary disorders.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
A nurse who takes care of patients across their lifespan.
A nurse whose patients are either couples or individuals who have fertility or reproductive issues.
Also called a transport nurse. This kind of nurse takes care of patients in remote locations, stabilizing them until they can be transported via aircraft to the nearest emergency facility.
Freelance Nurse Writer
A nurse that writes for publications. It can be books, blogs, articles, journals, etc.
A nurse works closely with the legal system to collect forensic evidence in a case of a victim of violence.
Also called an endoscopy nurse. These nurses work with patients with an illness related to the GI tract.
A nurse that works with patients with hereditary illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
An advanced practice nurse whose primary focus is the elderly population.
Health Policy Nurse
Helps in the legislation process by providing input in creating public health policies.
This nurse takes care of patients with blood disorders such as hemophilia.
Home Health Nurse
A nurse takes care of patients in the patient’s home itself.
A nurse who provides care to patients with a terminal illness. These kinds of patients require much compassionate care because the goal is to minimize pain and allow the patient to pass on with dignity.
Infection Control Nurse
A nurse helps prevent infections in a hospital or clinic setting.
A nurse administers medications to patients via intravenous lines, central lines, and other access ports.
A nurse who travels and provides care in other parts of the world. They are similar to a travel nurse.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
A nurse that cares for women during labor, pain, and childbirth handles everything related to labor and child.
Helps new moms in learning how to breastfeed and bond with their newborns.
Legal Nurse Consultant
A nurse that works with lawyers as a medical expert in legal cases. As a medical experts, they help the lawyers understand the case’s medical and Healthcare-related points.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
A nurse who has graduated from LPN school can take care of patients. An LPN can function independently or under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.
Long-term Care Nurse
A nurse who helps care for patients who need medical attention for an extended period of time because of an ongoing medical condition, disability, or illness.
Managed Care Nurse
A nurse who works with patients (young to elderly), providers, medical facilities, insurance companies, and government agencies to provide high-quality Healthcare while keeping costs down.
A medical surgical nurse works with various patients on a Med-Surg floor. From pre- to post-surgery to minor and severe illnesses, the med-surg nurse will see it all.
A nurse that works in the military and cares for military patients.
A nurse who works for a non-profit organization (religious or non-religious) provides care to patients who are often in underserved areas or parts of the world.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse (Nicu Nurse)
A nurse takes care of premature and usually critically ill newborns in the NICU of a hospital.
A nurse that takes care of patients with kidney problems/disease.
Takes care of patients with central nervous system disorders.
A nurse that’s the liaison between physicians and patients. In a certain capacity, all nurses are advocates for their patients.
A nurse who has both their nursing and law license and degrees.
A nurse that holds a high-level management position in a hospital. For example, the chief nursing officer.
Nurse Life Care Planner
A nurse who creates a long-term care plan for a patient will need some form of medical care and attention for the rest of their life.
The nursing supervisor for a floor or a unit. It can also be the hiring and firing manager.
See certified nurse midwife.
Nurse + entrepreneur = nursepreneur. This is a nurse who is also an entrepreneur. They use their training to start their own business. While it’s more commonly referenced for nurses who start Healthcare or nursing-related businesses, it doesn’t necessarily have to.
Nurses design studies and analyze results for the improvement of nursing practice.
Also called an OB nurse. The nurse cares for female patients during labor, pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They are somewhat similar to labor nurses.
Occupational Health Nurse
A nurse whose job is to protect the safety and well-being of employees.
Operating Room Nurse (OR Nurse)
A nurse works in the OR and assists the surgeons during the surgery. The OR nurse can work either before, during, or after surgery.
A nurse that takes care of patients with eye disease or illness. For example, glaucoma.
A nurse that takes care of patients who have musculoskeletal issues. For example, fractures and osteoporosis.
A nurse that cares for patients with ear, nose, throat, head, and neck disorders.
Pain Management Nurse
A nurse that takes care of patients with chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
An advanced practice nurse who cares for children by providing primary care services.
A nurse who works for a facility on a temporary or as-needed basis (i.e., not a regular full-time staff).
Plastic Surgery Nurse
A nurse takes care of patients undergoing cosmetic and sometimes surgical procedures. For example, liposuction and face lifts.
Public Health Nurse
A public health nurse educates and cares for patients/people within a community.
A nurse that takes care of patients with respiratory disorders or illnesses.
Quality Improvement Nurse
A nurse that focuses on improving the quality of medical facilities.
Takes care of patients who are undergoing radiation treatments.
A nurse who does clinical trials to figure out new evidence-based practice.
A nurse whose patients are dealing with rheumatic diseases. For example, osteoarthritis and gout.
A nurse who works in rural geographical areas. Often these areas are going to have limited access to health care.
A nurse who takes care of children in school. Typically Pre-K to middle school is what people usually think about when they think of school nurses. But it can also include nurses caring for high school and college students.
A nurse’s job is to care for patients who require around-the-clock care. The difference between this and a long-term care nurse is that subacute nurse patient usually only require short care.
Substance Abuse Nurse
A specialized version of psychiatric nursing specifically deals with patients with substance abuse.
A nurse monitors patients on life-sustaining or life-monitoring equipment such as an electrocardiogram.
Telephone Triage Nurse
Helps patients over the phone by assessing their needs and ensuring they’re referred to the right healthcare facility or provider.
A nurse who takes care of patients who have swallowed poison or come into contact with toxic chemicals or venomous animals.
A nurse that provides culturally sensitive and inclusive care.
A urology nurse takes care of patients with diseases or illnesses related to the urinary system.
Veterans Affairs Affairs
Works in the VA health system and helps in taking care of veterans.
Wound Care Nurse
A wound care nurse usually helps care for patients with wounds, either by medical procedures or injury and disease.