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Different Types of Nurses and Benefits of Each

Different Types of Nurses and Benefits of Each

Are you looking for a rewarding job in a rapidly growing industry where you can feel like you made a difference every day?  Look no further than the nursing industry.

There are many different types of nurses with a variety of specialties that are sure to please everyone. Nursing positions vary in the amount of education required, pay expected, and daily environment.

The bottom line is that the nursing field overall offers opportunities for anyone who is interested in being an integral part of patient care.

Keep reading to learn more about the most popular nursing specialties and what you can expect from each position. 

Registered Nurse

If you are interested in joining the nursing profession, the best place to start is by getting your nursing license and becoming a registered nurse.

Registered nurses usually work as part of a team with doctors and other medical professionals, including non-clinical staff. Registered nurses can work in a variety of environments providing patient care and education.

Examples of common environments for registered nurses include hospitals and residential care facilities.

There is more than one type of registered nurse. You can either become a traditional RN (Registered Nurse) or you can become a BSN (meaning you earned a bachelor's degree in nursing. To begin working as a nurse, you will need at least an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree.

Once you have earned your degree, you will have to meet your state's requirements to obtain your license. Then, you can start working as a nurse in the field. As a registered nurse, you'll have a lifetime of opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. 

Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses are similar to regular nurses, but they have some extra training. Critical care nurses receive the same general nursing education as registered nurses and then receive additional training for handling emergency situations.

This means that nurses with critical care training can treat serious wounds and monitor life support systems to keep patients alive. Critical care nurses are required to obtain additional certification in advanced cardiac life support.

A nurse needs to be able to remain calm in stressful situations and be able to think on their feet to succeed in this specialty. If you thrive in high-pressure environments, there will always be an opening for you as a critical care nurse. Critical care nurses can work in hospitals or doctors' offices. 

ER Nurse

Emergency room nurses are registered nurses with additional certification as a certified emergency nurse (CEN). This additional certification provides training for evaluating, stabilizing, and treating patients with a variety of ailments in hospital emergency departments.

ER nurses are tasked with reviewing patients' medical histories and determining a proper course of treatment in conjunction with the department's medical doctors and support staff. ER nurses will administer medications and treat common injuries and illnesses. They may also be responsible for triaging patients.

Being an ER nurse can be stressful but ultimately rewarding. To be successful in this specialty, you must be capable of performing your job duties in a high-pressure environment. 

Cardiac Nurse

Cardiac nurses are in especially high demand due to an increased need for cardiac care among Americans. Cardiac disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States.

Cardiac nurses are specialized in providing care to patients with heart-related issues. Cardiac nurses also assist doctors with heart-related procedures. These might include pacemaker surgery, angioplasty, and bypass operations.

If you're a nurse or want to become a nurse and you have a special interest in heart-related issues, cardiology is the specialty for you. As a cardiac nurse, you will help develop treatment plans and assist in operations to help adults of all ages and ethnicities.

Besides hospitals, cardiac nurses can also work in rehab facilities and in patients' own homes. 

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

This nursing specialty offers a unique opportunity to practice medicine while also leading a team of other nurses.

Becoming a CNS will require some additional education. You'll need at least a master's degree and possibly even a doctoral degree. Of course, you'll also make more money in this position.

As a clinical nurse specialist, you will technically be an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). This means that you are a registered nurse with additional education and skills. These specialists work in hospitals, doctors' offices, in patients' homes, and in other environments with the goal of improving the quality of patient care.

They work with other nurses and medical staff to lead, educate, and advise on patient care. If you're interested in taking your nursing career to the management level, consider this specialty. 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

If you enjoy the idea of being a nurse but are looking for a more challenging role, consider becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). This type of nurse has highly specialized training that allows them to assist with administering anesthesia to patients during surgeries.

To become a CRNA, a nurse must receive additional education by earning a master's degree and working for at least one year in an acute care setting such as an intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital.

Because of their education and training, as well as the high demand for this type of nurse, certified registered nurse anesthetists are some of the highest-paid registered nurses. These types of nurses assist anesthesiologists and help manage their patients' pain when they undergo a medical procedure. 

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

A nurse practitioner is another type of nurse whose advanced education and training allow them to provide more in-depth care to patients. Nurse practitioners are required to have at least a master's degree and possibly a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

This type of nurse can work in a variety of settings including hospitals and doctors' offices. Many nurse practitioners choose to become Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP). In this role, they see patients on a routine and emergency basis and can provide comprehensive care for a number of ailments.

These nurses can conduct examinations, order tests, and even prescribe medication. They function much like a medical doctor in these capacities, although more complicated cases will be escalated to the physician or physician's assistant.

Depending on the specialty of medicine a nurse practitioner wants to work in, they may be required to become certified and log a certain number of clinical hours. This role continues to be in high demand and nurses who choose this path can expect to be paid well for their additional skill set. 

Surgical Nurse

Surgical nurses are also sometimes called operating room nurses or perioperative nurses. This type of nurse provides care to patients before and after the patient undergoes a surgical operation.

They can work in pre or post-op or in the operating room (OR) itself. Surgical nurses assist surgeons by preparing operating rooms, preparing and managing the surgical tools used for the procedure, and performing direct patient care during the procedure.

To specialize in this area of nursing, a registered nurse must obtain additional certifications as a CNOR and a Certified Nurse First Assistant (CNFA). Surgical nurses can expect to work in hospitals, surgery centers, as well as outpatient facilities. 

Nurse Manager

If you're interested in being a nurse but also have a passion for leadership, then becoming a nurse manager might be right for you. Nurse managers work in a clinical setting but have the added responsibility of managing other nurses.

To become a nurse manager, you must be a registered nurse and earn some additional certifications. These include Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and/or Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML).

Nurse management is an administrative position. These nurses can expect to be responsible for a team of nurses, recruiting new nurses, scheduling their staff, and managing a budget. Nurse managers are needed in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient facilities, and surgery centers. 

Nursing Administrator

Nursing administrators are similar to nurse managers but with added responsibility.

They usually work in either hospitals or outpatient facilities. Nurse administrators are responsible for larger teams of nurses, usually entire units.

They keep these units running effectively by applying organizational management skills. Necessary certifications vary based on the specialty of care you choose. 

Public Health Nurse

If you have a passion for health and wellness that inspires your daily life, you should consider becoming a public health nurse. In this role, you will work to advocate for public health and educate your community about important health information.

Within this role, public health nurses educate community members and patients about how to stay healthy and prevent disease as well as different treatment options should they need them. Public health nurses can also assist in providing medical care.

They usually work in hospitals or community clinics.

To become a public health nurse, you must be a registered nurse and also pass a public/community health nursing exam. In this role, you will have an impact on your community and larger groups of people.

Public health nurses are in high demand right now due to the coronavirus pandemic

Nurse Educator

If you love the nursing field and are inspired by the idea of paving the way for the next generation of nurses, you would make a great nurse educator.

Nurse educators are registered nurses who also hold a master's degree. They must also pass a certified nurse educator examination.

These nurses teach nursing students how to care for patients, both comprehensively and in specific areas of care. Nurse educators typically work in hospitals as well as education centers such as community colleges and universities. 

Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives are registered nurses with additional certification from the American College of Nurse Midwives. Nurses in this specialty focus on providing care to pregnant women.

They assist pregnant women during prenatal appointments as well as during labor and delivery. After a patient has given birth, nurse midwives continue to provide care by educating and helping new mothers adjust.

Nurse midwives take a holistic approach to the care they provide.  

Travel Nurse

One of the most in-demand nursing specialties is the travel nurse. This type of nurse is a registered nurse who works in many different settings. Travel nurses work on a contract and spend short amounts of time in various locations.

They receive an hourly amount as well as a stipend for housing costs. Travel nurses have the unique opportunity to explore the world while they work. They can grow both professionally and personally as they treat patients around the world and live and work in different settings.

Any registered nurse can become a travel nurse. You will simply need any relevant certifications in your area of specialty. You can expect to work in doctors' offices and hospitals. 

Other Nursing Specialties

As a registered nurse, you have the opportunity to work in a variety of care specialties beyond just family medicine. Registered nurses can specialize in areas of care such as pediatrics, oncology, and orthopedics.

In these roles, nurses will have unique duties related to the specialty. If one of these, or another specialty stands out to you, consider looking into the relevant certifications you may need to obtain. 

Are You Interested in Becoming One of These Types of Nurses?

As you can see, the nursing field is full of opportunities for just about anyone. There are so many different types of nurses that at least one specialty is sure to fit your skillset.

Are you a registered nurse looking to find the perfect career fit?

Are you an employer looking to find the top healthcare candidates to fill your job openings?

Let us help!  We connect healthcare professionals, including nurses, to employers. Click here to sign up and get started today. 

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