25 Different Types Of Nurses In The USA, Explained

All around you there are signs of the nursing world. Whether it is your favorite television show or movie, your visit to the doctor’s office, or in the news reporting about the nursing shortages.

Why, hearing the news of these shortages may make you want to make a career change and become a nurse or a physician’s assistant.

Different nurses.

But, did you know that there are twenty-five different types of nurses that are currently in high demand? Keep reading to learn more!

  • Registered Nurse (RN) – These are the most common types of nurses and they help doctors out in a variety of medical settings. They perform a variety of tasks such as patient care, case management, and planning a patient’s treatment
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – These nurses work under an RN. They can check vital signs, give medication, and injections.
  • Travel Nurse – These nurses work at a facility on a temp basis and they travel wherever they are needed—be it on the national level or internationally.
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP) – These nurses will have the supervision of a doctor, but they are given more autonomy and can take on many roles that a doctor would do. They can diagnose diseases, prescribe medication, and they can create a treatment plan.
  • Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse (ICU RN) – These nurses work in the ICU of a hospital and they are key in providing care to people with severe injuries or illnesses. Some places will call these nurses critical care nurses and could be found in specialty hospitals or deal with children. To become an ICU RN, you will need training and/or continued education
  • Medical-Surgical Nurse (MS Nurse) – These nurses work with adult patients in various settings. These nurses must have excellent assessment, organizational, prioritization, and technical skills. They can treat various ailments and provide holistic care.
  • Emergency Room Nurse (ER Nurse) – These nurses are going to work in the ER, providing care for patients who are experiencing some kind of trauma or injury. To be an ER nurse, you have to be able to handle high stress and keep calm while providing comfort to the patients you are caring for.
  • Operating Room Nurse (OR Nurse) – These nurses are also known as perioperative nurses or scrub nurses. They care for the patient at all stages (before, during, and after) surgery. They work with the surgical team and act as a liaison between the team and the patient’s family.
  • Home Health Nurse – These nurses visit their patients at home and provide care. The patients are usually the elderly, or those with developmental or mobility problems.
  • Nurse Case Manager – These nurses generally work in long term care facilities and specialize in treating the elderly or those who are enduring treatment for serious diseases.
  • Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse(PACU Nurse) – These nurses work with patients who are coming out of anesthesia after a surgical procedure. They must be prepared to help patients who do not respond well to the anesthesia, who wake up feeling pain or confusion, and other complications.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist – These nurses are advanced-practice nurses who are capable of diagnosing and treating an illness that is within their expertise. They may focus on patients, their families, nurse management, and/or administration. Others on the nursing staff will often come to this nurse for guidance.
  • Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) – A nursing assistant (CNA) will help care the nursing staff care for patients by helping them bathe, use the restroom, eat, and other functions that require help. This is a great place for those thinking about joining the nursing field. To become an RN after being a CNA, you will need additional schooling and a degree.
  • Telemetry Nurse – These nurses are also called progressive care nurses and they are often the ones who provide constant care to patients in critical condition. In addition to the typical requirements of a nurse, they are able to monitor vital signs and use  advanced technical equipment.
  • Nurse Manager – These nurses supervise other nurses on the floor who are caring for patients. They often handle much of the administrative duties and often are called nurse supervisors. They are also responsible for hiring new nurses, as well as providing care for patients and families in need.
  • Staff Nurse – These nurses are often found in rehab centers, critical care centers, psychiatric and outpatient facilities. They provide a multitude of tasks like administering medications, performing IV therapy, and of course, direct patient care. These nurses can advance their careers to supervisory roles.
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse (NICU Nurse) – These nurses provide care for premature or very ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. They provide care for babies who need immediate care, life-saving technology, and comfort when they are upset.
  • Dialysis Nurse – These nurses provide care for patients who are suffering from kidney failure. They provide care for those going through dialysis and provide education for their condition and the medication they will use.
  • Pediatric Nurse – These nurses are found in the pediatric department and specialize in the needs of children of all ages. These nurses provide the same care as an RN, but for children.
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse – These nurses are going to help you bring your new bundle of joy into the world. They tend to your needs while you are in labor. They can induce labor, administer epidurals, time contractions, and educate the mother on how to nurse her new little one.
  • Cardiovascular Nurse – These nurses specialize in providing care for those with blood vessel or heart diseases. They are often in the hospital’s ICU and care for those who have had open heart surgery, life-threatening arrhythmias, or myocardial infarctions.
  • Psychiatric Health Nurse Practitioner – These nurses are crucial for the care of those undergoing psychiatric care due to mental health illnesses. They specialize in helping patients deal with their mental illness, crisis intervention, and administering medications as per the treatment team’s guidelines.
  • Radiology Nurse – Radiology nurses care for patients who are undergoing a diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy. They work with doctors and radiologic technologists the prepare patients for a number of tests.
  • School Nurse – These nurses provide your little ones with care when they are at school and they aren’t feeling well. They help prevent illnesses, injury, and promote health and wellness for both the student body and the staff.
  • Oncology Nurse – These nurses care for those who have cancer or who are at risk of getting the disease. These nurses will monitor the patient’s psychical condition, prescribe medications, and give chemotherapy and other treatments.

Regardless of what type of nurse you want to be, it is of paramount importance that you are a good communicator. Nurses have to often take charge and lead teams when it comes to managing patient cases and being brief and to the point is important. In the nursing field, the SBAR template is one such tool commonly used by nurses to help gather and organize their thinking so they can present it to physicians and other providers.

If you are convinced upon reading this article that this is the career path you want to choose, then think no more! Get yourself mentally prepared and rejoice the next steps on your journey towards becoming a valuable member of the society!

Get your FREE PRINTABLE copy of the SBAR TEMPLATE and download it here!!



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