Different Types of Nurses – Thinking Through Your Nursing Education

When planning a career path, taking a look at becoming a nurse will do several things for you. First, you’ll always have a job as nurses are always in demand, regardless of where you live. With all the different types of nurses needed, from those who help general practitioners with patients all the way through nurses for obstetrics and surgery, nurses of all skill levels and education levels are needed.

Careers Choices in Nursing

Here are a few consideration before selecting a nursing degree program and setting your career path.

  • The “lowest rung” on the ladder is as a nurse’s assistant. These people help nurses with patients and by taking care of other details that relieve more highly trained nurses to attend to their duties
  • Above an assistant is an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse. These nurses help take care of the sick in several ways. Answering patient calls, monitoring vital signs, applying and changing dressings, feeding patients and taking care of documentation are just a few duties these nurses will do.
  •  Next is the RN or Registered Nurse. While an RN may be directly involved in patient care including vital signs and patient comfort, they are also responsible for giving injections and medications. RN’s also supervise LPN’s and assistants and take care of administrative duties including medical records and communications.
  • There are several types of specialty nurses as well.
    • Nurse Practitioners have many of the same duties as a physician. They can diagnose and treat illnesses and can prescribe medicines. This enables the doctors to treat more serious cases.
    •  A CRNA or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist works in surgery like an anesthesiologist but leaves them free for complex surgeries.
    • Clinical Nurse Specialists or CNS’s work in different specialized areas including cardiac care, mental health, oncology, neonatology or obstetrics and gynecology.
    • A certified nurse midwife is also a specialist geared to helping during the birthing process. They can give prenatal care as well as deliver babies when there are no complications. Many midwives work with hospitals so if complications arise, such as the need for a Caesarian section, it can be handled easily.

The Rewards of Nursing

Becoming a nurse gives you a rewarding career regardless of what kind of nurse you become. With the more education and degrees you get, the better your pay and benefits will be, but being a nurse isn’t always about the paycheck. Helping patients and their families overcome illnesses and injuries is its own reward.

Author: Guest Blogger