Seven Types of Nurses

Nurses are respected members of the medical field. If you are choosing a career in the nursing, it is important to learn about the different types of nurses and what to expect in each role. The seven most common types of nurses are:

1. Registerered Nurse (RN): Registered nurses work in almost every sector of the medical profession. They perform a number of important tasks such as administering medication, performing certain medical procedures such as injections, monitoring vital signs, educating, and advising patients about their medical status.
2. Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA): Certified nurse assistants are also known as nurses’ aides, patient care technicians, home health aides, and home health assistants. If you are looking to hire a long term caregiver, this will probably be the certification that you are looking for. Certified nursing assistants work in nursing homes, private homes, hospitals, and assisted living centers. CNAs perform a variety of different functions including: monitoring health by measuring temperature, pulse, and other vitals as well as activities of daily living such as bathing, walking, meals and administering certain types of medication.
3. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): Licensed practical nurses work in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, and private homes. LPNs generally require less formal training than CNAs or RNs. They perform a lot of the same functions as the certified nurse assistant such as activities of daily living and monitoring vitals.
4. Critical Care Nurse: This is a branch of nursing dedicated to critical care patients. These nurses work in the intensive care unit of hospitals and clinics. Critical care nurses tend to those who have serious life threatening conditions.
5. Travel Nurse: There is a growing trend in nursing to employ temporary traveling nurses. These nurses provide short term support when there is a shortage of nurses at a facility. Because there is an overall shortage of nurses in the medical field, these nurses are in high demand. These assignments are usually short term but the pay can be very high. Assignments usually last about 13 weeks.
6. Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN): Another common acronym you may see in home healthcare or nursing homes is a LVN. LVNs do procedures such as giving enemas, treating bedsores, bandaging wounds, and recording vitals.
7. Nurse Practitioner: Nurse practitioners are specialized Registered Nurses who receive additional training, which allow them to carry out many tasks normally performed by a physician. This includes tasks such as diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries. Some states also allow nurse practitioners to write prescriptions.

Last Modified April 3, 2010 @ 2:43 pm
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