It’s one thing to know that you want to become a nurse but there are actually a number of different kinds of nurses who work in many different fields of medicine and in many different settings. The one thing every type of nurse has in common though is that their primary function is to provide the highest quality care to the patients in their charge and each type of nurse does so in a different way. Here are some of they types of nurses that are making a difference in patients lives all over the country, and indeed all over the world today:
Certified Nursing Assistant – A certified nursing assistant, also known as a CNA, a nurse’s aide or a home health aide provide their patients with assistance with the most basic of daily tasks but can often be the nurse that a patient comes to rely upon the most, especially in a long term care or home setting. As they often spend hours with the same patient a certified nursing assistant serves as an extra set of eye and ears for the nurses and doctors under whose supervision they work as they are often the people who notice small and subtle, but sometimes crucial changes in a patient’s state of health and well being first. LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO BECOME A CNA
Licensed Practical Nurse – A licensed practical nurse, also known as a licensed vocational nurse in some US states, can find work in almost every area of the medical field, providing basic care to patients of all kinds. An LPN has more training and education than a CNA and therefore can perform a more complex set of duties that include monitoring basic vital signs, administering some medications, providing health education and after care instruction and a more experienced LPN often supervises others while still working under the supervision of an RN or physician. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING AN LPN
Registered Nurse – Registered nurses comprise the largest professional occupation in health care in general and often form the backbone of the staff at any medical institution. Once they have completed their basic training and education there are a number of specialist areas of medicine a registered nurse can choose to practice in including working with a certain type of patient (for example: children, expectant mothers, seniors) in a certain department of medicine at a hospital (ER, OR, acute and intensive care and other settings) or in a particular type of medicine (radiology, oncology, geriatrics to name but a few) Registered nurses have to be prepared to be flexible and to be ready to be responsible for the actions of those nurses under their supervision while still providing the highest standard of care to the patients they are assigned to work with. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING AN RN
Public Health Nurse – A public health nurse is a registered nurse who has chosen to specialize in community health services, whether those are provided in a hospital or clinic setting or by traveling to schools, nursing homes, or even offices to provide answers to community health concerns and assistance to those who may not know where to turn to receive the right help for their unique health concerns. Many public health nurses , in addition to still fulfilling their daily duties as an RN work with local authorities, insurance companies and even state legislators to help make health care in their communities more effective and more accessible for all. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE.
Travel Nurse – A travel nurse is usually a registered nurse (although there are some limited opportunities for LPNs as well) who is willing to travel from medical facility to medical facility, often across the country, to temporarily fill a pressing need where a nursing shortage would impact the level of care that a certain medical facility is capable of providing. Most of their assignments are short – around 3 months in duration on average – and a travel nurse has the opportunity to experience many different fields of medicine and areas of the county but needs to be very flexible in their attitudes and almost literally be prepared for anything. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A TRAVEL NURSE
Occupational Health Nurse – Occupational nurses are registered nurses who deliver health services and heath education to worker populations withing industry and business. Depending upon their employer they may provide emergency on site medical care, conduct health seminars, advise individuals about health related issues and assist employees with their health insurance concerns. Many large companies of all kinds employ at least one full time occupational nurse while some occupational nurses chose to take on a consulting role, traveling from small business to small business to provide assistance in a great many different ways. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING AN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSE
Home Health Nurse – A home health nurse is an LPN or RN who travels out into the community to provide care to patients within the confines of their own home. A home health nurse can expect to work with many different kinds of patients if they choose to as home health services are not only required by seniors but also those recovering from a long illness, a serious injury, major surgery or those suffering from a chronic condition. Home health nurses not only provide nursing care and support to their patients but to patients’ families as well, helping them learn how to help care for their loved one as well as providing a source of much needed support. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A HOME HEALTH NURSE.
Nurse Practitioner – A nurse practitioner is an RN who goes through extra education and training until they are qualified and legally able to perform many of the same functions as a physician does. There are several types of nurse practitioner and their extra training and experience allows them to practice independent of the supervision of a physician. A nurse practitioner often serves as the primary source of routine medical care for entire families and they are increasingly forming a large part of the licensed medical staff providing care in community health centers, family medicine practices and in pediatrician’s offices. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A NURSE PRACTITIONER
Certified Nurse Midwife – A nurse midwife is an RN who has chosen to specialize in OB/GYN medicine and has undergone extra training and education in order to be able to perform many of the duties that an OB/GYN doctor does. In addition to caring for expectant mothers and delivering babies many nurse midwives serve the same function as a doctor in the general practice of gynecology and may see the same patient from puberty through childbirth and menopause. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A NURSE MIDWIFE
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – A nurse anesthetist is a registered nurse who undertakes at least 2 to 3 years of specialist additional training so that they can provide anesthesia services in hospitals, same day surgery centers and even dentists’ offices. A CRNA is responsible for patient care and monitoring in terms of anesthesia before, during and immediately after procedures and are often the primary providers of anesthesia in previously under-served community hospitals in more rural areas all over the country. LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING A NURSE ANESTHETIST