Getting Into Nursing – The Different Types of Nurses and How You Can Become One

Different nursing careers (Photo credit:
Different nursing careers (Photo credit:
Different nursing careers (Photo credit:

Among the greatest workforce in the field of health care services comes one of the noblest professions – being a nurse. For the past few years, the need for health care workers has been increasing due to the increase in the number of individuals who are getting old or sick from certain health conditions.

Nurses, as a part of the health care team, have been in demand in several health care settings such as hospitals, diagnostic centers and clinics. Specializations for nurses have also been developed to enhance their knowledge in specific fields of practice.

Nurses with specific specialization perform different functions from home care to hospital wards to other special areas. There are many different types of nurses based on qualifications, specializations and area of practice.

This only shows how helpful this profession is and how advanced it can be. Understanding these types can be very useful for every individual wanting to start a career in this field so they can choose which type is best for them.

Different Types of Nurses According to Specialization

Specializing in one field of practice is one way to make a nurse become an expert in the area. If you are looking for a specialization, you should focus on the one that interests you the most. In this way, you can function at your best in providing the utmost care to your clients.

1. Cardiovascular nurses

Those specializing in the cardiovascular field undergo in-depth study of surgical procedures performed on the heart including management options for cardiac disorders. Cardiovascular nurses care for patients suffering from different disorders of the heart such as myocardial infarction and angina pectoris. They are mostly hired in different heart centers across the US.

2. Nephrology nurses

Nephrology nurses specialize in caring for patients suffering from different kidney disorders. They perform different functions and tests in caring for the patient. They can be found in different areas of the hospital since kidney disorders can arise as a complication from different disorders. Thay can be found in medical areas as well as in surgical fields.

3. Gerontological nurses

Gerontological nurses deal with elderly patients. They do not only provide assistance to the patient but to his or her family as well. This specialty can be very challenging since it involves dealing with the changes that happen to the patient as a result of aging. Most are hired in hospice care settings and home for the aged centers.

4. Critical care nurses

These are nurses who work in ICU’s and other critical units. They are trained to perform emergency management procedures in cases of cardiac and respiratory arrest among the critically-ill patients. They are knowledgeable in operating equipment in the ICU to prolong the life of the patients.

5. Rehabilitation nurses

Rehabilitation (rehab) nurses work in orthopedic or rehab hospitals. They usually deal with patients who are suffering from temporary and permanent disabilities. They help patients with mobility problems and assist them in performing activities of daily living while promoting their comfort.

6. Neonatology nurses

Neonatology nurses provide care for newborn babies. They also provide emotional care for families of the babies and help inform them regarding treatment measures. They can be found in several areas including pediatric hospitals and birthing centers.

Different Types of Nurses According to Qualifications

Nurses can also be classified based on their level of education. The following are the different types of nurses according to qualifications:

1. Non-degree

Non-degree nurses can perform certain functions in the health care field after completing certain trainings and passing certification tests. Their functions, however, are limited since they did not complete the full training. Included under the non-degree category are CNAs and LPNs.

2. Degree

Degree nurses are those who have completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have passed the qualification test. They are often referred to as RNs. They can perform many functions in the hospital wards and can take advanced degrees and specializations.

3. Advanced degree

Advanced degree nurses are those who have completed a higher level of education such as master’s or doctorate degrees. They are often considered to be superior among those in the nursing department. Clinical Nurse Leaders, Nursing PhD’s and Nurse practitioners are added under this category.

Different Types of Nurses According to Area of Practice

Nurses are not only hired in hospitals and clinics, they can also perform health care duties in specific areas. The different types according to area of practice include the following:

1. Home health nurses

In order to become a home health nurse, the nurse must complete the bachelor’s degree and become an RN. They usually visit their patients at their homes to perform care. They are either under a hospital setting or an out-patient center. Patients being cared for by home health nurses may have varying cases and conditions. They also provide health education among the families of the patients to promote health.

2. Public health nurses

Public health nurses provide care to individuals and families in specific communities. They perform home visits as well as perform different roles to families. They also help the community in reaching a higher level of health by identifying health concerns and helping the community identify solutions.

3. Travel nurses

One of the highest paid jobs in this field is travel nursing. Travel nurses usually take job orders and perform their duties in different hospitals where shortage in the nursing workforce is experienced. They can work in different areas in the hospital.

4. Occupational health nurses

They are usually hired by different employers. They can work for families, workers or community groups. Since they do not directly deal with patients in hospitals, occupational health nurses perform functions such as emergency care, health counseling and referral.

If you are interested in this career field, then you might want to consider getting started as a Certified Nursing Assistant. For more info, read these short articles: What is a CNA and How to Become a CNA.

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  • Roselia Louris

    There is a weak relationship between severity of pain and degree of oxygen deprivation in the heart muscle (i.e., there can be severe pain with little or no risk of a Myocardial infarction (commonly known as a heart attack), and a heart attack can occur without pain). In some cases Angina can be extremely serious and has been known to cause death. People that suffer from average to severe cases of Angina have an increased percentage of death before the age of 55, usually around 60%.’,:`

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