20 Different Types of Nurses | Nurse Careers

What are the different types of Nurses What are the different types of Nurses

List of Different Types of Nurses

Nursing is one of the most prominent professions around the world. This choice of career is suitable for those who wish to be engaged in providing care to patients as frontline healthcare workers.

This is an incredibly vast field.

10,000 aspiring nurses wonder about the specialty they should choose.

With the demand for nurses growing increasingly day by day, there is an immense need for certified, qualified nurses in hospitals and clinics alike.

Are you on the way to becoming a nurse? Are you thinking of choosing nursing as your profession? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we shall take a look at some of the most popular types of nurses and nursing specialties that you can choose.

Different Types of Jobs for Nurses

Studies from the past few years have pointed to the lack of sufficient certified nurses in the healthcare industry.

This means that aspiring nursing students can look forward to a bright and fruitful future.

Different Types of Nurses

Different Types of Jobs for Nurses

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of nurses you can become:

1 – Registered Nurse (RN)

A registered nurse (RN) is the most common field of choice in nursing. You can choose from various educational paths to pursue this field.

You will be required to obtain a diploma in nursing, or at least an Associate of Science Nursing degree.

However, increasing numbers of employers are looking for candidates who have acquired a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The training for registered nurses includes theory and practical training. As an RN, you can land a job in hospitals, medical offices, healthcare facilities, and various other profiles.

In addition, candidates need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get certified. This requirement is essential in all 50 states in the US.

Required credentials – RN License + NCLEX-RN test pass

Relevant certifications – Not required but are based on the field of specialty

Job prospects – Faster than average

Average Salary – Around US$ 23 to US$ 26 per hour / up to US$ 70,000 per year (varies according to state and employer)

2 – Critical Care Nurse

A critical care nurse is responsible for providing intervention and support to extremely sick and unstable patients.



In hospitals, these nurses usually work in ICUs. To become a critical care nurse, you will need to acquire an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing along with an RN license.

In addition, aspirants should be certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support or Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

It is also advantageous if the aspirant has 1 to 2 years of experience in nursing before working as a critical care nurse.

Required credentials – Bachelor OR Associate Degree in Nursing + RN License + Pediatric Advanced Life Support OR Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support

Relevant certifications – State licensure

Job prospects – Projected to increase

Average salary – Median salary is around US$ 71,000 per year

3 – Cardiac Nurse

Cardiac nurses are usually required to have an advanced degree. They work with patients who are suffering from severe heart problems.

Cardiac nurses can combine education credits and also add their work experience to get Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification as their specialty of choice.

Required credentials – RN License + Work experience

Relevant certifications – Board-approved certificate in cardiac care

Job prospects – Expected to increase

Average salary – Around US$ 51,000 to US$ 121,000 per year

4 – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or CRNA for short, helps to administer anesthesia to patients before surgeries.

Irrespective of the practice type, a CRNA is certified to administer anesthesia in rural healthcare settings and also to serve members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Thanks to the extensive training and certification process, a CRNA is considered to be one of the most beneficial and satisfactory choices of the nursing career.

Required credentials – Doctoral or Master’s (depending on location and hospital)

Relevant certifications – RN License + NBCRNA Certificate

Job prospects – Expected to increase

Average salary – Median salary is around US$ 157,000 to US$ 218,000 per year

5 – Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is an advanced field of choice for nurses. They are often termed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) as they have graduate-level education credentials.

As a clinical nurse specialist, you can choose to focus on a specific field in medicine and healthcare.

These include medical settings, patient population, type of patient care required, type of disease, and the type of patient problems.

As a CNS you may be responsible to supervise specific patient care systems.

Your responsibility may also include suggesting ways to improve and offer professional insight for better healthcare. You may be required to provide expert-stage knowledge on any medical issue.

A CNS can have varying powers and responsibilities, which normally depend on the state of practice.

Required credentials – Master’s Degree in Nursing

Relevant certifications – RN License + at least 500 unsupervised clinical hours in choice of clinical specialization

Job prospects – Projected to increase by 26%

Average salary – Around US$ 96,000 to US$ 117,000 per year

6 – ER Nurse

As an Emergency Room (ER) nurse, you will be required to work in medical emergency rooms at hospitals.

Usually, you are required to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to qualify.

Ideal candidates for this position are those who can work with ease in high-pressure situations and can provide calm, direct, and effective treatment assistance.

Required credentials – Associate Degree in Nursing OR Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

Relevant certifications – Certified Emergency Nurse (ECN) certification

Job prospects – Projected to grow

Average salary – Around US$ 86,000 per year to US$ 111,000 per year (depending on location)

7 – Family Practice Nurse (FPN)

A family practice nurse, FPN for short, is trained and certified in family healthcare. This job is considered best for those who are at ease working with adults and children alike.

You will need to acquire a higher degree and choose specialization training to serve patients in family healthcare practices.

This choice of nursing field is ideal for those who seek flexibility in the type of patients and medical issues they treat.

Required credentials – Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Relevant certifications – RN License + AANP Certification + ANCC Certification

Job prospects – Expected to increase by 19% over average

Average salary – Around US$ 94,000 to US$ 127,000 per year

8 – Public Health Nurse

As a public health nurse, you will be required to work at the federal, state, or community level.

Your roles would include providing insight on medical issues, educating the patients, and making large-scale medical decisions.

This type of nurse job is ideal for candidates who are passionate about promoting community wellness.

This role will give you considerable challenges and provide excellent growth opportunities.

Required credentials – Master of Science (MS) in the specialty area

Relevant certifications – Renew every 5 years through American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Job prospects- Expected to grow

Average salary – Ranges between US$ 55,000 to US$ 72,000 per year

9 – Geriatric Nurse

A geriatric nurse, as the name suggests, is responsible to care for elderly patients. Patients with advanced age have various medical needs. These may include administering medications regularly or providing better care for diseases.

If you are passionate about working with the elderly and helping them with their everyday medical problems, then you can choose to become a geriatric nurse.

Required credentials – RN license

Relevant certifications – RN-BC

Job prospects – Expected to grow

Average salary – Around US$ 58,000 to US$ 92,000 per year

10 – Travel Nurse

Travel nurses are the first choice for hospitals with a full shortage in staffing. These are specially trained nurses who can seek employment where their skills are most needed.

Most candidates who choose to become travel nurses do so because of the opportunity to network and advance their careers.

Required credentials – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Relevant certifications – State licensure

Job prospects – Expect continued growth

Average salary – Around US$ 3,000 per week / Up to US$ 100,000 per year

11 – Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric Nurse is meant to stay with children. If you like to spend time with children and want to pursue a nursing course, then you should go with the Pediatric Nurse.

A pediatric nurse must help toddlers and teenagers provide assistance services to help them cure diseases.

Besides this, they have to educate the parents about their child’s condition, the timing of medicines, what things to eat and what to avoid, etc.

Pediatric nurses can work in big hospitals as well as local clinics as per their experience in the field. An associate degree in nursing or bachelor of science in the nursing course is required to become a pediatric nurse.

Required Credentials – Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing

Relevant Certifications – National Council License

Job Prospects – High in Demand

Average Salary – Around $60,000 to $90000 per year

12 – Oncology Nurse

Oncology nurses provide assisting services to people diagnosed with cancer. Unlike other nursing fields, the oncology field is quite challenging as they have to provide care for the deadliest disease i.e. cancer.

Starting from providing basic assistance services to patients to making their families and friends understand the medicines and post-discharge tasks, an oncology nurse needs to take care of everything.

According to a recent study, the number of cancer patients in the US is increasing rapidly.

This ultimately increases the demand for oncology nurses across the US. Hospitals, cancer care units, etc. invite oncology nurses to assist their patients.

Required credentials – Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Always in demand, continued growth

Average salary – Around $72000 to $110,000 per year

13 – Nurse Case Manager

A nurse case manager is a professional that is associated with a variety of tasks in the hospital. Unlike other types of nurses, a case manager has several other duties to follow.

A nurse case manager provides care to patients who are suffering from a serious disease. Besides this, the same person narrates the best care plans available for them.

Moreover, a case manager educates the family members about the condition and how they can look after their loved ones in their homes.

They also help patients to book appointments, go for lab tests, etc. They ensure that the patients are receiving proper care so that they can get up faster. Care is what is required during the illness.

Required credentials – Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued Growth

Average salary – Around $70000 to $100,000 per year

14 – Nurse Educator

Nurse Educators are registered nurses with advanced degrees in nursing. They are professional teachers for nursing students and beginners.

Most nurses have special experience in clinics. They have to accomplish the clinical-related courses to become an eligible nurse educator.

Nurse educators have many options to pursue their careers. They can be professional teachers in nursing schools, can give speeches to educate beginners, etc.

They can even go to hospitals and clinics to educate existing staff of nurses.

Nurse educators share their knowledge, help students develop professional skills, make them educated about how to pursue their careers in nursing, etc. They share everything to motivate the students who want to serve as a nurse in the medical field.

Required credentials – Master of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse with License, and several years of experience in the field.

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued Growth

Average salary – Around $80,000 to $110,000 per year

15 – Certified Dialysis Nurse

Certified Dialysis Nurses are nurses with special certifications to provide care to dialysis patients. CDN provides proper care to patients suffering from kidney-related diseases.

They set up everything for patients for the dialysis process and keep an eye throughout the process.

CDN have special skills to understand pathological processes and complications. They also have knowledge of how to control infections, what types of medicines should be given to patients etc.

Certified Dialysis Nurse can play a role of a doctor as they know everything about this process and its medicines.

Moreover, CDN also educates the family members about how to provide proper care to dialysis patients and what types of foods to give.

They also teach them about medicines and always be helpful.

To become a certified dialysis nurse, candidates must pass out the nationwide examination i.e. CLEX-RN.

Required credentials – Master of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse with License with at least one year of experience

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Moderate growth

Average salary – Around $50,000 to $100,000 per year

16 – Perioperative Nurse

A perioperative nurse is also known as Operating Room Nurse. A perioperative nurse takes care of the patients’ pre and post-operation tasks.

The perioperative nurse is a part of the core staff of a hospital where they perform a key role while operating on a patient in the operation room.

They provide the required equipment to a surgeon who operates. Perioperative nurses have to take care of the patient who is going to be operated on for surgery.

They are responsible for giving proper care to patients before, during, and post-surgery.

Moreover, perioperative nurses ensure that the entire procedure of the surgery goes smoothly in the hospital. They make all the arrangements including medicines and equipment that may be needed during the procedure.

They also provide proper care and education to patients and their families post-surgery.

The nationwide examination i.e. NCLEX-RN must be cleared by the candidate to become a Perioperative Nurse. Soon after completing the exams, candidates can start working as a nurse in a clinic or hospital.

After gaining experience of one year in the field, they can apply for the perioperative nurse post within the hospital.

Required credentials – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Passing out the nationwide course i.e. NCLEX-RN, One-year work experience as a registered nurse, certification of Perioperative Nurse Program.

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued growth

Average salary – Around $70,000 to $100,000 per year

17 – Home Health Care Nurse

Home health care nurses are certified nurses who can provide medical and general care to patients in their own homes.

Home health care nurses can look after the overall health of the patients. Several tasks they have to perform during their stays with patients in their homes.

Home health care nurses have to check the health conditions of the patient periodically. Besides this, they have to follow the medication routinely, call for lab tests, treating of wounds, etc.

If we talk about the scopes for home health care nurses, they can serve directly patients in their own homes.

Besides this, they are also high in demand to look after the elderly people in old-age homes. Community facilities, hospitals, and many other spaces are always open for them.

Required credentials – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Passing out the nationwide course i.e. NCLEX-RN, 2-3 years of work experience as a registered nurse

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued growth

Average salary – A certified home health care nurse’s salary ranges from $60,000 to $85,000 per year

18 – Gerontological Nurse

Gerontological nurses or geriatric nurses are certified nurses who provide special care to elderly patients. Geriatric nurses study the patient’s condition and help them provide the necessary care.

They serve the elderly patients who are suffering from diabetes, respiratory diseases, or hypertension.

Besides this, they also educate the family members of patients about their disease and how they can provide basic care to them in their own homes.

A range of services included in the geriatric nurse is caring for healing and aiding process, preventative care, easing the effects of diseases, educating patient’s family members, etc.

Unlike other patients, geriatric-care patients have special disabilities which require prompt care from the nurse.

To become a certified Gerontological Nurse, applicants need to clear the Gerontological Certification Course from ANCC i.e. American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Required credentials – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Gerontological Certification Course from ANCC, One-year experience in the field

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Expected to increase

Average salary – A certified home health care nurse’s salary ranges from $55,000 to $90,000 per year

19 – Radiology Nurse

Radiology Nurses are known as medical imaging nurses. It is relatively a newer field in nursing for applicants.

Radiology nurses take care of patients who are undergoing radiological procedures such as Xrays, MRIs, Ultrasounds, and other therapies which involve radiography.

The radiology field is rapidly growing with new technologies. We have special equipment that gives us accurate information about our body’s organs and their functionality.

The need for radiology nurses is increasing as more and more radiology centers are taking place in the country.

Radiology nurses can provide care in hospitals, clinics, and radiology centers to provide proper care to patients who are undergoing radiation treatments.

Starting from the patient’s clothing to passing out the final reports and other required care tasks come under the radiology nurse.

To become an eligible Radiology Nurse, applicants have to acquire the Registered Nursing Certification. After that, an associate degree program in Radiology nursing must be completed.

Required credentials – Associate Degree in Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Certified Nursing Program, Associate Program in Radiology

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued growth

Average salary – A certified home health care nurse’s salary ranges from $55,000 to $70,000 per year

20 – Orthopedic Nurse

Most people have to deal with various types of orthopedic conditions. Orthopedic nurses are certified nurses who take care of people suffering from musculoskeletal diseases.

Other bone disorder treatments’ for bone fracture, arthritis, joint replacements, etc come under the orthopedic nurse.

Orthopedic nurses are also referred to as Ortho nurses in medical terms. Ortho nurses have special skills to treat patients with muscular or skeleton-related issues.

They work with people who have undergone bone surgery or bone fracture and other muscular treatments.

Orthopedic surgeries require proper care and for that reason, a certified orthopedic nurse is recommended by the surgeon.

While in the hospital, the ortho nurse provides the required care to patients. Besides this, he also explains or educates the family members of the patient about taking care of their family member in their home.

The responsibility of orthopedic nurses may vary as per their experience and work field. However, they must provide proper care and guidance to patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases.

A certified nurse should accomplish the associate degree program in Orthopedic Nursing to become a certified Orthopedic Nurse.

Post the certification, they can start professional care work for patients in the hospitals or clinics.

Required credentials – Associate Degree in Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and become a Certified Nurse. After that, an applicant needs to complete the associate degree program in Orthopedic Nursing.

Relevant certifications – State Licensure

Job prospects – Continued growth

Average salary – A certified home health care nurse’s salary ranges from $60,000 to $,9000 per year

Conclusion

These are just the top 10 types of nurses you can become. There are several more niche fields you can pursue in your nursing career.

Make sure to consult your mentor or educator before deciding to choose to become a particular type of nurse.

See Also

How to Become a Telehealth Nurse

Non-Clinical Nursing Jobs

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner Salary

Malpractice Insurance for Nurses

Reference links:-

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/types-of-nurses

https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/nursing/blog/

https://www.herzing.edu/types/nurses

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