10 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 Jobs for Nurses

Different Types of Jobs for Nurses

Let’s take a look at some of the different types of nurse 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 in 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 is 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 the 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 as 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 from 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 to 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


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

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