Types of Nurses and Their Roles in the Healthcare

By | March 13, 2017

There are as many types of nurses as there are departments in any medical setting. From nurses who fly helicopters to ferry the critically ill, to nurse practitioners who provide patient care in hospice inpatient units and critical-care units, there is plenty of space for everyone. In broader terms, there are different nurses playing varying, and at times, exclusive nursing roles in the healthcare industry. Needless to say, all these different nurses play a critical role in the healthcare industry. It is the duty of the all nurses, no matter what their field is,  to provide new and improve pre-existing care and treatment systems. Nursing being the diversified medical field it is, it is important to learn about a few of the many different types of nurses.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses  are the largest in number of all the different types of nurses in practice today. You are likely to encounter them in almost every medical setting and/or situation. From emergency rooms, cardiac care, intensive care, surgical care, to rescue drills and paramedics, you are deemed to find registered nurses. Well, this is so as these nurses serve the majority of patients. Their education and expertise enable them to provide basic nursing care in many a situation. Like most types of nurses in other medical fields, RNs must graduate with either an Associate degree or Bachelors degree from a recognized nursing college prior to practicing.

Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nurse Assistant

These two types of nurses serve primarily as helping hands to registered nurses. A Certified Nurse Assistant requires no diploma or degree, but a nursing certificate awarded at the end of a certificate nursing program readily available in most community colleges. Both will be found serving in assisting capacities at nursing homes and living facilities. They are the same nurses who visit patients in their homes, recording critical signs and checking on the general state of the patient’s health. Both types of nurses will alert registered nurses in case there is something out of the normal that requires the attention of greater expertise.

Nurse Practitioner

When a registered nurse takes extra training, he/she may do so with the intention of becoming a nurse practitioner. These types of nurses normally require at least a Masters of Science in nursing degree before practicing. Nursing practitioners will, at many times and when necessary, take up duties that are typically reserved for medical doctors. Although it may change from one state to another, these types of nurses can diagnose diseases, carry out physical examinations, write prescriptions as well as treat wounds and minor injuries.

Public Health Nurse

Of the many different types of nurses, public health nurses specialize in just that, public health. They work in a community setting where they visit and offer nursing care to patients in their homes, schools and even community centers.

Occupational Health Nurse

These nurses are typically found in corporate settings where they provide healthcare to company employees. They are also considered employees of the company.

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