What are the Different Types of Nurses?

Patti Kate

Some of the various types of nurses include register nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), nurse practitioners, and physicians assistants. Registered nurses typically receive an associate's or bachelor's degree. To become a RN, a nurse must pass a licensing exam. A licensed practical nurse will typically be required to complete a degree training program.

A nursing assistant may check the blood pressure of a patient.
A nursing assistant may check the blood pressure of a patient.

There are various types of nurse training programs that prepare someone for a career in nursing. Most individuals who receive nurse education also become certified. This validation assures that the individual has the competence necessary for nursing.

Traveling nursing jobs are typically offered on a short-term basis.
Traveling nursing jobs are typically offered on a short-term basis.

A certified nurse assistant (CNA) generally assists with patient care, either in a home or at a hospice or other health care facility. The CNA is also referred to as a nurse's aid. These nurses will typically receive instruction and supervision from a registered nurse or physician. A nurse trained as a CNA will generally assist in monitoring patients' vital signs, administering medications, or bathing and dressing tasks. This nurse will report vital information to a supervising staff.

Geriatric nurses need specialized empathy and listening skills when interacting with elderly patients and their caregivers.
Geriatric nurses need specialized empathy and listening skills when interacting with elderly patients and their caregivers.

Some types of nurses travel from hospital to hospital to work in different facilities. These projects may require extensive traveling for months at a time. The nurse involved in this line of work is an RN who specializes as a travel nurse. Travel nurses may work in a variety of departments in a hospital, including the pediatric or geriatric departments.

A dental hygienist is a type of nurse.
A dental hygienist is a type of nurse.

Some registered nurses receive certification that enable them to perform duties as a physician. This type of nurse is called a nurse practitioner. A nurse practitioner is qualified to diagnose patient illnesses and prescribe treatment. This nurse will generally require more extensive training than the RN. Although requirements vary according to location, many hold a master's degree in nursing.

A nurse practitioner is one type of nurse.
A nurse practitioner is one type of nurse.

Occupational health nurses often work with physical therapists. This type of nurse will provide care and safety instruction to those in the workplace. Workers who are injured on the job may receive care from an occupational nurse. This nurse is also trained to recognize health risks in the workplace and ways to prevent them from occurring. The occupational nurse is also knowledgeable in environmental health issues.

Geriatric nurses help the elderly.
Geriatric nurses help the elderly.

Dental nurses with a dentist or oral surgeon. The dental nurse assists by ensuring medical equipment is organized and accessible for the dentist's use. Sterilization of equipment may be another requirement of the dental nurse. These nurses are also known as dental hygienists, whose other duties may include dental cleaning of teeth and gums.

A geriatric nurse practitioner may choose to specialize in caring for patients who are terminally ill.
A geriatric nurse practitioner may choose to specialize in caring for patients who are terminally ill.
A pediatric nurse practitioner is able to diagnose conditions and discuss them with the family.
A pediatric nurse practitioner is able to diagnose conditions and discuss them with the family.
Trauma nurses work in emergency rooms.
Trauma nurses work in emergency rooms.
A nurse trained as a CNA will assist in monitoring patients' vital signs.
A nurse trained as a CNA will assist in monitoring patients' vital signs.

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