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The nursing field is composed of many different types of nurse. They range from in-home nurses who supervise individual patients, to nurses in high-traffic hospitals who manage many patients at once. Below are descriptions of the various types of nursing jobs. Click the titles to see more information on each type of nurse, including salary info and education requirements.

(Click here if you're interested in nursing schools, or in how to become a registered nurse.)

certified nurseCertified nurse assistants are also known as nurses' aides, patient care technicians, home health aides or home health assistants (HHAs). CNAs provide patients with assistance in their  daily living tasks, working under the supervision of a registered nurse. They can be found in hospitals, as well as in different types of nursing homes, adult living facilities, and even in private homes. Their close interaction with patients, often for hours each day, puts them in a position to observe their patients' health status and inform their reporting nurse of any changes. (click for more info.)

Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses comprise the largest occupation in health care, and the most flexible type of nursing career. They perform a variety of duties including providing treatments, educating patients and their families about various medical conditions, and providing advice and emotional support to patients and family members. RNs may choose to specialize in areas of health care relating to a particular condition, an area of the body, a certain type of patient (for example, children), or an area of the hospital (such as the ER). RNs may also provide direction for licensed practical nurses and nurse assistants. (Click for more info.)

Travel Nurse

Travel NurseA Travel nurse is an RN who takes travel assignments, working in hospitals across the country for periods of around three months at a time. They work in hospitals that are experiencing a strong shortage of nurses, and their working conditions may vary greatly from one assignment to the next. These nurses are highly paid and enjoy generous benefits, since their services are in such high demand. They may work in any specialty held by a hospital RN, including emergency, intensive care, post-operative care, surgical care, or almost any other nursing specialty. (Click here for more info.)

Public Health Nurse (PHN)

Public Health Nurse (PHN)Public health nurses are RNs with specialized training in community health. In addition to providing the standard RN functions within their hospital or care facility, PHNs frequently travel to patients' homes, schools or community centers, where they work with families and individuals to find viable, accessible solutions to community health concerns. They work with local resources, articulating community health concerns to local health planners and policy makers, and assist members of the community to voice their own problems and concerns. (Click for more info.)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)Licensed practical nurses work in all areas of health care, and have more training than CNAs, but less than RNs. LPNs provide basic bedside care such as taking vital signs, preparing and giving injections, applying dressings and ice packs, and monitoring the patient's overall condition. LPNs also observe and report adverse reactions to medications or treatments, sometimes performing routine laboratory tests. They also help patients with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene, and some LPNs help deliver and care for infants. Licensed practical nurses may work in hospitals, nursing facilities or physicians' clinics, and experienced LPNs may supervise nursing assistants and aides. (Click for more info.)

Nurse PractitionerA nurse practitioner is an RN who has completed additional courses and specialized training in order to function as a doctor. There are a few different types of nurse practitioner, and any of them can work with or without the supervision of a physician. They take on additional duties in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and in many states they may write prescriptions. At the advanced level, nurse practitioners provide basic primary health care, diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries as a doctor would. Nurse practitioners can also prescribe medications, but certification and licensing requirements vary by state. (Click for more info.)

Nurse Midwife

Nurse MidwifeA nurse midwife is an RN who has completed additional specialized education in nurse midwifery. Nurse midwives practice the obstetrical and gynecological care of pregnant women, including prenatal care, delivery, and infant care after birth. Many work with the same women from puberty until menopause. Nurse midwives often pursue certification through the American College of Nurse Midwives to become certified nurse midwives. (Click for more info.)

Nurse AnesthetistA certified registered nurse anesthetist is an RN with specialized training in anesthetics. CRNAs work closely with other health care professionals such as surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, and anesthesiologists. A CRNA takes care of a patient's anesthesia needs before, during and after surgery and other procedures. They have two to three years of formal education beyond a bachelor of science degree in nursing, and have received certification from the Council of Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. (Click for more info.)

Home Health NurseHome health nurses are RNs who provide periodic services to patients at home. They may travel to a patient's home from their hospital of employment, or they may work for a home health care facility or outpatient center. Their job is to care for patients who cannot leave home, and instruct patients' families on healthy living. Home health nurses care for a broad range of patients, including those recovering from illnesses, accidents and childbirth. They must be able to work independently, and may supervise home health aides and other nurses. (Click for more info.)

occupational health nursesOccupational health nurses provide for and deliver health and safety programs and services to workers, worker populations and community groups. Depending on the employer, an occupational health nurse may provide emergency care, prepare accident reports, and arrange for further care if necessary. They also offer health counseling, assist with health examinations and inoculations, and assess work environments to identify potential health or safety problems. (Click for more info.)

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)Licensed vocational nurses have the same job functions as licensed practical nurses (see LPN above). LVN is the designation in southern states, while LPN is prevalent throughout the rest of the country. LVNs provide basic bedside care, some clinical services, and family health planning to their patients. They work under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse, and may supervise certified nurse assistants or other LVNs. (Click for more info.)

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  1. VeryHelpful

    yes! i want to know what kind of nurse is this the nurse that doesnt dilivers the baby but after its been dilivered the nurse that get the baby i want to be that can you help me with that


  3. Because there are so many sick people. Someone who has cancer needs to be treated differently from someone who has the flu.

  4. LNC

    What steps should i take to become a Legal Nurse Consultant

  5. ok i know a nurse that works at my aunts house and there is a guy in a coma that she cares for there so what kind of nurse is that called

  6. Good Job

    I think that you all did very well with explaining all of the different types of nurses. I had no idea there were so many different kinds. This really helped my understanding of what each does!


  7. baby nursing

    what type on nurse take cares baby's after they are delivered

  8. Hi!!!
    I wanted to know what is called the nurse that measures the baby and wieghs the baby after it is born? Not the midwives but the one that does everything after the baby is born.

  9. nurse question

    ok what i want to is what kind of nurse delivers babys takes care of patients and give needles and, next is what kind of nure takes the baby after its born

  10. Baby nurses

    In this article, Nurse Midwives are the types of nurse who handle newborn infants, including care of both the baby and the mother. Registered Nurses (RNs) may perform this role in the hospital, but they don't necessarily specialize in it.

    Another job title in this area is Newborn Care Specialist, a nurse who visits patients' homes and assists with basic infant care, such as feeding, swaddling and other duties. More information about these nurses can be found at and

  11. Help

    Thanx alot u have helped me alot with the information that u have given me in this article...i am writing a research paper deciding what i want to be as i get into college in 1 year!!

  12. Need an Instructor to teach Licensed Vocational Nursing, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy, EKG Technician programs. Required MD or foreign equivalent + 1 year of clinical experience.If u want more information Please visit

  13. lil mama

    I am a 9th grader that wants to be a pediatrician or an RN NURSE I LOVE THE JOB OF A NURSE!

  14. A nurse that takes care of the babies after they are born is called a NEONATAL nurse for those of you who seem to be wondering

  15. i wanna be a nurse when i grow up

  16. ...

    nurse was rely kind job..very helpfull
    all d best 4 all nurse in d world...

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