Types of Nurses — A Simple Guide to Nursing Careers


Starting your training knowing the existing types of nurses is advantageous as you will be able to work on your strengths and pass all the exams set for your qualification and certification. After all, Nursing is one of the careers which is not a generalized occupation but rather would like practitioners to specialize at one point in time. With jobs in this industry expected to grow by 25% in the next decade, you would consider a career in it. That said, what are the available nursing choices out there for you?




Clinical Specialist

This is an advanced nursing practice and you will be sought for guidance by the other pool of nurses. They have deep expertise in a wide realm of illnesses. Their specialization allows them to handle general family health needs.

Registered Nurses


Initialized as RNs, this lot assists clinicians with a variety of cases in different medical facilities. To qualify for this docket, you must be a holder of a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing. They are consulted on varieties of diseases, conditions and injuries since they have years of experience both in training and practice. They are further classified into smaller specializations as you will later notice. To advance your position, you need an RN-BSN degree which not only saves you money but also precious time. It bolsters your experience and usually takes 2 years and you are out there in the field.

Nurse Case Managers


These are providers of long-term healthcare. They deal with conditions such as cancer and geriatrics. Their primary duty is to sustain the health of patients by assisting them with specialized care as well championing for positive living.

Nursing Supervisors

These are what you would refer to as medium level managers in the mainstream careers. They are the overseers of the other nurses. As such, you will be expected to wear many administrative hats. They hire, retain or fire non-performing employees since any kind of failure will lie squarely on their shoulders. If you hope to make a way out of the direct patient interaction, this is the best bet to step out after gaining considerable field experience.

Licensed Practical Nurses


Working under the watch of RNs, LPNs tackle a number of general duties. They issue medication, follow up on recovery, maintain hygiene and comfort patients among other duties. It is one of the easiest ways to start your nursing profession since it only requires a post secondary diploma. You will need a nursing degree in LPN or LVN either of which will only need a single year to complete. If you have other obligations such as work, this degree has been designed to give time for other things you have to do in your life.

Intensive Care Nurses

They fall under the RNs and provide intensive care to critical illnesses and injuries. They work in specialized departments mostly in ICU or handle specific age groups such as the old or children who may need special care. It is a demanding position so you will require continuous training before a hospital gives you the green light to work here.

Dialysis Nurses

They are commonly referred to as nephrology nurses. Their line of duty falls under the kidney specialization. They offer dialysis treatment to patients at their homes and clinical facilities.

Oncology Nurses

Cancer patients are not just like any other; they need dedicated attention. Oncologists give them medication, chemotherapy, and other prescribed treatments. It is a challenging career but it is more rewarding than most of the others in this pool.

Medical Nurses

They are registered nurses who deal directly with adult patients. In the past, it was considered an entry level option before you could choose your specialization but not it stands on its own. It is considerably demanding since you are required to master so many skills that will come in handy once you are in practice.

Operating Room Nurses

This lot give care to patients before and after surgery. They serve a critical role in preparing patients to undertake surgical operations. They are the liaison between the surgery team and patient’s family. It would be suitable for you if you are emphatic on the stress that families and patients have to go through in such situations.

Per Diem Nurses

If you have always wanted to work as a part-time nurse, here is the chance for you. They work as RNs but they do it for some hours on a temporary basis. It is a good way to have experience even when you are on training.

Delivery and Labor Nurses

They welcome new lives into the world and give them essential care for optimal growth and development. They are present during labor and afterwards to give care to the new-born and their mothers. It is sometimes a delicate task but it comes with its rewards that you may want to give it a try.


Staff Nurses

They are general nurses and perform an array of duties such as IV therapy, administration of meds and direct care to patients. The good thing about this type is the chance to advance and become a supervisor on the likes of LPNs and RNs.

How to Make a Good Choice of a Nursing Career


It is not advisable to let the flow of nature dictate things on you. On your nursing occupation, you have all the power to choose what you want to do and become in the future. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the type of a nurse you want to become:

  • Educational qualification: each of the types discussed above has its qualification criteria. There are those that will require a diploma while others will need a degree.
  • Passion: what you are passionate about will go a long way to help you make a suitable choice. If you love newborns then becoming a delivery and labor nurse may be a deserving pick.
  • Chances to advance: you would not want to be stuck in the same career position for years. Therefore, you have to choose an option that gives you the chance to grow and advance in the future.
  • Availability of jobs: it is true that there is always a rising demand for nurses. However, some nurses are on high demand than others.

The Best 7 Nursing Specialties

Once you are done with your nursing course or you consider going for more training, finding the right specialty should be your chief focus. With so much to choose from, you will most likely find yourself in a dilemma.


As much as there is so much demand for nursing practitioners, there are specialties that are better than others. They offer you the best experience and at the end of the day you take home a hefty check (not that it matters so much). So, what are these specialties that should get a priority in your choices?

  1. Psychiatric nurse
    The psychiatric nurse practitioner takes home an annual salary of $ 95,000. It is not about the money but the passion to deal with mental patients. It requires advanced training and experience before you are deemed fully qualified.
  2. Registered anesthetist nurse
    You will be expected to administer anesthesia to patients. It is expected of you to interact with dentists, surgeons and podiatrists since they will need your expertise from time to time. It is rewarding and for your pay, you can look forward to $135,000 in a year.
  3. Clinical specialist
    Clinical nurses work to develop and enforce quality in all practices within a medical institution. They work in conjunction with staff nurses to ensure that best practices and codes are adhered to at all times. They are supposed to possess excellent managerial skills with the ability to solve conflicts whenever they arise. For such a specialty, you should expect average annual earnings of $76,000.
  4. Certified delivery and labor nurse
    Their presence and expertise during and after childbirth is crucial to the health of the newborn and the mother. There are so many places to seek for a job and if you are well trained you will not take long before you land an opportunity. The financial reward for your dedicated efforts to early life is $84, 000 each year.
  5. A general nurse practitioner
    Nurse practitioners give preventive care to patients and prescribe medication. You could also go for a specialty of your choice such as child, adult or women care. It is a brilliant choice and for all your troubles you will be worth a check of $78, 000.
  6. Nurse researchers
    These are practitioners who work independently or with private companies to research on health issues. They use valid data to recommend practices and products to various diseases and conditions. They are the driving force that leads the discovery of new medication and treatment methods. With a regular job, you will make an average of $95,000 in a year.
  7. Pediatric nurse
    If you have the love for children, becoming a pediatric nurse is such a prime choice to make. You will be on the forefront to give medical care to young children and early teens giving them the foundation to become strong adults. Sometimes you will be expected to give guidance and counseling to parents about their children’s physical development. It is a rewarding forte and you cannot make less than $81,000 annually.


Now you are acquainted with the types of nurses available for you. Go ahead and make an informed choice and live your dream. Nursing is one of the best occupations and making this choice should be the easiest for you.

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