In today’s day and age, it would be an understatement to say that nursing jobs are in extremely high demand. If we have learned anything throughout the past couple of years, it’s that nursing jobs are never going away. Although it may oftentimes seem like a challenging career, it’s also extremely rewarding. Their role is vital to ensuring our population’s health and wellbeing. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for nurses and nurse practitioners is projected to grow by 45% between 2020 and 2030. This is much higher than the industry average!
To be a nurse, you must have a passion for helping others. In your day-to-day role, you may be faced with a variety of different tasks, each with the ultimate purpose of helping someone. If you’re interested in pursuing a career that you can not only feel good about the work you are doing, but make a difference in the lives of others, then a career in nursing may be the right fit for you.
With so many different types of nursing positions out there, how do you know which is the right fit for you? We can identify 10 different types of nursing roles that may be of interest to you.
- Registered Nurses
As a registered nurse, you will tend to take on multiple different roles at once. Each day may bring its own set of unique challenges, but it’s an extremely rewarding career. As a registered nurse, otherwise known as an RN, your primary role is to ensure patients are receiving the proper care and attention that they need.
As an RN, you could work in several different environments, but the primary location is within a physician’s office. As an RN, you’re typically responsible for several different duties such as assessing patients, recording patient’s symptoms and medical history, preparing patients for treatments or exams, administering medications and vaccines, assisting in medical procedures, operating and monitoring medical equipment, phlebotomy or drawing blood, and educating patients and their family members on treatment plans. However, these are just a short list of the typical duties carried out by an RN.
- Emergency Room Nurses
As an ER nurse, you would work in the hospital emergency rooms as well as urgent care clinics. In this role, you would work to assist doctors during procedures and monitor patient vital signs to watch how they handle different treatments they may be given. Examples of typical job duties for an ER nurse involve phlebotomy, dressing and cleaning wounds, administering vaccines, and monitoring patient vitals. You would also work to protect the overall health and hygiene of patients who are admitted by doing tasks such as feeding patients, helping them to bathe when needed, and changing bed pans.
- Licensed Practical Nurses
As an LPN, you would work directly under the supervisions of doctors and RNS. LPNs tend to carry out the same roles as a CAN, but they offer more extensive care. In this role, you would be responsible for supervising the CNAs who are on duty.
As an LPN, you would monitor patient’s vital signs, administer medications, collect bodily samples as needed, and ensure the overall comfort of patients. As an LPN, you would report directly to the patient’s nurses. This role typically requires you to complete between 12-18 months of education and you must pass your NCLEX, or the National Council Licensure Examination.
- Traveling Nurses
To be a traveling nurse, it’s just as it sounds. You’d travel from location to location, performing the typical duties of a nurse. Typically, you will be assigned a temporary assignment at a location for a 13-week period. They do the typical duties of a nurse such as administering medication, phlebotomy, administering vaccines, and preparing nutritionally specific meals for patients.
- Nursing Assistants
As a nursing assistant, you would provide support and care to patients in a medical facility. Typically, this role reports directly to the patient’s nurse. Their day-to-day job tasks may vary, but they oftentimes include feeding patients according to their dietary restrictions, recording patient’s vitals, and offering basic physical assistance to patients.
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Registered Nurses
An ICU registered nurse specializes in providing care to patients in the intensive care unit at healthcare facilities and hospitals. This is a rather challenging department to work in, as you are dealing with patients in critical conditions who require constant supervision and care on a day-to-day basis. This is a career where you may wear multiple hats at once and each day will be different. However, basic tasks involved with being an ICU registered nurse involve wound care, medication administration, monitoring chart vitals, and conducting a head-to-toe assessment of patients.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurses
As a NICU nurse, you will care for newborn infant babies who suffer from prematurity or illness. Typically, you will care for these babies until they reach the period of being 28 days old. To be an NICU nurse, you typically must have received either an associates or bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Home Health Nurses
As a home health nurse, you would be responsible for traveling to patient’s homes who are unable to get out and provide them the services and care they need. For instance, you may administer at-home IVs, take blood, help them to change their clothing, clean wounds, and so on. Overall, your main responsibility in this role is to ensure their overall health and wellbeing, then report back to the patient’s doctor with their progress.
- Operating Room (OR) Nurses
As an OR nurse, you would work in an operating room to care for patients prior to, during, and after surgeries or medical procedures. This role would involve sterilizing the operating room, passing surgical equipment to the surgeon, administering IVs to patients, and helping to assess the patient’s physical condition both prior to, and after, surgery.
- Nurse Practitioners (NP)
Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice RNs who treat patients throughout their entire life, ranging anywhere from newborns to the elderly. They may work in an office providing primary care to patients. As an NP, you are also able to prescribe medications to patients, including controlled substances. Daily, your role may involve completing physical examinations, diagnosing injuries and illnesses, ordering x-rays and laboratory work for patients, prescribing medications, performing procedures, and providing immunizations. However, the job has such a wide array of tasks that it’s hard to narrow down what all could be involved in a typical day as an NP.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the nursing field, the first step is to find the right school. For example, Berry College offers a hands-on nursing major. Nursing majors at Berry College are provided the opportunity to learn alongside their faculty, get exposure to simulated hospital situations, and get valuable hands-on clinical experience. It takes a special kind of person to work as a nurse, but if you have a passion for caring for others, then a career in nursing may be the right fit for you.