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    21 Different Types of Nursing Careers for You to Explore!

    Posted April 19, 2022, 1:00 pm by TeenLife
    A teen nurses smiles at the camera

    Different Types of Nursing Careers

    Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare industry. In addition to being the primary care provider for patients of all kinds, nurses are key to both patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes. There's a lot of different types of nursing careers out there, but, in short: the healthcare industry would struggle to function at all without nurses. 

    For this reason, there will always be demand for nursing professionals. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor has indicated that more than 200,000 nursing jobs will become available in the next 10 years. Clearly, even though COVID-19 brought a whole new host of challenges to the medical profession and to nurses in particular, nursing is still one of the most popular career options in the healthcare industry and in the world. 

    So if you're interested in becoming a nurse, where do you start? 

    This article was originally published in TeenLife's 2022 Guide to Your Future in Healthcare, available now. To learn more about the different types of nursing careers and other healthcare professions, download this digital guide today! 

    A nurse in green scrubs speaks to a teenage patient

    You may think that all nurses work in hospitals or emergency clinics, but this is actually not the case. Instead, nurses, like doctors, specialize in dozens of different fields, each one vital and important to the healthcare system as a whole. This work often takes nurses far from the emergency room and hospital. In fact, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than one-third of nurses today work in general medical and surgical hospital settings.  

    Clearly then there are many types of nursing careers - all of which we’ll explore in further detail below. As any practicing nurse will tell you, each career has its own unique path and challenges. Most if not all of these career paths require a Bachelor of Science in healthcare, and some require further schooling and certifications as well. 

    Here’s 21 different types of nursing careers that interested students can consider! 


    1. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

    A type of nurse who treats and diagnoses patients. They may also prescribe medications and can often be a patient’s primary care provider. Most Advanced Practice RN positions require a master’s degree. 

    2. Critical-Care Nurse 

    These nurses work in ICUs where intensive care is needed. They deal with critical cases often involving serious injuries. A Bachelors in Nursing (BSN) degree is needed for this job.

    3. Family Nurse Practitioner 

    These are nurses who work as primary care providers in family medicine. Their job involves patient assessment, treatment plans, and prescribing medications. A master’s degree is needed for most FNP positions

    4. Geriatrics Nurse 

    These are registered nurses working for elderly patients. These nurses care for patients who are either mostly or fully dependent on them. They tend to work in hospitals, patient homes, or nursing homes.

    A nurse and an elderly patient hold hands

    5. Forensic Nurse 

    These are the nurses working in forensic settings. They assess and evaluate victims of crimes. Their job is to assess biological evidence for criminal cases. They are usually not only competent in the medical field but also know how to present their data in court. Bachelor’s nursing degree is a minimal requirement for this role.

    6. Home Health Nurse 

    These nurses work exclusively in the homes of their patients. They often deal with disabled patients or elderly people or people with a terminal illness. Their job is to provide care to patients who are mostly ot fully dependent on them. 

    7. Labor and Delivery Nurse 

    These nurses work in hospitals in gynecology departments. Some of them also practice in private clinics. Their job is to assist mothers in labor. They provide help and support to newborn babies. They also ensure the postnatal care of mother and child.

    8. Military Nurse 

    A military Nurse provides care for ill and wounded soldiers in roles offered by the U.S. military. A Bachelor of Nursing is still required for most military nursing positions. 

    9. Neonatal Nurse 

    Neonatal nurse’s job is to tend to and provide care to very sick and premature babies who need continuous support and care. They often work in the ICU or other emergency clinics. 

    10. Nurse Case Manager 

    These nurses assess, plan, and facilitate services to fulfill the health-related needs of people. Their job is to find affordable and accessible medical resources and ensure high-quality care at a top down level. Typically, a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree is needed for this role.

    Two nurses take care of a patient in the background, medial equipment in foreground

    11. Nurse Consultant 

    Often working on a contract basis, consultant nurses evaluate, assess patients, give second opinoins and ensure the overall delivery of services provided to patients by the hospitals. Their job includes assessment of the symptoms and making further recommendations on treatment.

    12. Oncology Nurse 

    Nurses dealing with cancer patients are known as oncology nurses. Their job is to provide critical care to cancer patients as well those who are prone to cancer.

    13. Pediatric Nurse 

    This type of nurse works with infants and children. They work alongside a pediatrician in hospitals, care centers, schools, and private practices.

    14. Prison Nurse 

    These nurses work in the criminal justice system. Their job is to provide preventive and routine care for prisoners.

    15. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

    Nurses in this sector deal with patients that have psychiatric and mental health disorders. They work primarily in hospitals, rehabilitation wards, or prisons.

    A nurse speaks to two elderly patient

    16. Public Health Nurse 

    This type of nurse works with large communities and populations in a management role. Such nurses perform research, administer tests and work for the prevention of diseases. A Bachelor in Nursing combined with focused coursework in public health is needed for this type of job.

    17. Research Analyst 

    These nurses are working scientists and researchers. They deal with medical studies and research related to the future of healthcare. Most Nurses in this area acquire an advanced nursing degree or even a Ph.D. 

    18. School Nurse 

    These are the nurses working in schools or educational institutions. Often, this job involves less stressful conditions because of regular school hours and holiday timings. However, one must be comfortable working with children and teens to accept a school nurse position. 

    19. Surgical Registered Nurses 

    These nurses assist surgeons during procedures. Furthermore, they also provide care for patients before, during, and after surgery.

    A male nurse in blue scrubs smiles

    20. Trauma Nurse 

    Trauma nurses are mostly found in critical care units or emergency rooms providing care to patients in critical condition. This is one of the most intense and fast-moving nursing positions available.

    21. Travel Nurse 

    Travel nurses typically work in short durations of time at hospitals and care settings that are experiencing a shortage of nurses.


    For more information on nursing careers and other healthcare resources, check out the TeenLife Guide to Your Future in Healthcare

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