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The Different Types of Nurses

Nurses play a crucial role in the healthcare industry. They give basic care to the sick and attend to their needs, and carry out basic responsibilities. Nursing, of all healthcare professions, is the most wide-ranging and nurses practice in different and various types of settings. That said, there are various types of nurses, and several ways to classify their roles. If you’re contemplating becoming one, it’s advisable to consider the different kinds of nursing roles available to you immediately you finish your education and the process of certification.

There are many ways to categorize nursing roles, which determine the type of nurse one is and they aren’t mutually exclusive. The types of nurse you choose to become will ultimately be determined by your combination of education, qualification and experience obtained early in your profession.

So, what are the different types of nurses?

CNA or Certified Nurse Assistant

Also referred to as Home Health Aides (HHAs) or nursing guide, they operate as a framework for the fast growing nursing sector. They work under supervision of a registered nurse and help patients in their day-to-day tasks. They have occasionally been referred to as the nurse's “ears and eyes", offering patients the elementary daily care that nurses usually don’t have time to offer. Basically, they familiarize themselves with the patients, update the nurse frequently on the status of the patients and allow the nurse to execute the higher-level duties that they can’t execute.

In other words, their primary duty is to closely keep an eye on their patient's health condition; reactions to treatment and medication, and update the registered nurse or their supervisor. They work in hospitals as well as in nursing homes, adult living facilities, hospice facilities, and private homes.

Registered Nurse (RN)

They constitute the biggest occupation in the healthcare industry and are the most flexible of the different types of nurses. They perform various tasks, including providing treatments and medications, providing emotional support and advice to the patients and their family members, and educating the patients and families about the medical condition of the patients and the treatment options available or they can provide.

Registered nurses are diploma or degree holders and can opt to advance their career by attaining advanced education in various specialties relating to certain conditions, particular type of patient like children or pregnant women, part of the body, or a department in the hospital like the Operating Room, Theater Room or the Emergency Room. In addition, they are in charge of issuing directives or directing licensed nursing practitioners (nurses and nurse assistants).

Public Health Nurse (PHN)

They specialize in community health. Apart from offering the basic RN functions in their respective care facilities or hospitals, they frequently visit patients in their homes, community centers or schools, where they coordinate with the individuals and families to find viable, available solutions to the community health issues. They work with available resources, clearly articulate to the local health policy maker and planners, and help community members voice their concerns and issues.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

These nurses are specialized in Anesthetics and work closely to other health professionals such as dentists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and podiatrists. They handle patients’ anesthetists requirements prior to, during and after a surgical procedure. To qualify as a practitioner, they undergo an additional 2 – 3 year professional study after their Bachelor of Science (Nursing Option) degree. After which they receive certification from CCNA (the Council of Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

An LPN works in all departments of healthcare and basically has more training compared to a Certified Nurse Assistant, but less than a Registered Nurse. They offer basic care such as recording or noting crucial signs, preparing and administering injections, monitoring patient’s overall condition, dressing and applying ice parks to patients. They also report severe reactions to treatments or medications, sometime carrying out routine laboratory tests.

In addition, they assist patients with everyday basic chores such as cleaning up, dressing and other personal hygiene. Some even help with baby delivery and care. Lastly, they can work in various health care facilities including nursing facilities, physicians’ clinics and hospitals, and the experienced ones can supervise aides and nursing assistants.

Occupational Health Nurse

These RNs provide for and supply healthy and safety services and programs to workers, community groups and worker populations. Depending on the type of employer, an occupation health nurse can prepare accident reports, organize further care and provide emergency care where necessary. Additionally, they provide health counseling, help with inoculations and health examinations, and evaluate work environments to identify probable health and/or safety concerns or issues



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