15 Types of Nurses and What They Do

Albert Howard

15 Types of Nurses and What They Do

The modern and dynamic challenges in the healthcare industry led to the growth of a vast range of nursing careers in different settings. The nursing role has gone beyond traditional healthcare settings and entered the realm of law, justice, and education. 

To meet the demands of the rising population, employers look for more specialized and well-trained nurses for each line of work. For instance, nurses working with cancer patients need to have a specialization in oncology. 

To choose the best career path, every aspiring nurse must know about the various options out there. This way, you can become a valuable resource for your organization and contribute to an improved healthcare system. 

Here are the fifteen types of nurses and what they do in different healthcare settings. 

Registered Nurse (RN)

Before moving toward more advanced roles, a nurse has to work as a Registered Nurse (RN). It sets the foundation for all other specializations in nursing except for LPNs. As an RN, you can serve in a wide-ranging specialty and figure out what specialization best suits your career in the long run. 

Educational requirements: ADN, BSN, and NCLEX exam

Transcultural Nurse

The emerging practices in healthcare led to the demand for transcultural nurses. Are you familiar with the term? Or have you wondered what is transcultural nursing? Transcultural nursing primarily focuses on inclusive and culturally sensitive care and treatment of patients belonging to diverse communities and remote locations. Transcultural nurses deal with refugees, migrants, and immigrants. 

Educational requirements: ADN, BSN degree, and NCLEX exam 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) 

The next and more advanced level of an RN is the APRN. An APRN diagnoses and treats patients. Moreover, they can also prescribe and order lab tests. It has several types based on the area of work and diverse healthcare settings.

Educational requirements: MSN degree 

Nurse Informatics Specialist

A Nurse Informatics Specialist bridges the gap between healthcare and information technology for well-integrated and improved systems and processes. Typical duties of a nursing informatics specialist include identifying and reducing medical errors through data analysis, upgradation, and implementation of technology-empowered systems and medical procedures. 

Educational requirements: at least BSN, MSN for advanced roles

Nurse Manager

A nurse manager works as a supervisor who leads and oversees nursing and another medical staff team. Nurse managers’ primary duties are to ensure staff compliance and achieve targets through high-quality service delivery. This type of nursing job is suitable for professionals interested in leadership positions and upgrading the standard of care. 

Educational requirements: at least BSN and advanced degree MSN or DNP for advanced roles.

Nurse Educator

Demand for nurse educators has turned this into a promising career with a high potential for financial growth. A nurse educator can work in both academic and professional settings based on preference. In nursing schools and colleges, a nurse educator designs and teaches education programs to practice nurses and students. In professional settings like clinics and hospitals, their role is more inclined toward teaching and training nursing staff. 

Educational requirements: MSN

Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist is an advanced type of APRN who deals with administering anesthesia to patients. The role of nurse anesthetists has not been limited to clinical settings such as hospitals, clinics, military, and rural health care settings. They also work as teachers, educators, administrators, and researchers in non-clinical settings.

Educational requirements: MSN, DNP

Forensic Nurse 

A forensic nurse deals with victims of violent crimes, neglect, and abuse. The job of a forensic nurse is to assist law enforcement agencies in collecting and assessing biological evidence and later presenting it in court. 

Educational requirements: Associate or BSN degree 

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an APRN who works in a similar role as a psychiatric nurse. However, advanced education, experience, and training help them take on challenging cases. Psychiatric nurse practitioners evaluate mental disorders in patients and help them manage these disorders. They may range from eating disorders to depression to drug addiction. 

Educational requirements: BSN, MSN, NCLEX exam, NP certification

Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife is an APRN who delivers patient care to mothers and newborns. Their work revolves around family planning, obstetrics, and prenatal care. They also consult new mothers on disease prevention, nutrition, and better care of babies. 

Educational requirements: MSN

Nurse Case Manager

Nurse case managers, often called care coordinators, help patients plan and assess services to meet their health needs. Other duties include finding accessible and affordable medical care and resources and facilitating discharge.

Educational requirements: BSN degree

Research Analyst

Research analysts, often called nurse researchers, are medical scientists who conduct research to innovate medical procedures and practices in healthcare settings. They are the driving force behind the transformation of the healthcare setup. 

Educational requirements: MSN, Ph.D.

Trauma Nurse

A trauma nurse provides patient care to people who have suffered from a traumatic experience, such as a critical illness or injury. Nurses working in such a capacity can handle pressure in emergencies and make life-saving decisions. Their area of work primarily focuses on the critical care of patients in emergency rooms. 

Educational requirements: ADN, BSN, and NCLEX exam

School Nurse

What is the role of a nurse in a school? A school nurse works on managing and treating prevailing health issues in students. Such nurses deal with all age groups of students and raise awareness regarding best health habits and practices. Moreover, they administer first aid, examine and perform important tests related to eyes, hearing, etc. and advocate for social services. 

Educational requirements: ADN or BSN, NCLEX exam 

Telehealth Nurse

How do you manage to receive healthcare during the pandemic? A telehealth nurse served as the pivotal point in accessing healthcare services remotely. Telehealth nurses deliver quality care to patients through phone or video calls. This type of nurse assists and guides patients whether they need to manage their health at home or see a doctor. 

Educational requirements: ADN, BSN, NCLEX exam, and Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification

Final Thoughts 

Understanding the industry you want to enter to begin your professional journey is vital. When you’re ready to step in the right direction, a world of possibilities opens up. Explore your options in nursing and consider the above-mentioned types to see what aligns best with your interest in the long run. In this way, you can achieve emotional satisfaction, a stable job, and the motivation for growth.