Categories of Nurses
January 22, 2023
Nursing is an ever-changing career. It is always crucial to know the different categories of nurses in order to choose one that suits an individual’s passion most. Still, nursing is high paying, always on demand and has a good satisfactory rate and most people desire to get into a nursing program.
According to statistics conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nursing is the largest profession in the health sector. Each nursing level has different responsibilities, locations, and salaries.
Different types of nurses have different roles in hospitals and the community. In this article we discuss what role each nurse plays, the education requirements and average salary.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) act as primary care providers to patients. Their responsibilities include prescribing medications, assessing their patients, coordinating treatment plans, and significantly, they have an advanced scope of work. The median salary for the FNPs is $123,780 annually.
To qualify as an FNP, you need a master’s degree.
The registered nurses are responsible for administering medications and treatments, assessing patients, educating families and patients on disease processes and management, collaborating with other healthcare providers, and assisting with the procedures. Registered nurses’ median salary is $77,600.
To qualify as a registered nurse, you can take three paths: holding a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (AND), or a Nursing Diploma.
Licensed Practical Nurses
An LPN helps patients with essential care such as bathing, eating, and drinking. Sometimes, LPNs administer some medications and perform various duties such as inserting catheters, taking blood pressure, etc. The median salary of licensed practical nurses range is $48,070.
You must complete an accredited practical nursing certificate program to become an LPN.
The main role of nurse practitioners is to examine patients, prescribe medications, diagnose illnesses, order diagnostic tests, and provide treatment. Their median salary goes for $120,680.
To qualify as an NP, you need to hold a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) and have bedside nursing experience. In addition, you need to enroll in an accredited MSN/NP and pass the national certification exam.
Critical Care Nurse
As the name suggests, critical care nurses are registered nurses who work in intensive care units (ICU). The purpose of these nurses is to provide care to patients with critical injuries or illnesses that require maximum care. The median salary for critical care nurses goes for $79,800.
Any nurse with the urge to work as a critical care nurse needs a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN).
Labor and Delivery Nurse
The labor and delivery nurses assist mothers through birth, provide care for newborn babies, and help in the postnatal treatment of the child and mother. These nurses work in hospitals in the OB/GYN department. The labor and delivery nurses’ median salary goes for $76,400.
To get the RN license, a labor and delivery nurse must earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. The nurses can also consider advancing their career with a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN).
The oncology nurses work directly with cancer patients. These nurses work with doctors to provide care to patients battling cancer, at risk of developing cancer, and those undergoing cancer treatments. The median salary for oncology nurses is $79,320.
Oncology nurses need a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN).
Clinical Nurse Specialist
The responsibilities of CNS depend on the type of facility. The main purposes of the CNS are assisting with research, teaching within the community, conducting research as the primary investigator, assisting with evidence-based practice projects, providing transactional care, educating patients and families, and assisting nurses and staff with direct patient care as a resource.
You need a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree, then attend an accredited MSN program to focus on a clinical nurse specialist track. Completing and passing a national certification exam is also a major requirement. The annual salary for a clinical nurse specialist is $94,483.
The main purpose of nurse consultants in hospitals is to evaluate patients’ care. They assess the overall delivery of services for individual patients, assess symptoms, and make recommendations on various treatments. Their salary goes to $73,300 annually.
Technically it’s not a must, but most nurse consultants pursue a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree while others advance their studies at an advanced level.
Physician’s Office Nurse
These nurses work in a physician’s private practice, also known as a doctor’s office. In addition, they work with a team of medical assistants, nurses, and physicians as well. The average salary for the physician’s office nurse is $73,860 annually.
To acquire a physician’s office nurse position, you must be a registered nurse, apply for a nursing license, and earn a certification.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
The CNAs role is assisting with medical procedures, assisting patients with ADLs, answering patients’ calls, turning and repositioning patients, gathering bedside supplies, and obtaining vital signs. The median salary of certified nurse assistants ranges from $30,290.
You must complete a state-approved training program to qualify as a certified nursing assistant.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
CRNAs are responsible for patients under anesthesia. The main responsibilities of these nurses include administering anesthetic and pain medication, educating families and patients, and identifying risks to a patient under anesthesia. The median salary for the CRNAs goes for $195,610 annually.
For qualification under this nursing program, you need a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree and then gain a minimum of one to three years of experience working in an ICU.
Travel nurses are also registered, nurses. They help healthcare organizations fill workforce gaps for nurses who are not present. The travel nurses fill in for nurses who might be on leave, or are dealing with emergencies like a national disaster, out of the country, etc. The salary range for the travel nurse varies by location or the contract.
A Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree is recommended, but an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) is required.
Med-surgical nurses work on a hospital’s medical/surgical floor, caring for multiple patients simultaneously. Med-surgical nurses administer medications, monitor vital signs, and maintain patient records. The median salary for nurses ranges from $101,700.
To qualify as a med-surgical nurse, you need to earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree or an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN).
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
The advanced practice registered nurse diagnose patients, order tests, manage treatments, and prescribe medications. The APRNs work in hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient care centers. The median salary for APRNs goes for $123,780.
To qualify as an APRN, you need a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN).
Health Informatics Nurse Specialist
The purpose of these nurses is to train medical staff, maintain medical hardware and software, ensure that electronic documentation meets accreditation, and review organization standards. These nurses are mostly found in the information systems department of health care organizations. The median salary for nurses goes for $93,390.
You must earn a master’s in health informatics, BSN, health care management, or quality management is preferred.
Clinical Nurse Supervisor
The clinical nurse supervisor’s responsibilities are to schedule hours, supervise nursing staff, hand out patient assignments, and complete performance evaluations. They work in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The median salary for nurses is $76,145.
To qualify as a clinical nurse supervisor, you must earn ADN, Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN), and a Master’s degree in Nursing (MSN).