The demand for well qualified nurses is at an all time high. As the baby boomer generation ages, their health care needs are ever increasing. Private practices, hospitals and home care companies rely on nurses that can do their job exceptionally and provide the care needed for their patients. There are several different types of nurses and different requirements for each kind.

Popular Nursing Careers

Certified Nurse Assistants

A certified nurse assistant (CNA) serves as the eyes and ears of a nurse on duty. A CNA often provides the services that the nurse may not have ample time to complete. Some tasks may include dressing patients, tracking their vital signs and helping patients with limited range of motion. A CNA reports to the nurses on the status of their patients and cuts down on the nurse’s need to continually check on the patient. A certified nursing assistant can work in almost any medical environment including hospitals, long term health facilities and can also operate in home care facilities. CNAs often continue their education to become registered nurses and broaden their opportunities.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RN) account for the majority of nursing professions in the United States. RNs also occupy the top ten percent of occupations in this country. Registered nurses have a higher degree of expertise and education which makes them able to work in many different industries. An RN may work in an emergency room or urgent care center, operating rooms and often cardiac units. They also can be successful in private practices and nursing homes as well. An RN is required to pass a national licensing exam after they have completed their educational training. RNs typically assist doctors and serve as advocates to admitted patients. They are responsible for completing a chart with the patient’s complaints and symptoms so the doctor may gain the information needed. Due to the growing need for registered nurses, many struggle as they are placed with a heavier workload. Incentives are offered in many areas for RNs to apply and work in their institution.

Licensed Practical Nurses

An LPN (licensed practical nurse) is in between CNAs and RNs as far as education and responsibilities. LPNs are trained to perform more patient care tasks such as taking vital signs, administering medicines and injections and dressing wounds. An LPN is trained for one year and is then required to take and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. The four topics being tested are safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. An LPN is required to be able to work with many different kinds of patients and to stay calm during a stressful time.

Nurse Midwife

Another branch of nursing that isn’t heard of much is a nurse midwife. A CNM is a certified registered nurse who has specialized their education in gynecology, obstetrics, prenatal care and delivery of babies. Nurse midwives create a close relationship with their patients and strive to accomplish the birth plan the parents prefer. Typically patients who do not want medical intervention during birth and are healthy enough to have a baby at home pursue nurse midwives. There is a growing demand for nurse midwives as parents are wanting a more natural process at birth. A nurse midwife must be able to coach a mother through birth and help create an environment either in the home or at the hospital so the mother can remain soothed and have a healthy delivery. The hardest part of this job may be the nurse’s requirement to instill confidence in a first time mother. This field of nursing has the highest pay rate of all mentioned in this article.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Another important field of nursing is that of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. This title is given to nurses who have completed their Bachelor’s degree in nursing and have gone on to obtain their master’s degree. A CRNA is welcome in most medical fields such as dentistry, obstetrics and may even assist military doctors. A CRNA must be able to concentrate for long periods of time and be able to remain calm in any stressful situation. Anesthetists are responsible for putting a patient under for many different kinds of procedures. Their skill must be perfected to avoid any mistakes or injuries to patients. CRNAs are the highest paid individuals in the nursing industry with annual salary reports claiming earnings of $140,000. This field is very flexible for individuals because they can choose to practice alone or as part of a team alongside an anesthesiologist. Recertification and further training is required of CRNAs every 2 years.

Explore YOUR Career Options

There are many more nursing positions available and the industry is wide open for those who wish to dedicate their lives to helping people. To see more career options, check out our types of nurses article.

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