Types of nurses and scholarships

Types of Nurses explained

Individuals thinking of  persuing a nursing career are fortunate to be exposed to broad choices of specialties. What specialty should  person would want to consider depends on choice, financial, and educational background. There are great number of schools (universities and colleges) in the U.S. today that offers varying courses in nursing.

Licensed Practical Nurses

Individual who has completed a year training program in nursing in vocational or technical schools, or community college can be referred to as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). They usually provide nursing services to patients; give oral medication, record patient’s vital signs, give injections and many other things associated with health services. They must work under the direction of registered nurse. Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) have the same professional responsibilities as LPN, but additional responsibility in the management of intravenous site. The term LVN is mostly used in California and Texas. They work in hospitals, Doctor’s offices, nursing homes, etc.

Registered Nurses

The most common type of nurse is Registered Nurse (RN). They have either completed two year associate degree or diploma program, or completed bachelor’s degree in nursing at a college or university, and have been certified (passed national licensing exam). They work in physician’s office, public health agencies, schools, camps, and private homes. Some are employed by private hospitals and clinics. Sometimes additional training is required for a nurse to perform certain duties in the health service delivery. Most are members of professional associations.

Hospital Nurses

Many registered nurses work in hospitals under the direction of physicians. Because of sometimes complexity of illness of patients, RNs need more advanced level of professional training than LPNs to handle such cases. Many RNs work in hospitals that specializes in only certain medical cases, for example cancer hospitals, mental hospitals, pediatric hospitals, etc.

Emergency room nurses work in the emergency rooms, and deal with patients who are brought to the hospitals in a critical condition. This needs urgent and quick actions from the nurses, sometimes under intense pressure to save life. Certain types of nurses are called flight nurses. Their work is to transport critically ill patients from accident scenes to hospitals; or from one hospital to more advanced hospitals with higher level of care in emergency circumstances. They must act professionally in emergency situation where the smallest mistake could result in the death of a patient.

Intensive care nurses are those who work in intensive care units, and deal with patients who are critically ill. These nurses are well trained to notice even the smallest changes in patient’s condition that could lead to health complications or even death. They must understand health conditions of all types of patients including their body system, illnesses of certain groups of people.

Surgical nurses are those nurses who are normally based in operating theater to assist surgeons in performing surgical operations on patients. They normally prepare patients for surgical procedures, and monitor their conditions after surgery. They monitor their vital signs, make sure they are responding well to post-surgery treatment, and communicate with family members of the patient about progress.

Cardiovascular nurses deal with patients with heart problems. They understand the working of the heart and the circulatory system. These nurses mostly care for patients who are recovering from heart attack, or heart surgery. These patients need proper attention to maintain heart function.

Urology and nephrology nurses are those who work with patients with kidney and bladder problems. Some of these nurses administer dialysis under the supervision of a Doctor. Some patients are taught how to care for urogenital organs by some of these nurses.

Orthopedic nurses care for patients with bone problems. Their work includes caring for those with hip or knee injury, or those recovering from hip and knee surgery. They also attend to patients with walking disabilities in addition to other task.

Neuroscience nurses deal with people with injuries to the head or spinal cord. They know the condition of patients and how it affects their mental capabilities. They can adequately care for those with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s diseases and multiple sclerosis.

Oncology nurses usually deals with cancer patients. They care for these patients after surgery. These nurses also administer chemotherapy to cancer patients.

Psychiatric nurses handle patients with mental disorders. It is one of the most dangerous nursing specialties in the health service. There are reported cases of fatal consequences of attacks on psychiatric nurses by mentally ill patients. They manage patient’s medications and coordinate with physicians on the proper treatment of mentally ill patients.

Labor and delivery nurses assist pregnant mothers in child delivery. They monitor the labor of pregnant mothers and notify the Doctor when it’s time to deliver, and also assist in the delivery process, or help in the surgical theater if there is the need for Cesarean section.

Post-partum nurses assist mothers in their recovery, delivery. They help mothers to control pain after delivery; aid them in getting up from their bed and also teach them how to care for the babies.

Nursery nurses are those who take care of new-born babies. They make sure the new-born babies are eating properly, growing healthy. They educate parents about the proper care of the babies. Usually premature babies are taken to neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The nurses who care for these premature babies are called NICU nurses. They are specially trained to provide services to these tiny babies.

Pediatric nurses deal with children up to 18 years of age. They have deep understanding of childhood illnesses and surgeries, and are very good at handling children’s behavior.

Radiology nurses work in x-ray cabinets. These nurses assist in procedures like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and tomography (CT) scan. They help patients to follow instructions during these procedures.

Rehabilitation nurses help patients to gain back their physical capabilities like ability to walk, to speak, etc. after stroke, accident, or other serious illness. Some are employed in rehab centers that treat drug and alcohol abuse.

Travel or agency nurses do not station in one place but work between hospitals. They are assigned to hospitals to fill a vacant position with approved hours. They sometimes travel to other state if there is shortage of nurses, or the need for nurses with a particular specialty.

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