10 Types of Nurses

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There are many different types of nurses you can be with a BSN. Some examples are school nurse, public health nurse, nurse educator, home health nurse, insurance nurse, and outpatient nurse. Nursing specialties in demand include nurse midwifes, neonatal nurses and clinical nurse specialist.

nurse sitting at desk using laptop

You know you want to be a nurse, but do you know what type of nurse you want to be? There are many different types of nurses, and the best way to explore your place among them is through Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, where you’ll have the opportunity to try out a variety of nursing specialties during your clinical rotations.

Earning your BSN is the first step toward a diverse career centered on helping people. As a registered nurse (RN), you can work in many different settings, both inside and outside the hospital, and specialize in areas that interest you. Let’s review some of the different types of nurses and potential nursing careers below.

1. Outpatient Nurse

Most outpatient nurses work in clinics where they take patients' vital signs, collect blood or other samples for testing, educate patients, and more. Most of the patients these nurses treat have less serious ailments, and some only come in for check-ups. Nonetheless, the number of patients for outpatient nurses is often larger than for those working in hospitals because these patients only require medical attention for brief periods.

If you seek a job that allows you to work a regular schedule, this can be a fantastic career choice. The hours of many clinics are predetermined, and they are closed on weekends and major holidays.

2. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators often educate nursing students at teaching hospitals or college nursing programs after working in clinical settings. Teachers can work full-time in the classroom or part-time while continuing to cover clinical shifts.

A BSN and further study, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), are often prerequisites for becoming a nurse educator. Certain institutions, schools, and hospitals may even prefer candidates with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

3. School Nurse

This is a good option if you are looking for a Monday through Friday, regular fixed-hours job. School nurses must be comfortable with autonomy and know about a variety of health-related topics.

School nurses must hold a BSN, and some schools may require nurses to have passed the NCSN exam.

4. Nurse Researcher

Hospitals, pharmaceutical firms, contract research firms, and more employ nurse researchers.

You will have the chance to plan and organize scientific studies as a nurse researcher to help the nursing profession grow. You may need to apply for funds and gather and evaluate data. An organized person with a keen analytical mind might be a great nursing researcher. Depending on the occupation, different degrees of education may be required.

two nurses sitting at desk looking at tablet

5. Military Nurse

Like all military employees, military nurses must go through basic training; however, depending on the branch of the military you join, your training will vary. Regardless of the branch, you will join the Nursing Corps and be qualified to serve as anything from an OB/GYN nurse to a nurse anesthetist.

Also, there are other venues in which you can work, including clinics on military bases or in the field. You may even work on a medical or military aircraft. Your income and benefits will be comparable to many other nursing jobs, and you could qualify for sign-on bonuses and student loan repayments.

6. Nursing Home Nurse

Nursing home staff nurses can develop strong bonds with the elderly patients they care for daily. If you work in a nursing home, many of your patients will likely need help with dressing, bathing, and other hygiene-related duties, and going to different activities or locations throughout the facility, etc.

RNs in nursing homes frequently hold managerial positions and handle more complex duties like creating and monitoring treatment plans, starting IVs, and providing injections. RNs with greater experience could potentially transition into administrative roles.

7. Nurse Manager

For nurses who are enthusiastic about health care and are excellent at managing people, being a nurse manager is a terrific career choice. Many nurse managers collaborate with their staff to develop schedules, decide on patient care and financial priorities, carry out performance evaluations, and more. This may be a suitable nursing job for you to consider if you have strong communication, conflict resolution, and business abilities.

nurse speaking with someone in hallway

Most companies that hire nurse managers require applicants to have a master's degree. With the help of Notre Dame of Maryland University's ABSN program, you can finish the first step toward a master's degree and, ultimately, a career as a nurse manager by earning your BSN in as few as 15 months.

8. Insurance Nurse

Consider pursuing an insurance position if you want to avoid working in a clinical environment but still use your medical industry knowledge in your career. In this specialty, nurses fill various roles and assist insurance firms using their clinical expertise. Reviewing insurance claims, advising clients on wellness, serving as a liaison between patients and health care providers, and even creating standards for patient care are some of their duties, depending on their job titles.

9. Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses provide one-on-one care to patients in their residences. Home health nursing benefits patients with a variety of ailments, including the aged, disabled, chronically ill, those recuperating from surgery or accidents, and more. These nurses frequently attend to the everyday requirements of their patients by giving medicine, assisting with basic hygiene, treating any injuries, and more.

10. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses assess their communities' overall health and work to improve it. A public health nurse may have a wide range of responsibilities; some examples include analyzing data to identify trends and risk factors for a specific community, developing campaigns to address any widespread health concerns, and treating people who are members of high-risk groups. Public health nurses frequently work for governmental bodies, educational institutions, neighborhood clinics, or non-profit groups rather than hospitals.

NDMU nursing student working with sim manikin

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There are many different settings and roles you can take on as a nurse and many different nursing specialties you can pursue.

Nursing Specialties in Demand

Some nursing specialties in demand to consider include:

  • Neonatal Nurse
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Each of these positions does require an advanced nursing degree — however, the first step toward these high-paying specializations is a BSN from NDMU.

Pursue Your Nursing Education

NDMU student wearing stethoscope and smiling

If you’re ready to work toward a fulfilling career as a nurse and already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, our ABSN program can prepare you in as few as 15 months. After earning your BSN from our School of Nursing, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to take the NCLEX and enter the profession as a practice-ready nurse.

Contact our team of dedicated admissions counselors today to learn why enrolling in our 15-month ABSN program in Maryland is worth it for your future nursing career.