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What are the Different Types of Nursing Jobs?

By Tamara Elliott
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Nursing is a vast field of opportunities for those who are interested in helping others. It offers many different work environments and responsibilities to fit an individual’s interests and personality. From direct care nursing jobs in hospitals to non-typical nursing jobs, the field is wide open.

Basic nursing jobs are the ones people think of when hearing the word nurse. These jobs are usually located in a healthcare setting and have a diverse range of skills needed. Nursing jobs in hospitals include:

  • Staff nurse – these nurses take care of the patients on the floor. These nurses can work in areas and take care of patients with cancer, patients with psychiatric illnesses, surgical patients, mothers and babies, emergency room patients, children, critically ill patients, and the standard, medically ill patient.
  • Surgical nurse – these nurses prepare patients for surgery, assist the doctors in surgery, and take care of patients immediately following surgery.
  • Nurse Supervisor – These nurses oversee the staff nurses on the floor. They do the scheduling and sometimes hiring and firing of staff nurses.
  • House supervisor nurses – these nurses cover all areas of the hospital and help ensure the staff nurses have the help needed to do their jobs.

Other healthcare nursing jobs include nursing home nurses. These nurses take care of patients in nursing homes, assisted living situations, and other long-term care facilities. They usually specialize in the care and treatment of older patients. These facilities have staff nurses that work with the patients in the facility. They will also have a Director of Nursing that oversees the entire nursing staff and some facilities use nurses as quality assurance coordinators and staff training coordinators also.

One may also work as a prison nurse, working with prisoners when they become ill or as a school nurse, working with children and teachers.

Non-typical nursing jobs cover a completely different aspect of nursing most people don’t realize is available. These nurses rarely deal directly with patients. They may work with governmental agencies to ensure the quality of care in healthcare facilities. They may work with insurance companies assessing potential clients or helping with job related injuries. They also help with developing and implementing governmental guidelines for the standards of practice used in nursing.

One other nursing job available is teaching. Nursing is a profession in great need of good instructors. These jobs require patience and a good foundation in basic nursing skills. Most universities require a master’s degree in nursing to become an instructor.

There are many other opportunities available for nurses. These listed are a few of the more common nursing jobs. Nurses are hard to come by in the United States and valued for their compassion and knowledge. Once you become a nurse, you are always a nurse, no matter what else you do.

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Discussion Comments
By sunshine31 — On Aug 26, 2010

Comfyshoes- Registered nursing jobs are available everywhere.

There is such a shortage of nursing jobs that many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement for nursing students in exchange for a guaranteed job upon graduation.

The average registered nurse makes about $70,000 a year. However, the agency nursing jobs in which a staffing company hires a nurse earns even higher wages. These nurses often work several part-time jobs and make about $40-$50 an hour as independent contractors.

In some cases they could make more especially if they are certified.

The advantage to contract work is that they get to work in a variety of settings and can select jobs with the work schedule that they want as well as earn a higher salary. The downside is the lack of benefits.

By comfyshoes — On Aug 26, 2010

Icecream17-I also wanted to say that oncology nursing jobs are readily available as well. Nurses working in the field of oncology treat cancer patients.

These nurses also have to have a high level of compassion and patience because of the stress that not only the cancer patient experiences, but the stress level of the family as well.

Sometimes the nurse is the most comforting person that the family encounters. A nurse in this field becomes very important to the family as does the social worker.

By icecream17 — On Aug 26, 2010

Mutsy- I always thought it would be great to be a pediatric nurse. I just love children.

Pediatric nursing jobs are usually in a children's hospital, or on the pediatric floor of a hospital.

In addition many pediatric nurses also obtain work in doctor’s offices and pediatric practices. The pediatric nurse really needs to love children and have enormous compassion for them.

Children are unpredictable sometimes and resist the nurses attempts to give them medication or shots.

Pediatric nurses also have to deal with grief when a child passes, as well as comfort the child's parents.

This is a very rewarding field but it is emotionally difficult. I never realized all that went in to be a pediatric nurse until I researched it myself.

By mutsy — On Aug 26, 2010

There are many types of nursing jobs and settings. Traveling nursing jobs require the nurse to offer care in the patient’s home.

The nurse that provides in home care and has to travel to the patient’s home. The nurse often obtains physical assessments such as blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, the nurse might assist in bathing or changing dressings if a patient has bandages.

There are also nursing home jobs available for nurses. Instead of traveling the nursing home nurse provides care for elderly patients. This type of care is known as geriatric nursing. Opportunities in this field are vast as the population for baby boomers reaching advanced age is growing.

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