What are the Different Nursing Careers?
Mar 23, 2015 | 11:00 am
While some nurses know exactly which field or population they’re called to serve, not all start out with a clear vision. And it’s easy to see why: According to DiscoveringNursing.com, there are at least 104 different nursing careers! If you’ve felt called to nursing, but don’t know which specialty fits you best, categorizing the different nursing careers can help draw out your life calling.
People, Place or Specialty
Some nurses first discovered their specialty by identifying with a specific age group, place of work or type of medical specialty.
The “People” category describes a certain population with which you might enjoy working. Here are a few examples of different nursing careers that care for specific populations:
•Pediatric Nurses specialize in children’s health
•Geriatric Nurses specialize in elderly care
•Hospice Nurses help those who are dying
•Women’s health nurses work specifically with women, and this group can get even more specific, including areas such as gynecology, midwifery, lactation and labor and delivery.
The “Place” category describes a location of work you might enjoy. Being a nurse doesn’t always mean working in a hospital; many different nursing careers involve other environments, such as:
•School nurses can work in a number of different educational settings.
•Correctional facility nurses can be found in jails, prisons and juvenile centers.
•Physician’s office nurses can work as family nurse practitioners, perinatal nurses or obstetrics nurses.
•Nurses who work in patients’ homes include developmental disability nurses, long-term care nurses, hospice nurses and home health care nurses.
•Emergency room (ER) nurses work in hospital settings.
•Nurses who work in community clinics can serve in urban settings, rural settings or go on missionary journeys.
•Flight Nurses work on location or in the air, depending on the need of the employer.
•Military nurses can work in the U.S. or abroad.
Categorizing a nurse by “Medical Specialty” helps if there is a disease or type of medical care that is close to your heart or interest. Here are some examples of different nursing careers that have a medical specialty:
•Cardiac care nurse
•HIV/AIDS care nurse
•Oncology nurses (cancer care)
•Gastroenterology nurses (diagnose and treat patients who have digestive and gastrointestinal issues)
Other types of nurses fit into all the categories, such as Nurse Anesthetists, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners, and some just defy categorization. In the article “Eight Types of Nurses You Never Knew Existed,” writers Hari Sreenivasan and Jason Kane point out a list of nursing career paths assembled from the book “The American Nurse Project” that just might surprise you. Hint: Roller derby nurse and NASCAR nurse make the list. Now those are “different” nursing careers!