As the third largest industry in the U.S., it’s not surprising that the healthcare industry has many professionals keeping the wheels turning. From administrative healthcare workers to doctors, surgeons, and so many others, it takes a lot of skilled professionals to deliver the care that so many people depend on every day. One particular segment playing a major role in the overall care of patients everywhere are nurses. In fact, it’s safe to say that healthcare wouldn’t be the same without the dedication and care of skilled nursing professionals. There is no one size fits all career path in nursing, and there are many different nursing roles within healthcare to choose from. If you’re considering pursuing a future in nursing, here are some of the different types of nurses to be aware of.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
APRNs work in a variety of healthcare settings and have completed not only a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), but have also earned a master’s degree in one of the three areas of advanced practice including Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse-Midwife, or Clinical Nurse Practitioner. ARPNs coordinate patient care and may even provide primary and specialty healthcare services depending on their area of practice.
Registered Nurse (RN)
While the minimum education requirement for an RN is an Associate Degree in nursing (ADN), many healthcare organizations prefer to hire RNs with a BSN. RNs work under the supervision of physicians and their typical duties include assessing patient health issues, creating and implementing nursing care plans, administering nursing care to sick, injured, or disabled patients, maintaining medical records, educating and advising patients on health and disease prevention. RNs also supervise medical assistants and other nursing staff and may continue their education to work in an even more specialized nursing role such as a surgical, psychiatric, or emergency room (ER) nurse.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Also referred to as a licensed vocational nurse, (LVN), practical nurses are an essential part of a medical team. Working under the supervision of an RN or APRN, practical nurses administer medication, change bandages, monitor vital signs, collect blood and urine samples, communicate with patients, and more. Practical nurse education requirements typically require the completion of an approved certificate or diploma program from an approved school. Many nursing professionals start their careers as practical nurses and continue on to expand their education later in their careers.
While medical assistants are not nurses, strictly speaking, they play an important role in the healthcare industry because they provide integral support with everyday operations of clinics, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and more. Their typical duties include not just patient care and support but can also include a variety of administrative tasks. While the education requirements for medical assistants may vary from state to state, most training programs offer a diploma or certificate upon completion.
There’s no question that nurses of all kinds are truly the backbone of the healthcare industry. As the industry continues to grow, the need for skilled nursing professionals will grow right along with it. If you’d like to learn more about a career in patient care, check out the practical nurse training or the medical assisting programs at Caris College. Caris is helping students build the foundation they need to join the next generation of healthcare heroes. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a campus tour.