If you are considering entering the field of nursing, it will help to have a more thorough understanding of what nursing roles will be available to you after you graduate from nursing career college. There are many different types of nurses in the nursing field, and the path that you choose will determine where you can work and what role you will play in the medical field.
A registered nurse (RN) has one of the most flexible roles in the nursing profession. Duties performed by an RN include providing medical treatments, directing nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses, and providing emotional support and advice to patients and their families. RNs can specialize in certain types of medicine, such as emergency care in an ER, or can specialize in treating certain types of patients, such as working in pediatric care.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) has less training than an RN, but also performs a wide variety of duties in medical facilities. An LPN provides patient care, including giving injections, taking vital signs, performing routine laboratory tests, monitoring patient’s well-being, applying dressings, and assisting patients with activities such as basic hygiene. LPNs may specialize in assisting with the delivery and care of infants. You may have also heard of licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). LVNs perform the same roles as LPNs. Depending on the state where a nurse is certified, they will either be designated the role of an LPN or LVN
Certified nurse assistants (CNAs) work under the supervision of registered nurses. The primary role of CNAs is to assist patients with daily tasks such as bathing and dressing, while also monitoring a patient’s overall condition and reporting any changes to an RN.
The role of a nurse practitioner demonstrates how nurses of any level can move forward in their career by taking additional courses from a nursing career school. RNs can take additional courses and undergo specialized training in order to become a nurse practitioner. In many states, nurse practitioners can write prescriptions. Nurse practitioners play an important role in patient diagnosis and treatment. As nurse practitioners gain more experience and specialized training, they have the potential for providing the type of basic health care that a doctor would.
Beginning with courses from an online nursing career school or traditional nursing school will help you to determine the path that you’d like to take in the field of nursing. During your course of studies, talk with professionals in the field of nursing to learn more about the different roles that they play so that you can determine what you are most interested in pursuing.