Throughout the years, there have been many other memorable nurses who have made their mark on the professionworld. For example, Hazel W. Johnson-Brown was a woman denied entry to her local nursing school due to her race. Johnson-Brown who went on to become director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing, chief nurse at an army hospital in Seoul, Korea, and commander of the Army Nurse Corps. Clara Barton, who is sometimesoften referred to as the most famous nurse in U.S. history, cared for Civil War soldiers in flooded makeshift hospitals. She later went on to found the American Red Cross. And Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first African-American nurse to complete official nurse training in 1879.

Nurses today might do everything from assisting doctors in surgery to monitoring a person’s treatment and helping patients to feel comfortable and cared for during a hospital stay, doctor’s visit or home care environment. From drawing your blood to helping you with rehabilitation post-surgery, there are so many things nurses do to help patients to feel their best. In honor of them, let’s take a look at the different types of nurses you may encounter when receiving care.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified nursing assistants typically work under the supervision of other medical professionals, like a registered nurse. CNAsThey can help patients with a variety of needs, everything from bathing to grooming, and assistance with mobility and eating. They may help monitor a patient’s food and liquid intake, keep a care team updated on a patient’s condition and observe and record a patient’s vital signs. CNAs often assist multiple patients at once.

Registered Nurse (RN)

You’ll commonly find registered nurses working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities and providing home healthcare services. Some may even work in schools, corporate environments or even provide care on airplanes as flight nurses. These nurses are often responsible for tasks like monitoring and recording vital signs, assisting doctors with procedures, administering mediation and IVs, creating patient care plans, drawing blood and collecting lab work. They also tackle answering questions as well as educating patients on care options and next steps.

Licensed Professional Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Licensed professional nurses and licensed vocational nurses generally perform the same duties. The LVN title, however, is a title only used in California and Texas. These nursing professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, a patient’s home and surgical and psychiatric facilities. They generally oversee patients under the supervision of a doctor or registered nurse. These nurses maywill interview a patient and ask about their medical history, the medications they are taking and current symptoms. They will also might manage medications and treatments, take vital signs, administer immunizations, draw blood and prepare IVs, give a patient oxygen and perform some administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and taking supply inventory.

Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

These nurses typically diagnose and treat illnesses, as well as manage chronic diseases. They may also advise on public health issues. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of nurses that fall under this category:

  • Nurse Practitioners: These nurses have a graduate degree in advanced nursing. These nurses may diagnose, order and interpret medical tests. They can also prescribe medication and will frequently collaborate with teams in the care of a patient, as well as provide primary and urgent care services to patients.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists: Clinical nurse specialists are advanced practiced registered nurses who hold a masters or doctorate in nursing. They commonly work in a variety of areas, including wound care, pain management, geriatrics, women’s health, and rehabilitation services. These nurses may, among other tasks, order tests, make limitedsome diagnoses,  monitor care, and administer basic treatment. In some states, they may be able to prescribe medications.
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: If you’ve ever had a surgery, you may have encountered a certified registered nurse anesthetist. These nurses are trained to administer general anesthesia, which helps you stay asleep during surgery. They can also perform regional anesthesia to block pain in certain areas of your body during a procedure, as well asor they may sedate you to help you feel calm during a medical test or treatment.

Registered Nurse First Assistant (RNFA)

These nurses can help assist a surgeon during a surgical operation. They often work closely with a surgeon and other healthcare team members and may assist withdo tasks like handling or cutting tissue, using, suturing, and wound management. RNFAs are also known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) but have additional training.

Home Care Registered Nurse

These nurses are typically LPNs/LVNs or RNs who provide care for a patient in their home. They generally tend to patients who are elderly, disabled, critically ill or are in the process of rehabilitating from a surgical procedure. They do everything from managing and administering medication to assisting with mobility, developing a care plan with a physician, providing wound care and dressing changes and drawing bloodwork.

Emergency Room Nurse/Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)

These licensed RNs have passed the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) examination. They ordinarily do everything from evaluating a patient upon arrival to stabilizing them. Emergency room nurses may also review a patient’s chart, manage medication administration and tend to basic ailments and wounds.

Nurse Supervisor

Nurse supervisors often work in long-term care facilities or hospital settings. They are typically in charge of supervising the nursing staff. Their daily tasks include everything from hiring and training nurses to managing their unit’s finances, scheduling shifts for nurses and enforcing protocols to help keep staff and patients safe.

Critical Care Registered Nurse

Critical care registered nurses mostly work with patients who are critically ill. They may monitor a patient’s condition and collaborate with other members of a patient’s team in regards to healthcare decisions. They are often the first source of contact between a patient’s family and their medical team. Critical care registered nurses perform tasks like administering medication and, ventilator care, managinge catheters, and managinge a patient’s overall vitals and condition. Like other nurses, they are also usually trained in lifesaving techniques like CPR.

Oncology Registered Nurse

Oncology registered nurses typically provide care to patients who are undergoing cancer treatments. They may also tend to patients at risk of developing cancer. They commonly monitor a patient’s condition and administer treatments like chemotherapy. Oncology registered nurses can also answer questions patients may have and help them feel comforted while undergoing treatments.

Cardiovascular Nurse

This is a nurse who specializes in seeing patients who are being treated for heart or blood vessel problems. They usually work under the supervision of cardiologists and help to treat and manage heart conditions. These types of nurses may perform tasks like monitoring and access heart conditions, helping with treatments like advanced cardiac life support or catheterization, as well as may assisting surgeons with heart surgery.

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or fitness program or acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

Inside Brookdale Communities

See what’s happening on our community Instagram pages

Find a Brookdale Community Near You
Find a Brookdale Community Near You

Let us help find the right community for you!

Complete the form and a Senior Living Advisor will be in touch!
or continue browsing

We value your privacy. By clicking, you agree to the terms and conditions of our privacy policy and agree to be called, in response to your inquiry, by a Senior Living Advisor using our automatic telephone dialing system.

Speak with a Senior Living Advisor now