10 Highly Demanded Types of Nurses and Their Job Role in Healthcare

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  • Mar 16, 2020
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10 Highly Demanded Types of Nurses and Their Job Role in Healthcare

In the healthcare ecosystem, the role of a nurse is no less than a doctor or physician. Nurses are equally responsible for caring for patients and helping treat their illness, disease, and medical needs. However, becoming a nurse isn’t easy. Although nursing career seems alluring because of the growth and earning opportunities available in the profession, however, only dedicated ones can be one.

Pursuing a career in the nursing field can help you unlock employment opportunities in today’s highly demanded healthcare system. But the role of a nurse is demanding and requires lots of hard-working, catering to patient needs 24×7. However, on the positive side, if one is determined, the potential in the nursing career is immense. Before jumping on to decide what you want to specialize in as a nurse, let us help you with details about different types of nurses, their job responsibilities and education and certification requirements.

There are numerous nursing specializations available and to explain all we may fall short of time. So, here is the sorted list of the ten highly demanded nurses in today’s healthcare industry for you to understand that which specialty you would take an interest in as your career option.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Education: Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Certifications required: Should pass the NCLEX-RN exam

Responsibilities of an RN:

  • Reviewing patient condition to prepare treatment plans
  • Carrying out diagnostic tests and analyzing results
  • Dressing incisions and wounds
  • Assisting doctors during surgical procedures
  • Advising and guiding patients on healthy habits
  • Giving patients and their families emotional support

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Education: Diploma in Practical Nursing (DPN)

Certifications required: Should pass the NCLEX-RN exam

Responsibilities of an LPN:

  • Administer medicine and check patient’s vital stats
  • Treat wounds, change the bandage and give injections
  • Monitor the health condition of the patient and tracks readings
  • Work under the supervision of RNs and physicians
  • Provide primary and immediate care to patients
  • Maintain health records of patients for future reference

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Education level: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree

Certifications needed: Earn APRN state licensure and national certification

Responsibilities of an NP:

  • Provide advanced and primary care under the supervision of physicians
  • Diagnose disease and initiate treatment plans
  • Counsel and educate patients on health conditions
  • Operate medical equipment to assist physicians
  • Monitor patients and prescribe medications if needed
  • Administer and analyze diagnostic test reports
  • Undertake patient observations and physical examinations
  • Maintain patient’s medical history and record symptoms.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Education level: BSN followed by MSN

Certifications needed: State license and CNA certificate program of the 6-to-12 week

Responsibilities of a CNS:

  • CNS assists LPNs and RNs with daily hospital tasks and routines.
  • Observe patients and diagnose their illness
  • Perform physical examinations and tests to evaluate patient condition
  • Treat disabilities, injuries, and diseases within their area of expertise
  • Advise other nursing staff on patient care issues
  • Promote wellness and disease prevention programs

Nurse Case Manager

Education level: BSN is necessary and MSN (for advanced education)

Certifications needed: RN

Responsibilities of a Nurse Case Manager:

  • Evaluate new patients and coordinate their long-term care plans
  • Assess patients to document and submit their medical records
  • Revise and update patient health care plans when required
  • Oversee a team of nurses to ensure positive patient outcomes
  • Keep patients informed and educate their families about various healthcare plans
  • Take clinical decisions regarding the patient’s routine care

Med-surgical Nurse

Education level: ADN or BSN

Certifications needed: Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) certification

Responsibilities of a Med-surgical Nurse:

  • Observe and assess patients
  • Diagnose patients and record their health symptoms, progress, and reaction
  • Administer medical examinations and provide treatment
  • Develop, plan, evaluate, implement and document patient care plans

Nurse Midwife

Education level: MSN

Certifications needed: Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)

Responsibilities of a Nurse Midwife:

  • Provide obstetrics, family planning, and prenatal care
  • Work as primary caregivers for women and newborns
  • Take care of the mother during the childbirth process
  • Educate mother about labor, childbirth and postpartum care
  • Teach mothers how to care for an infant and how to breastfeed
  • Educate women on unique health issues and birth options

Did You Know?

“By 2026, the employment opportunities for nurse midwives is estimated to grow by 21 percent as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Emergency Room Nurse

Education level: ASN or BSN

Certifications needed: RN and some hospitals may ask for the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC) certification

Responsibilities of an Emergency Room Nurse:

  • Provide immediate or urgent care to patients with life-threatening injuries or illness
  • Coordinate care and work with different teams to deliver emergency medical care
  • Assess the patient’s condition, obtain their medical history
  • Log vital stats of the patient to track changes in patient health
  • Administer medicine to emergency care unit patients
  • Monitor patient and evaluate their diagnostic reports

Oncology Nurse

Education level: ASN or BSN

Certifications needed: Registered Nurse and Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN)

Responsibilities of an Oncology Nurse:

  • Provide care to patients with cancer and coordinate their oncology treatment delivery
  • Diagnose, evaluate and treat cancer-related health issues
  • Administer chemotherapy and other treatment plans
  • Monitor patient’s health progress in response to their treatment and medication
  • Develop and implement individualized care to each cancer patient under the supervision and care
  • Enhance cancer treatment efforts with research works
  • Provide supportive resources to the patient and families to encourage a positive outlook
  • Educate and keep patients and their families informed
  • Log the patient’s response to medication and treatment

Operating Room Nurse

Education level: Associate’s Degree in Nursing (AND) or BSN

Certifications needed: CNOR certification

Responsibilities of an Operating Room Nurse:

  • Provide care to patients before, during and even after the surgery
  • Acts as a medium between the surgeon and the patient’s family
  • Arrange and coordinate all the surgical supplies for the operation
  • Evaluate the patient condition and vital stats before surgery
  • Keeps the operating room sterilized to prevent infection possibilities
  • Prepare the patient and position them on the operation table
  • Assist surgeons in passing medical instrument during operation
  • Ensure safety precautions are in checks

Final Thought

No matter which type of nurse you want to become, remember the following three essential advice for you to succeed: Firstly, get the right education and training, secondly obtain required certifications and license, and thirdly, develop soft-skills, be empathic and sharpen your communication skills as these are very much needed in the nursing profession.


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Sam Wilson, Consultant