Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Common Nursing Roles & What They Do

Have you ever wondered what nurses do? With so many specialisms and roles out there, it can be difficult to know exactly what kind of care they provide. If you’re interested in learning more about nursing, below are some of the most common nursing roles and what their main responsibilities are. 

Registered Nurse
Salary: $60,300 median annually

It’s likely that you’ve heard of registered nurses (RN). These specialist nurses are responsible for providing and coordinating patient care, and they often work in a team of physicians, clinicians, and other health care specialists. RNs also educate people about health conditions while providing advice and emotional support to patients and their loved ones. 

To become a registered nurse, you’ll need to obtain at least a bachelor of science degree or an associate’s degree in nursing (these are usually 2-year degrees). The advantage of this line of work is that you can enter the workforce faster than other medical professions. RNs are highly regarded, and there are many opportunities to work in various nursing specialties, depending on your interests.

Nurse Educator
Salary: $68,450 median annually

Nurse educators play an important role in nearly all healthcare settings. Not only do they utilize and share their clinical experience with others, but they also draw from academic expertise in the field to educate nursing students about patient care. Some of the responsibilities of nurse educators include setting educational curriculums, preparing newly-graduated students for the transition into the nursing workforce, empowering nurses to succeed in their profession, and improving the systems that provide nursing education.

To become a nurse educator, you’ll need a master’s degree and a registered nurse license (RN). This requires a longer educational period than a registered nurse, but the salary range is usually higher. Nurse educators also work in a variety of settings, such as teaching in universities, hospital-based nursing programs, and in technical schools. They can also work as consultants, independent contractors, or in other education-focused roles.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse
Salary: $64,50 median annually

Psychiatric nurses support, diagnose, and treat patients with mental health issues. These nurses are also trained in counseling and are able to make a real difference in people’s lives. Unlike other nursing jobs where they are required to visit numerous patients each day, psychiatric nurses often spend time getting to know individual patients and gaining their trust over time. This enables them to properly treat patients who are struggling with mental health conditions

It is no surprise that psychiatric nursing jobs are challenging roles. Not only do they require a great deal of patience and empathy, but many of these nurses are also exposed to the distressing experiences and emotions of their patients. To qualify as a psychiatric nurse, you’ll need a master’s degree and a registered nurse license (RN). The benefit of working in this field is that you will have the opportunity to be placed in a variety of environments such as prisons, community centers, and psychiatric wards in hospitals. You may even be required to visit patients in their homes.

Pediatric Nurse
Salary: $64,600 median annually

Pediatric nurses specialize in providing care for children. Also known as a children’s nurse, pediatric nurses typically work with kids under the age of 18. Like other nurses, pediatric nurses are qualified to perform physical exams, diagnose illnesses, and provide treatment plans for patients. Some of the responsibilities of a pediatric nurse include basic medical care for children, monitoring and assessing a child’s requirements before matching them with the right level of care and communicating with the parents to keep them updated and informed about their child’s progress.

Pediatric nursing jobs require an associate’s degree or a bachelor of science degree, along with a registered nurse license (RN). Most pediatric nurses are employed by hospitals, doctor’s offices, surgical centers, and other healthcare settings. One of the most vital roles that these nurses play is in properly assessing and treating each child while considering their development, medical history, and family circumstances. These nurses must also be able to efficiently communicate with neonatal units.

Geriatric Nurse
Salary: $66,169 median annually

Contrary to pediatric nurses, a geriatric nurse specializes in treating older populations. This includes treating and assessing injuries, ailments, or illnesses in elderly individuals. Along with providing medical care, geriatric nurses can also anticipate future care for age-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease

While geriatric nursing applies to the elderly community, it is also a broad field that allows you to work in various settings. This includes rehabilitation centers, nursing homes or assisted living facilities, hospitals, senior centers, hospices, or in patient’s homes. 

To become a geriatric nurse, you’ll need an associate’s degree or a bachelor of science degree and a registered nursing license (RN). Once qualified, you’ll also work closely with multiple teams such as other doctors, carers, social workers, and other clinical workers. This is a great role for people who love working with elderly people and are interested in a role that involves developing relationships and improving care.

Cardiac Nurse
Salary: $67,490 median annually

Cardiac nurses are perhaps one of the lesser-known roles among the general population. As the name suggests, these specialist nurses are responsible for caring for patients with heart-related illnesses. Working primarily in hospitals, private clinics, and cardiovascular centers, cardiac nurses provide vital support to patients as well as assist with surgical procedures such as heart bypasses, angioplasties, and pacemaker surgery.

With heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., it is no surprise that cardiac nurses are in high demand. Along with treating patients who have heart-related issues, cardiac nurses are also responsible for caring for patients who are recovering from surgery. Cardiac nurses also have to keep track of patients’ medical histories, monitoring or administering medications, and helping patients put together a lifestyle plan following their surgery. To qualify for this role, you’ll need an associate’s degree or a bachelor of science degree, along with a registered nursing license (RN). 

This is a guest blog entry.

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