Nine Different Types Of Nurses And What Do They Do

Nurses are the backbone of every healthcare setting. They ensure each patient gets the quality treatment they deserve. They do everything from conducting physical exams and counselling patients to administering medicine and providing care.

Like all other medical fields, nursing is constantly evolving. It is among the most in-demand professions and offers you many options to choose from. You can choose to be a family nurse, a cardiac nurse1, or specialize in any other nursing career that grabs your interest. There are more than a hundred options, and picking one may seem overwhelming. Below is a list of different types of nurses, their salaries, and work requirements to make selecting a specialty a little more straightforward.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

FNP is an extremely rewarding specialty that gives you a feeling of personal and professional fulfillment. It focuses on providing primary care services for people of all ages. FNP2s normally diagnose and treat health issues, perform diagnostic testing, and prescribe medications. They have an annual pay of approximately $100,910, and their expected job growth is 16%.

This field is recommended for those interested in providing comprehensive and in-depth care for all age groups. You must have a master’s degree in nursing, which you can also earn through an FNP online program, and a registered nursing license along with 500 faculty-supervised clinical hours to work as an FNP.

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered nurses are responsible for providing and coordinating patient care and educating them about different types of health conditions. Moreover, they also help patients through their advice and emotional support. Their estimated annual pay is between $60,300 and $75,900, and their expected job growth is 15%.

Becoming an RN requires an associate’s degree or a BSN3, along with a state nursing license. Thus, it requires considerably less time to begin work in this field than in other specialties. Moreover, RNs can work with different physicians in different specialties. Hence, if you are someone who would like to begin work as soon as possible and needs a field with more options, this one is the right fit for you. 

Cardiac nurse 

Cardiac nurses are more in demand now than ever as heart issues continue to rise. This field requires a little more elbow grease as you will have more responsibilities, including participating in heart surgeries like angioplasty 4and pacemaker implantations.5 The annual pay for a Cardiac nurse is approximately $67,490 per annum, and there is an expected job growth of 16 percent in this field. 

You will need an associate’s degree or a BSN, a registered nursing license, and a state nursing license to work as a cardiac nurse. If you are fascinated by the heart and want to study more about it, this may be the right specialty for you.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 

CRNAs are highly trained and assist with anesthesia required for surgeries. They undergo vigorous training and require one year in an acute care setting to begin their career. CRNAs get paid approximately $53,780 annually, and their expected job growth is 16%.

Along with one year in an acute care setting, CRNAs also require a master’s degree in nursing, a registered nurse license, and a CRNA 6certification. This field is recommended for people interested in assisting with and providing pain management before and after surgeries. 

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Clinical Nurse Specialists come under Advanced Practise Registered Nurses. They work with other nurses and hospital staff to provide premium quality care for patients. Moreover, CNSs mostly work in leadership roles and advice and educate other nurses. They earn approximately $85,723 annually, and their expected job growth is 15%. 

CNSs require a master’s Degree and a doctoral degree (not mandatory) to begin work. This field is recommended for people who can take charge and help improve patients’ health with superior quality care. 

Critical Care Nurse

CCNs perform many of the same duties as RNs. However, they are trained to deal with emergencies, unlike RNs. This includes caring for patients with serious wounds along with monitoring life support systems. Their pay is approximately $71,694 yearly, and their expected job growth is 19%.

You will need an associate’s degree or a BSN, a registered nursing license, and certification in providing advanced cardiac life support. If you’d like to provide care and comfort during traumatic events, this may be the ideal field for you. 

ER nurse

As the name suggests, these nurses only work in the ER and perform several important tasks, including carefully evaluating and stabilizing patients. They also review medical charts and administer appropriate medicines. Their annual pay is approximately $62,010, and their expected job growth is 16%.

ER nurses require an associate’s degree or a BSN, a registered nursing license, and a certified emergency nurse certification. This field is recommended for people who can function in high-pressure scenarios and make quick decisions. 

Oncology nurse

Oncology nurses are trained in providing care to cancer patients. They help educate patients about all the treatment options available for them and update them about their remission status. They earn $65,470 per annum, and their expected job growth is 19%.

You will need an associate’s degree or a BSN, a registered nurse license, and a thousand hours of RN training. This field is recommended for those who seek a career in providing care for those suffering from critical illness. 

Pediatric nurse

A Pediatric nurse is responsible for providing care to children. They can diagnose illnesses, develop a treatment plan, and perform physical examinations. Their pay is approximately $64,600 annually, and their expected job growth is 26%. 

You will need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and a registered nurse license to work as a pediatric nurse. This field is best for those who love caring for children and providing relief to them.


These are just a few picks from the hundreds of nursing careers today. Each specialization has its pros and benefits. Although they may seem different, they all have the same end goal: to provide quality care and treatment for all patients and work towards a healthier and happier community. Which niche piques your interest?

  1. Neubeck, Lis, et al. “Delivering healthcare remotely to cardiovascular patients during COVID-19: a rapid review of the evidence.” European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing 19.6 (2020): 486-494. ↩︎
  2. Torrens, Claire, et al. “Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the advanced nurse practitioner role in primary care settings: a scoping review.” International journal of nursing studies 104 (2020): 103443. ↩︎
  3. Lee, Wooseok, Sanghyun Son, and Kyoung Mu Lee. “Ap-bsn: Self-supervised denoising for real-world images via asymmetric pd and blind-spot network.” Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. 2022. ↩︎
  4. Ipema, Jetty, et al. “Editor’s Choice–Drug coated balloon angioplasty vs. standard percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in below the knee peripheral arterial disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” European journal of vascular and endovascular surgery 59.2 (2020): 265-275. ↩︎
  5. Migliore, Federico, et al. “Urgent pacemaker implantation rates in the Veneto region of Italy after the COVID-19 outbreak.” Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 13.6 (2020): e008722. ↩︎
  6. Phan, Thu, et al. “Segment-specific kinetics of mRNA, cRNA, and vRNA accumulation during influenza virus infection.” Journal of virology 95.10 (2021): 10-1128. ↩︎

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Icy Health Editorial Team

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