What kind of person becomes a nurse, what are their motivations and what diversities are there in nursing?

Many nurses love that there is a constant opportunity to learn, a new challenge almost every day, and they enjoy the interaction they have with new people each day. They either always knew they wanted to be in nursing or they were drawn to it through some personal experience, but they all yearn to help others. When trying to choose which specialty of nursing to get into, it is best if they understand their own interests. Some like to work with babies, some with seniors, others are interested in working with the disabled, or want to work in a hospital. There are many choices of career and a lot of medical facilities waiting to fill positions. With so many challenging positions and opportunities, it’s easy to understand why nursing is truly one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions there is.

Advanced Practice Nurse

An APN has nursing practice with both expanded and extended skills; with the intense care required, nurses needs knowledge and experience in assessment, implementation, diagnosis, planning, and evaluation. Nurses at this level are at a post-graduate level and can work in a generalist or specialist capacity, but have a high degree of knowledge, experience and skill within the patient-nurse relationship, so as to achieve the best outcomes through problem solving, critical analysis, and evidence based decision making. APN’s show increased degrees of autonomy in judgments and interventions, effective integration of theory, along with having more practice and experiences. In decision-making, they use multiple approaches; they manage the care of groups and individuals; collaborate to achieve the best client outcome; can manage staff and resources; are ethical and function within the legislation and common law affecting nursing. Median salary: $81,397 – Individual practice $89,634.

Ambulatory Care Nurse

Provides for the health needs of groups, families, and individuals in diverse settings, with an emphasis on helping them stay independent and healthy within a patient’s home for as long as possible. Nurse’s use perinatal, pediatric, holistic, and emergent care and have various specialties to choose from. They work for primary care offices, clinics, HMO’s, ambulatory providers, mobile health units, universities, day cares, home health agencies, shelters, retirement communities, and the military. Median salary: $44,000

Camp Nurse

A camp nurse works either for a day camp or in a residential camp setting, providing care for campers and staff. In rare cases, it may be a full time position, but usually it will be a seasonal position that lasts through the summer or it could be split into sessions throughout the full year. It is necessary to be autonomous, able to work outdoors, flexible, and a team player. A nurse could be called upon for anything from caring for minor injuries, rashes, or illnesses, to higher-level care such as tending to broken bones and animal bites. Camp nurses must administer medications and be able to treat wounds, change dressings, and be responsible for identifying infectious disease, while understanding how to plan ahead to reduce the spread of such infections. Camp nursing salaries range from $3,000 to $4,000 for a summer session.

Cardiac Care Nurse

In this field of nursing, a CCN deals with patients and families who suffer from heart disease. They are often Critical Care Nurses in hospitals, with duties that include managing clinical outcomes, customer satisfaction and cost operations, coordinating the daily nursing and interdisciplinary patient care assignments, as well as having advanced certifications. In addition, Cardiac Care Nurses typically hold a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and can also work in private homes with patients. They assist with cardiac drug monitoring and care for patients who have had angioplasty, bypass, or pacemaker surgery. Median salary: $40,000 to $55,000 annually, though salaries can vary by state.

Certified Nursing Assistant

A CNA assists in the healthcare needs of the patient. They provide bedside care, understand basic nursing procedures, answer to a RN or LPN and assist patients with general healthcare needs. The CAN is really a nurse’s assistant, and often has a high level of experience and ability, but cannot perform some duties because of liability and legal issues. The term certified means that the nurse has gained the necessary experience and academic achievement required by law. They are an important part of the team in healthcare and provide routine care that frees up other nurses and doctors to be involved in the more technical side of care. They must not only be skilled in procedures, but able to observe the patient’s condition and complaints so that proper information can be passed on to the nurse or doctor. Median salary: $23,900.

Community Health Nurse

The CHN dedicates their profession to helping the less fortunate and serve the public/community in health clinics or places like them. They serve those who cannot afford traditional medical services or that do not have insurance. Their first responsibility is to patient care, they are first in helping the patient stay on track concerning their health and they connect patients to other healthcare facilities that can ensure proper care. Underinsured and uninsured patients may have various conditions and the CHN must be prepared to see, diagnose, and treat the issues of those patients. CHN’s also visit patient’s homes in order to treat a wide array of medical conditions; they educate them on ways to prevent dependencies and health problems that range from obesity to substance abuse. They are the main contact these patients have to healthcare. They provide pediatric and prenatal care and may treat pregnant women who do not have insurance. Median salary: $ 51,000

Correctional Nurse

This can be a challenging nursing career as the nurse in a correctional facility cannot have any personal feelings and must act professionally towards the patient in all cases. A correctional nurse needs superb documentation skills and is able to assess a patient instantaneously. The only credentials needed are those of a regular Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse. There is however, an available resume booster called a Certified Correctional Health Care Professional certificate. This certificate shows that one is increasing their knowledge and will aid in gaining greater professional recognition in the field. The only difference between this position and that in regular nursing is the location, the workload, and the patients. There will also be a much smaller staff and while there is less use of things like trachs, IV’s, vents, etc. and some technical skills are lost, there is a definite increase in assessment skills and knowledge of a wide base of diseases. Median salary: $63,000

Dermatology Nurse

Nurses in this field are Registered Nurses (RNs) and are responsible for the patient care of those undergoing examination or treatment for varying skin conditions, disorders or disease. They are also responsible for patient education; how to treat wounds, cancer spots, and other skin issues. To become a Dermatology Nurse Certified (DNC), a nurse must take and pass a professional exam given by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board and have at least two years and 2,000 hours of experience in dermatological nursing, like chemical peels, patient education, skin cancer screenings and dermatological surgery assisting. This certificate is good for three years and then must be renewed with continuing education courses. Median salary: $56,000

Developmental Disabilities Nurse

A DDN works with those who have disorders such as Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Epilepsy. It is a challenging environment and while a nurse may have a particular specialty, DDN’s must adapt to multiple work demands. Positions are available in school systems, long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, public health, group homes, and hospitals. Nurses must have a deep commitment to continual education and have a great desire to do this kind of nursing. Most nurses would be expected to hold an advanced nursing degree or certification in developmental disabilities and have previous work experience for this field. Median salary: $53,000

Emergency Nurse

The ER Nurse is a Registered Nurse who also has at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and probably has a BSN. The nurse is trained to care for patients in trauma situations and how to deal with that in an emergency setting. From the time a patient enters the ER, or urgent care facility, the nurse must be ready to handle the situation and to handle a high-pressure environment, while providing instant care. Major injuries and /or very ill patients are the norm and the nurse must be able to deal and assess patients in life-threatening situations quickly. An ER nurse should be well versed in a variety of medical conditions, injuries and ailments, as there will be a different situation around every corner. They must also be able to remain calm in the most chaotic of situations and provide patient care, treatment and preparation for treatments. It is a highly stressful, but also very challenging and diverse area of medicine. Median salary: $57,300

Flight Nurse

When a patient is transported by helicopter or airplane, the flight nurse provides emergent and non-emergent care. This may occur when a patient is transferred from one healthcare facility to another or when there is a medical emergency in a difficult to reach area or in the instance of a highway collision. The nurse provides complex care to those who may be in critical, unstable or ailing condition. This may include; cardiac monitoring, advanced life support, or the administration of medications and IV fluids. It is a pretty autonomous position that holds a great amount of responsibility. The aircraft becomes a mini trauma center, so the flight nurse must be a RN with either an associates or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some employers also require a nurse to be certified in critical care, emergency, flight and/or transport nursing. Nurses in this field are often used by the military and also in private or public transport companies. Median salary: $66,300

Genetics Nurse

Although it has been around since the 1960’s, genetic nursing was a mostly hidden practice, but is growing quickly. Nurses provide education to patients about their risk for developing disease due to heredity, they counsel them about the risks and benefits associated with genetic testing and base on genetic information, manage disease risk. The nurse’s role has expanded due to new genetic tests that reveal one’s predisposition to such things as ovarian, colon and breast cancer. As of 2002, there is credentialing for genetic nursing, which entails a much broader and more encompassing role than it did previously. To become an Advanced Practice Nurse in Genetics, nurses must be RN’s with at least a Master’s or equivalent in Nursing. They must have at least 3 years genetic expertise with 50% genetic practice, have 5 years of documentation of 50 cases providing genetic health care, four in-depth genetic case histories that reflect ISONG standards of practice, a minimum of 50 contact hours in 5 years of genetic content, and three professional letters of reference. Median salary: $54,000 and up to $92,000 for advanced.

Geriatric Nurse

With people living longer all the time, the Geriatric Nurse is essential. Nurses must understand the specific needs and struggles faced by an aging community and are able to help them maintain a better quality of life. Geriatric Nurses are RN’s who specialize in elderly care; they may work in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes or in private homes. They perform simple tests like blood pressure, help in the completion of exams, administer medications, help patients adhere to treatment plans, counsel patients on their condition and care, while supplying that same information and care to the friends and family of the patient. Physically, they must be able to stand for long periods of time, regularly lift and bend and able to transport medical equipment or lift an immobile patient. Mentally and emotionally, nurses must be prepared to deal with emotional and stressful situations, they must be prepared to handle death and to counsel loved ones as well. Good communication skills are needed, as are patience and persistence. There are also issues of sanitation, as patients often deal with incontinence or other unsanitary conditions, which must be handled with professionalism and empathy. Median salary: $70,000

Hematology Nurse

Hematology is the study of blood, the organs that create blood and blood related diseases. Specialized training is required to become a Hematology Nurse. A nurse in this field primarily assists patients with blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and hemophilia; they may deal with the daily care of such patients and educate them about their disease and possible treatments. Nurses may have close contact with patient’s families in order to help them cope with their loved ones disease and the hematology nurse also helps them understand the procedures and treatments needed by answering questions and offering reassurance. A 4-year bachelor’s degree, a 3-year nursing diploma and a 2-year associate’s degree will be required to specialize in hematology nursing, as well as some additional training and experience in the field. Median salary: $66,000


A nurse in this field educates people both young and old, on how to prevent the spread of HIV. He or she helps those who are infected cope with the social, physical, and psychological aspects of the disease while minimizing pain and maximizing independence. They do the same for family members, teaching them both about the disease and also supporting them in their quest to understand how to better aid their loved one. The nurse must also care for the chronically ill patients and those dying from the many clinical manifestations of the disease. A nurse would need wonderful people skills, be able to cope with death, understand stress management, and be open to lifestyle and cultural differences. Certifications would include RN with an AD, diploma, or a BSN, which is preferred. Median salary: $53,000

Holistic Nurse

A nurse in this field has special training that lets them focus on a patient’s healthcare goals and provides individualized treatment for a patient’s emotional, mental and spiritual health. In order to heal a patient, a Holistic nurse uses several different health practices just like any RN, but holistic nurses use non-traditional methods consider the patient as a whole when deciding on treatment plans. They may include, generic medications, Ayurvedic, and Chinese techniques. Treatments could include aromatherapy, art, acupuncture, dance, meditation, massage therapy, mental healing, nutrition, music, physical therapy, and prayer. Nurses consider the spiritual beliefs, physical health, desires and expectations of the patient. They can teach relaxation, provide spiritual support and offer encouragement and support. Nurses quite often tirelessly care for their patients and give exceptional care. Holistic Nursing calls for specially trained RNs. First, a bachelor’s degree is recommended. This would be followed with clinics that explore different hospital settings and give one experience with patients. After this, basic training one would become an RN, take holistic classes, and gain experience in the field by working in a holistic clinic. After becoming an RN, a certificate in holistic nursing can be acquired through the American Holistic Nurses Association. Median salary: $57,000, for nurse practitioners $75,000

Infection Control Nurse

Nurses in this field, isolates sources of infection, educates people on how to reduce the spread of infection and comes up with preventative strategies toward future outbreaks. They provide direct patient care or may serve as a consultant for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. They may also be a researcher or an educator in infection prevention and control. There might even be a public focus on issues such as epidemics or bio-terrorism. This field requires a nurse to be a RN and to have expertise in epidemiology antibiotic use, microbiology and clinical practice. Most organizations would like an infection control nurse to have a certification in infection control. Median salary: $59,000

Infusion Nurse

An Infusion Therapy Nurse’s expertise is in maintaining, inserting intravenous lines (IVs), and central lines, which deliver medications and fluids into blood vessels. Nurses in this field are involved in patient care; data collection, consultation with physicians and other nurses; interpretation, analysis; research and education in infusion therapy. An infusion nurse is autonomous and independent and it is important to have a solid background in clinical skills and knowledge, as well as organizational and critical thinking skills. Nurses need clinical experience in their desired setting and may work in acute care facilities, hospitals, long-term care, ambulatory care centers and home health agencies. Certification in infusion therapy nursing, while not required, is highly desirable. Certification is available through a standardized exam for working infusion nurses with at least two years experience. The Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation. Median salary: $67,000

Labor and Delivery Nurse

Nurses in this field should enjoy working with people and be able to work in a high-pressure environment. They are usually involved with the patient from the beginning of labor in order to ensure that both mother and child get all the support and care they need. They are also involved in the care of women who, due to complications, must stay in the hospital before birth. As needed, the nurse helps with the delivery of the baby and provides continued car to the mother and child until they are released. Because emergencies are always possible, the labor and delivery nurse must be trained in neonatal resuscitation and other critical skills. Occasionally they will help mothers who are coping with post-partum depression. One would start as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and then become an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and specialized training in the field. Median salary: $40,000, for highly educated nurses up to $90,000

Lactation Consultant

In this position, one would already be a Registered Nurse who specializes in Lactation Consultation. A nurse in this role would coordinate lactation educational activities, such as breastfeeding assessments and patient care. They would consult with inpatient and outpatient clients, health professionals in hospitals as well as the community at large. Nurses in this field may find solutions for patients with insufficient weight gain, cover prematurity issues, mastisis in nursing moms, dealing with a cleft palate and provide up-to-date Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) program information regarding breastfeeding. Lactation Consultants would monitor inventory, ensure records accuracy, conduct assessments of mothers and infants and assists the Breastfeeding Coordinator in public awareness. Nurses are required to have two years experience providing breastfeeding consultation, assessment, and information to new mothers. They should be knowledgeable in human lactation and breastfeeding, consultation, appropriate educational methods, breast pump application and operation; understand the nutritional needs of infants and moms, understand common impeding problems like medical and physical conditions and be able to provide treatment. Within 18 months of appointment, they should also obtain the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Certification. Median salary: $56,500

Licensed Practical Nurse

Sometimes called Licensed Vocational Nurses, under the direction of a physician and/or registered nurse, a LPN has a general role and cares for the sick, convalescent, injured, or disabled. They provide basic bedside care, collect samples, record and measure vital signs, give injections or enemas, dress wounds, monitor catheters, keep equipment clean, give massages and alcohol rubs and generally help patients stay comfortable. At times it may be necessary to feed a patient/infant, help them to stand or walk, assist with bathing, dressing and hygiene. LPNs with experience my also supervise nursing aids or assistants. It is also their responsibility to monitor and report reactions to treatments or medications, to gather health and other pertinent information from patients, An LPN must be licensed to practice, which usually consists of a 1-year training program and exam. Median salary: $39,500

Long-Term Care Nurse

Nurses in this field, offer extended care for patients with illnesses, injuries or disabilities. Typically a licensed RN with at least 2000 hours of long-term experience. Nurses rehabilitate and care for the emotional and physical needs of those who are chronically incapacitated such as patients in recovery from surgery or injury, and the elderly. Working mainly in rehabilitation clinics or facilities offering skilled nursing or special needs care. A growing number of Long Term Care Nurses are engaged in home care, meaning working in the patient’s house. Aside from traditional nursing, it is necessary to be exposed to other disciplines, such as sociology, ethics, and psychology. With shifts lasting up to 12 consecutive hours, it is physically and emotionally taxing work and one needs to be physically fit, sensitive, empathetic and resilient. Nurses going into this field may want to concentrate on subjects such as diet, gerontology, physical therapy, psychology and pharmacology, while attaining an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A Long-Term Nurse must first become a RN and have a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in a related field. Median salary: $57,200

Medical-Surgical Nurse

Nurses in this field are RNs that work in acute care units, hospitals, home care and long-term facilities. They provide care for adult patients, for the most part, both before and after surgical procedures, or when the patient needs medications to manage illness. Nurses are responsible for handling staff issues and checking the budget; they assist doctors and provide information to the patient and family about payments and formalities. Nurses may rotate throughout a hospital, addressing social issues, assessing patient conditions or confined to an operating room. Varying roles can be entwined in the Medical-Surgical nurses career, from assisting in the administering to the patient or working as a scrub nurse to working outside sterile areas of the surgical room. Nurses may work in emergency, primary care or long-term care facilities. A Bachelor’s of Science in nursing is recommended. Median salary: $70,000

Military Nurse

In the United States military, nurses receive specialized training and travel opportunities. Nurses are in a special military program called the Nurse Corps, they aid in the care of military personnel and their dependents, working in hospitals, clinics or in the field. Responsibilities vary and include, working with other care professionals, charting stats, giving medications, and performing patient assessments. Licensed nurses must be U.S. citizens, have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing, medical and moral standards, be at least 21 years of age, and complete a security check. Salaries are dependant on rank, cost of living, housing and the need for nurses.

Neonatal Nurse

Nurses in this field are involved in taking care of newborns, so a love of babies is needed. Nurses can work in three possible levels in neonatal care. The first level: Caring for healthy newborn babies after childbirth. The second level: Caring for ill newborns or for premature babies. The third level: Caring for newborns with problems above and beyond the first two levels. Nurses in this field may work with babies in very serious condition, suffering things like low birth weight, jaundice, and respiratory disorders. They guide and solve queries from parents about health concerns and must have good communication skills. They must be quick to conquer difficult situations and the presence of mind to convey the right information concerning health issues. Other duties include Primary care, the feeding of premature babies via gavage tube; close monitoring of babies health, technical duties, fulfilling special needs, and providing emotional support. Median salary: $84,000

Nephrology Nurse

A NP is an advance practice nurse that cares for patients with kidney disease or is at high risk for developing kidney problems. They manage the care of patients with kidney issues, and may be a generalist or specialize in hemodialysis, which is a procedure that removes waste from the blood, possibly in association with kidney transplant. A NP functions similarly to a physician, but is limited within the scope of practice. The NP teaches patients and families about related issues, coordinate care given by other healthcare members, and advocate for the patient. Work environments are in physician’s offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, organ transplant centers, or dialysis centers. Nurses need an to obtain a NP license and a master’s degree in nursing with a focus on primary care of those with kidney disorders. Median salary: $100,000

Neuroscience Nurse

Also known as a Neurology Nurse; nurses in this field, work with disorders and diseases of the brain and nervous system. While doing the work of a regular nurse, they are also specially trained to assist doctors in the care of patients suffering from neurological issues. Their main responsibility is to explain exam procedures such as brain scans, answer patient questions, order tests; evaluate patient health and track vital signs. Neuroscience nurses assist neurology doctors; they must have knowledge of the spinal cord as well as the brain; know the proper techniques to treat patients with head injuries, that are in a coma or have had a stroke. Another role is that of a resource for other staff members. Continuing education is necessary to stay up to date on the latest trends in the neurological care of patients. Median Salary: $70,000

Nurse Administrator

Nurses in this field have degrees in nursing, nursing administration or business and work within the top levels of health care and hospital administration. They oversee and guide a medical institution’s nursing staff.  They coordinate the environment in which care is given and are the first line head nurse, assuming responsibility for resources, personnel, and patient care. They may be responsible for several nursing units or all nursing units as staffing and/or shifts. A manager promotes and directs the development of the nursing staff, establishes and controls the budget and supports the implementation of standards and guidelines of the nursing staff. Median salary: $82,000

Nurse Entrepreneur

Being your own boss is the goal here and opening a business in the health care field makes it possible. Nurses considering this role must know what they want to do and what they are best at. They will need business, people skills and marketing ability. Establishing a business means having a plan that defines objectives and goals for the business, establish income requirements, as well as how a firm foundation will be formed. One must be able to troubleshoot A Nurse Entrepreneur may offer their skills to patients with particular needs, such as diabetes, AIDS, etc. or they may work from their homes. Options are endless, from work at home nurses, to building nursing web sites. Median salaries would vary widely depending on scope of business and/or professional offerings.

Nurse Midwife

A CNM has achieved an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in nursing as well as completed specialized training in midwifery. She is a primary healthcare provider for usually healthy women whose birthing process should be uncomplicated and not high risk. CNM’s may practice in hospitals, clinics, birthing centers, or in private homes. They are able to care for newborns, prescribe some treatments, medications, medical devices, diagnostic and therapeutic measures, etc. and can give care to women from puberty. Working closely with Obstetricians and Gynecologists in most cases, they can provide consultation or assistance for patients who develop complications during delivery. Median salary: $90,100

Nurse Researcher

A nurse researcher’s responsibilities may include reviewing clinical records for clinical intervention, patient responses, and medications. They compile and enter clinical data into database; collaborates with investigators and statistical consultants; reviews and assesses data collected; and submits documentation and correspondence to comply with protocols. They also screen and recruit people for clinical studies; coordinate clinical studies; administer medication; obtain patient medical histories; attend investigation meetings, and perform other assigned duties. A person in this position must have knowledge of specialized terminology, of medications and dosages; have interpersonal skills; have written and verbal communication skills, and be able to maintain confidentiality, operate a computer, and analyze and interpret statistical data. Minimum educational qualifications include 2 years of research nursing experience and graduation from a RN program with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing preferred. Median salary: $62,100

Occupational Health Nurse

Nurses in this field must have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree and meet the states registration criteria. Warehouses, factories, construction sites or other workplaces where they monitor employees and assure they are healthy and safe usually employ them. This is done by identifying and correcting any health hazards that may exist, such as unsafe equipment, hazardous chemicals/materials and procedures that could hurt or expose an employee. Nurses need to have strong skills in science, math and management skills. They must be detail oriented, capable of assessing health and workplace hazard, and be excellent communicators that always keep the worker’s best interests in mind. Median salary: $66,500

Oncology Nurse

Often working one-on-one with patients in hospitals, clinics and private homes, an Oncology Nurse usually has a Bachelor of Science in nursing and is a RN, along with certification in Oncology nursing. Nurses in this field, care for chronically or critically ill cancer patients. They administer chemotherapy, monitor patient progress and implement new methods of treatment. They also may specialize in an area such as pediatric hematology, breast cancer care, or oncology. Much of their job is educating cancer patients about treatment options, particularities of the disease and procedures. This means they must continually educate themselves to keep up with new methods of treatment. Being sympathetic is important as they deal with patients diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. Median salary: $61,400

Ophthalmic Nurse

Provides care to patients with eye disorders, which include blindness or visual impairments. They may teach patients or assist in surgery. Knowledge of the effect of ophthalmic disorders on the body and how to deal with patient’s emotions with adapting to their impairment is important and home visits to educate and comfort are common. A nurse must have people skills, be flexible, have prior experience in surgical nursing, and general multi system nursing knowledge. Median salary: $52,300

Orthopaedic Nurse

Nurses in this field provide care for patients with fractures or other injuries, arthritis, birth defects that affect the skeleton or muscles, and patients undergoing joint-replacement surgery. They perform activities related to patient care in orthopedics, inserting IV’s, changing dressings, and checking the site of surgery. They work in outpatient rehabilitation centers, hospitals, orthopedists offices and home health agencies. Orthopaedic nurses must be RN’s with a two-year degree and 1,000 hours of work experience in the field of orthopedics to receive certification and pass a written exam. Median salary: $72,000

Otorhinolaryngology Nurse

Also known as Head and Neck nursing, these nurses provide support and care to patients having medical and surgical procedures that involve the nose, ears, and throat. They should be able to deal with patient grief and self-image; be able to educate patients on care; build long-term patient relationships, and deal with a variety of nursing duties and patients. They work in ambulatory surgery centers, operating rooms, office practices, schools, hospice, clinics, and for home care agencies. Nurses will be an RN with diploma and also have an AD or BSN. Median salary: $52,100

Pain Management Nurse

Nurses in this field are responsible for assessment, treatment, and monitoring pain. They educate patients on pain management, and make sure the patient is safe during the administering of treatments. Pain management is very important, especially for the terminally ill patient. Nurses must understand the needs of patients with certain pain and conditions, so that the proper pain levels can be assessed. They are advanced practice nurses with a Nurse Practitioner Certificate and Master’s Degree. They also have certification in Advanced Oncology or Palliative Care. Median salary: $78,000

Parish Nurse

Also known as a congregational health nurse, runs a health ministry in a faith-based organization. They help parishioners integrate their lifestyle and faith with their wellbeing. The parish nurse ministry, in many cases, is established by a nurse with an area of expertise or interest in such things as health promotion, geriatrics, or disease management. They may serve a single congregation or several churches; they are sometimes employed by community health services or hospitals. Usually a parish nurse has years of experience in traditional settings and has completed educational certification in an approved program by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. Median salary: $15,000

Perianesthesia Nurse

Nurses in this role are an RN’s with an AD diploma or BSN. They provide intensive care to patients as they awake from anesthesia. The nurse prepares patients for surgery; monitors and supports a patient’s transition from an anesthetized state safely to a responsive state, and prepares them for transfer from the perianesthesia care unit. A Perianesthesia Nurse knows the responses and complications that can arise from anesthesia, such as hypotension and respiratory distress and can act appropriately. A nurse must have experience in medical/surgical, and critical care; be flexible, have good decision-making and assessment skills; have technological ability, and stress management. Median salary: $79,000

Perinatal Nurse

Nurses in this field should be a RN with AD diploma or a BSN, which is preferred. They care for women, infants and their families from the beginning of pregnancy through the first month of a newborn’s life. They monitor the pregnancy; assess progression of labor, monitor the status of the baby and mother, maintain comfort and calm during labor, and support family members. After the birth, the nurse fosters the mother and infant relationship, assess and evaluate the newborns adjustment to life; support the mother and child in their recovery and teach parenting skills. Peinatal nurses should have people skills, a positive attitude, commitment, tolerance, and patience and flexible schedules. Median salary: $87,900

Perioperative Nurse

Assisting with patient care in the operating room is the nurse’s main role, but they have specialized duties. Professional registered nurses duties include, the pre-operative, intra-operative and postoperative phases of surgery. Perioperative Nurses work closely with patients, family and other healthcare professionals in day surgery units, hospital surgical departments, clinics, and physician’s offices. They plan, implement and evaluate treatments, patient care and may serve as scrub nurses and circulating nurses who manage overall nursing care. Median salary: $69,000

Poison Information Specialist

Specialists in this field provide information to schools, businesses, individuals, and medical professionals regarding poison treatment and prevention. They are licensed pharmacists or licensed RN’s who usually have backgrounds in emergency rooms and ICU’s. They often work in poison control centers where they provide phone triage to people who have ingested poison. They must be able to stay calm when dealing with patients, have the ability to quickly assess a situation and act and provide general information to medical professionals and the public. Median salary: $65.200

Psychiatric Nurse

A nurse in this field is a RN with AD diploma or BSN. The Psychiatric Nurse masters the art of using themselves in therapeutic ways, so as to assist patients in self-understanding and behavior. They view patients from a holistic perspective; taking into account both mental and physical needs, while focusing on their behavior. The nurse works with chronic and acute mental illnesses such as mood disorders, sexual assault and psychoses. They are involved in patient care and relationships and must work well with peers. People skills and patience are needed due to working with difficult or even dangerous patients. Median salary: $80,100

Pulmonary Care Nurse

Treating patients who have lung diseases and respiratory conditions, such as asthma, TB, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer, Pulmonary Care Nurses work with diagnostic technicians and respiratory therapists to develop treatments for patients. They also assist pulmonologists who teat patients with acute and chronic lung diseases. Many are specialized in critical care and work in both hospitals and in patient’s homes, helping them to manage pain and administering medical treatments. They are licensed RN’s with either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in nursing. They will have also completed the NCLEX-RN exam and most will then take one of many certifications offered by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Median salary: $61,983

Radiology Nurse

Nurses in this field, are certified as a RNs, have completed advanced education in radiology, passed a national licensing and radiology exam. They care for patients receiving radiological treatments and have diverse and comprehensive tasks as compared to a floor nurse. They are a RN with certification in oncology nursing. They provide mental, emotional, and physical care for patients, while helping patients understand and recuperate from radiology procedures. Nurses perform tasks such as administration of different forms of IVs, monitoring patients, dispensing fluids and medicines, patient assessment and procedure education. Nurses have several types of specialties within radiology to choose from, such as mammography, ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, and nuclear medicine. Radiology nurses work in hospitals, health facilities and specialized facilities. Median salary: $62,400

Rehabilitation Nurse

Nurses in this field care for patients who are experiencing progressive, temporary, or permanent illness or disabilities that are advanced enough to alter their normal functioning and interpret their lifestyle. They have a heavy workload; must have interpersonal skills for long-term relationships with patients; deal with patient grief, paperwork, bureaucracy and financial constraints. They must have medical/surgical skills, be flexible, have patient and family educations skills, be physically fit, and able to collaborate with a team. They work in freestanding facilities, hospitals, and long-term care facilities and are RN’s with AD diploma or BSN. Median salary: $57,300

Reproductive Nurse

Nurses in this field are RN’s who have earned an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in nursing and have been certified within their specialty. They provide support and education to patients, families, and couples regarding menopause, fertility, and other reproductive concerns. Often called fertility nurses, they work in clinics that provide treatments; they match egg donors to families, or they work in counseling programs that help patients who have difficulty conceiving. They speak to patients who are going through menopause or having hormonal changes about managing symptoms and/or finding treatments. Working in clinics and hospitals that provide treatments, they discuss reproduction options with hopeful patients wanting to conceive. Median salary: $99,000

School Nurse

Nurses in schools are RN’s who facilitate positive student responses to normal development; promote safety and health; provide case management services; intervene with potential and actual health problems; and actively collaborate with students and family. Nurses may have to adapt to the needs of the students of the area. They assume responsibility for appropriate planning, assessment, intervention, management, evaluation and referral. They are responsible for the direct and indirect care given to patients/students according to district policies, professional standards, doctor’s orders and health plans. They promote prevention and facilitate the removal of health-related barriers to learning and they promote an optimal level of student and staff wellness. Median salary: $43,800

Sports Medicine Specialist

Daily responsibilities of the specialist may include pre-performance evaluation, injury assessment; the treatment of injuries, addressing substance abuse and sport psychology issues. They may work for either amateur or professional teams in any sport and must communicate with other members of their team, the coaches, professional or school administrators, the athletes and their families. Salaries are based on experience, area and type of specialty or facility, but range between $37,000 to 49.000.

Sub-Acute Nurse

The nurse provides comprehensive patient care for those who have had acute illness, the exacerbation of a disease process or injury. Sub acute care is more intensive than regular nursing home care and less intensive than acute care. Issues may include, AIDS, brain injury recovery, postoperative recovery, infections, wound care, ventilator care and hospice. Nurses must have excellent clinical skills, along with an ability to work alone or as part of a team. Skills should include, medical-surgical, extended care, and critical care skills such as assessment, Ventilator, IV therapy, and Tracheostomy skills. Median salary: $40,000

Substance Abuse Nurse

There is a large demand for nurses in this field with 1 in 10 Americans dealing with substance abuse. It is a demanding field, but can be rewarding as patients recover. The nurse’s role is to provide emotional support and administer required medications to patients, which means that the nurse must possess both the necessary technical skills and also the empathy to deal with those who have reached an emotional low point. It is important for the nurse to have patience and understanding as they assess the recovery of patience who may request medications after they are no longer needed. Since relapse is also a factor, the nurse must be able to cope with that fact. If the nurse can stay static, they are better able to serve the patient. A degree in nursing and medical technician training is necessary for this job, and psychological training is also useful. Median salary: $53,000

Supplemental Nurse

Nurses in this field are employed by an agency that provides specific nursing skills to healthcare facilities or hospitals. Sometimes called a travel care or home care nurse, a supplemental nurse can practice in any clinical specialty, in almost any arena of healthcare. Nurses have flexibility of schedule, autonomy, independence and shift preference, but need a strong clinical background, be flexible, and have self-confidence. They must be easily adaptable, possess good people skills and be inquisitive. Median salary: $52,000

Surgical Nurse

Nurses in this field are RN’s have specialized training in various surgical care and work within the context of a surgical team in order to care for patients in all phases of surgical procedure. They work long hours in stressful conditions and must be on their feet for extended periods of time. Nurses may work in hospital trauma, surgery clinics, emergency centers, and surgical suites. Successful nurses have patience, attention to detail, and can work well within a team. Scrub Nurses work within sterile environment, assisting surgeons during procedures. Circulating Nurses (perioperative) also work with the surgical team, but not in the sterile environment. RN First Assistants works directly under the surgeon, have extensive additional training, and provide direct surgical care. Perianesthesia Nurses assist people before and after surgery, they are the ones who begin intravenous lines, assess patients, perform any surgery prep and give out medications. After surgery, they are responsible for monitoring patients as they awake from surgery, including removing IV’s or catheters, checking dressings and wounds and addressing any issues. Median salary: $74,750

Telemetry Nurse

Nurses in this field combine technical skills with interpersonal skills, which makes them essential and unique in a hospital setting. They are in charge of heart rate monitoring devices, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and breathing rates. Careers put nurses on the front line of care; they are ready for action if there are any changes in a patient’s vital signs. Median Salary: $57,000

Telephone Triage Nurse

Nurses in this field are RN’s with AD, diploma or BSN, and work for HMO’s, hospitals, clinics, managed care/insurance, advice centers and telephone triage lines. They provide distance consultations and education, advice, telephone triage, teleradiology, as well as other applications. They speak via telephone to patients, consumers or clients to help them determine the urgency of their medical situation, either referring them to resources or possibly scheduling appointments and giving health advice to callers. This allows for the reduction of clinic and emergency room visits and provides information for self-care and symptom management. Nurses in this field must be able to work alone at a desk for long hours on a computer and telephone. They must have triage experience, typing/computer skills, and have a good telephone manner. It is also important to understand crisis intervention, teaching, critical thinking, clinical, and assessment skills. Median salary: $51,000

Toxicology Nurse

Nurses in this field are RN’s with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing; have passed the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and have at least one year of post-doctoral training. They care for patients who have had exposure to toxins or poisons. They provide treatment and care in order to bring the patients body back into a normal range. They work with providers to organize treatment plans and help evaluate diagnostic tests and EKG findings. Nurses are committed to spreading poison prevention and awareness by educating communities, families and patients. Toxicology Nurses, much like trauma nurses, often work under pressure. They must also ease the fears and concerns of patients and to make treatments go smoothly, give support and advice. Median salary: $50,000

Transplant Nurse

Nurses care for living donors and recipients throughout the transplantation process; it begins with end-stage disease and continues to long-term follow up. Nurses in this field are RN’s with AD, diploma or BSN; they work in transplant centers or in hospitals without centers as a resource to staff. They must be able to evolve with technology, have interdisciplinary collaboration skills, understand organ resource allocation and other ethical issues; be able to deal with loss and grief; have knowledge of high-tech treatments, communicate well and be able to teach. Median salary: $74,300

Trauma Nurse

Position involves quick response to a wide variety to single and multi-system trauma for patients of varying ages, cultures, needs, and symptoms. Nurses in this field must respond with clarity and decisiveness to events that are unexpected; they must assess, intervene, and stabilize patients they know little about. Often working in transport units and inpatient critical care settings, under emergent conditions, including diving accidents, multi-system trauma, shock, poisoning and other medical emergencies. Their role is an autonomous and independent one that has assorted challenges and a variety of duties. Nurses must build relationships, work as a team, use innovative thinking, teach patients, and work under high pressure, in difficult situations. They must be able to overcome cultural and language barriers, and deal with difficult patients. Nurses are RN’s with AD, diploma or preferably a BSN; have experience in medical/surgery, emergency, hands on skill with equipment, be flexible, make decisions easily, and able to assess, assert, and communicate. Median salary: $75,000

Travel Nurse

Nurses in this field work out of agencies, have varying educations and are involved in taking temporary nursing assignments both internationally and domestically. They are frequently in critical care settings, on cruise ships, Indian reservations; hold staff positions, and other special projects. Nurses must be prepared to have little to no orientation on their new location; they move from place to place, often up to four times a year and are challenged on how to obtain licenses, pay taxes and other issues. Nurses need a good clinical foundation and for clinical positions, a critical care background; they must be adaptable, flexible, have an ability to make friends easily and get along. Median salary varies widely: $25,000 plus up to $6,000 bonuses per trip.

Wound and Ostomy Nurse

A WOCN is a clinical nurse whose specialty involves the treatment of patients with chronic and acute wounds, as well as ostomy patients with bladder or bowel diversion. Nurses in this field, are RN’s who have Bachelor’s degrees, are BLS certified usually with a minimum of 3 years clinical experience in Acute Care settings. They must have excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills and be willing to be a part of ongoing education sessions in order to update their certification. Nurses often direct the nursing process in support of the patients at various stages of illness, including pressure ulcers, ostomy surgery, fistulas and complex wounds. They may also be consultants for other nurses and staff. Median salary: $69,000.