Understanding the Different Types of Nurses

diff type nurse

Understanding the different types of nurses and which one best fits your needs!  Once you decide to hire a private nurse, it can be quite confusing when figuring out who exactly to hire. Your search will bring you a list of candidates with the following titles:

• Nursing Student
• RN
• NP
• Retired Nurse

What does this all mean? Fortunately, while discerning between the different titles may seem intimidating, it’s actually much simpler than you would you think. With that being said, the following are a breakdown of what each title stands for in terms of the qualifications and services that they are associated with in most cases.

CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

A CNA is defined by his or her work ethic and attention to detail. Working under the guidance of a Registered Nurse, a CNA’s duties are to assist other nurses rather than to be the primary caretaker. The reason is because a CNA simply isn’t allowed yet to perform many procedures due to a lack of certifications. However, a CNA is more than capable of handling the daily quality-of-life needs of patients, regardless of their age or gender.

Nursing Student

Nursing students can either be undergraduate or graduate students. They’re bright-eyed and eager to learn, though they lack the real world experience to be left alone with a patient, as most are not able to properly handle unexpected or sudden patient problems. Nursing Students are capable of handling basic nursing duties as it pertains to providing food and beverages and making sure that oral medicine is administered. However, they’re usually present in an “observer” capacity, with a real nurse or doctor handling the duties.

LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse)

Not yet a Registered Nurse, LPNs have at least one year of education and experience under the guidance of doctors or a Registered Nurse, while also being registered by the state. Unlike CNAs, they’re able to administer injections and to provide more complex forms of medicine. In addition, they’re more than qualified to take a patient’s vital signs and can handle all the basic care functions of a nurse. Many often work in long-term care facilities, such as rehabilitation centers and nursing homes.

RN (Registered Nurse)

A registered nurse has more qualifications than an LPN. This position is becoming increasingly popular and requires the person to have graduated from a nursing program at a college or university, as well as to pass a national licensing exam. They are extremely knowledgable and experienced. As a result, they’re able to handle direct patient care and case management, while also being able to lead a team of nurses, create nursing practice standards, and even to create specific plans for patients to help them to improve or maintain their health.

BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

A BSN, known as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a degree obtained from a four-year university or college that provides an overview of the nursing profession. Having a BSN does not make the person qualified enough to provide nursing care on their own. Instead, it’s a necessary degree for further career advancement, as it offers many more possibilities, in addition to in-field nursing duties, such as administrative, teaching, and research positions. Having a BSN means that the person is eligible to take the licensing examination.

NP (Nurse Practitioners)

Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses that are more advanced in both practice and credentials. A NP has an advanced nursing degree and, as a result, is able to perform many functions that other nurses aren’t qualified to do. This includes diagnosing diseases, writing prescriptions, and even administering and performing various medical procedures, such as lumbar puncture. Due to their advanced qualifications, they often work alone in health facilities or as private in-home nurses. In addition, many work at specialized departments, such as with Cardiology or Nephrology.

Retired Nurse

A retired nurse may have once been formally qualified for any of the aforementioned positions. The difference is that he or she usually has an expired nursing license due to inactivity / a lack of renewal. Nonetheless, retired nurses can still legally serve in many health professions. One such example is as a Home Health Aide. As a Home Health Aide, a retired nurse can come to your home and help to feed or dress a patient, as well as make sure that their medications are being taken, food is prepared, and that basic housekeeping duties are performed.