100+ Different Types of Nurses and Nurse Specialties

different nurse specialties and types
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Below we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the different types of nurses and nursing specialties.

Use the table of contents below. The specialties are sorted by alphabetical order.

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Different Types of Nurses

A-C: Nursing Specialties

Agency Nurse

See Contract Nurse. An agency nurse works their contract through a third-party agency. While a contract nurse will just contract directly with the facility.

Aids Nurse

See HIV/AIDS Nurse.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

An advanced practice registered nurse or APRN is a nurse who has gone to graduate school and have received either their Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. An APRN includes a nurse practitioner (NP), a clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse anesthetist (CRNA) or a nurse midwife.

Ambulatory Care Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients seeking medical care for acute or chronic illnesses. Typically in an outpatient setting.

Associate Degree Nurse

See Registered Nurse. An associates degree nurse is a nurse who may have their registered nurse licensure but they received their associates degree in nursing from a 2 year junior college instead of their bachelor’s degree in nursing from a 4 year university.

Bariatric Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who are being treated for obesity-related reasons.

Burn Care Nurse

A nurse that treats patients who have been burned by fire, chemical, water, or by any other means. →Related: How to Become a Burn Care Nurse

Apply to a Nursing Job

If any of these nursing jobs interest you. Check out our nurse job board to see what’s available in your area.

Camp Nurse

A nurse that takes care of people at camps or retreats. Typically a setting that’s far away from a hospital or medical facility. Typically a job that’s considered kid-focused, but not all camps are geared towards kids. Also, the camps that are for kids have adults that are there also. →Related: How to Become a Camp Nurse

Cardiac Care Nurse

A cardiac nurse takes care of patients with heart disease such as: heart failure (CHF), coronary heart disease (CAD). They also take care of patients who are recovery from a heart surgery such as heart bypass.

Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse

A nurse who works with patients who have undergone a heart catheterization procedure. If you’re wondering what a heart cath is, here’s a helpful video.

Case Management Nurse

A nurse who helps coordinate the long-term care plan of patients.

Certified Nurse Midwife

An advanced practice registered nurse who’s specialized in childbirth and reproductive health.

Chief Nursing Officer

See nurse executive.

Clinical Nurse Leader

An advanced practice nurse who’s job is to improve safety and quality outcomes for a specific patient and population.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

An advanced practice registered nurse who has chosen to become specialized in a specific area or type of nursing.

Community Health Nurse

See public health nurse.

Complementary Health Nurse

See holistic nurse.

Contract Nurse

A nurse who contracts with a hospital to provide short term nursing support when staffing is low. Similar to travel nursing except contract nurses maybe taking assignments in the general area where they live year round.

Continence Nurse

Provides care to patients with urinary or fecal incontinence.

Correctional Facility Nurse

A nurse that takes care of incarcerated patients. So these would be patients in jails, prisons, and other correctional type institutions.

Cosmetic Nurse

See plastic surgery nurse for this one.

Critical Care Nurse

A nurse that takes care of critically ill patients. These are patients usually found in the intensive care unit or ICU.

D-F: Types of Nurses

Dermatology Nurse

A nurse who takes care of patients with skin disorders or diseases.

Developmental Disability Nurse

A nurse that works with patients who have mental or physical disabilities. For example down syndrome.

Diabetes Nurse

A nurse who works with patients who have diabetes.

Domestic Violence Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who were victims of domestic violence.

Ear, Nose and Throat Nurse

See Otorhinolaryngology Nurse.

Emergency Room Nurse

A nurse who works in the ER taking care of patients who are dealing with anything from minor bumps and bruises to acute and life threatening symptoms.

Endocrinology Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who have endocrine disorders. For example diabetes and pituitary disorders.

Endoscopy Nurse

See gastroenterology nurse. GI nurse and an endoscopy nurse are typically used interchangeably. The term endoscopy nurse is referencing more to the GI nurses that assist gastroenterologists in GI procedures such as a colonoscopy or an EGD.

Faith Nurse

See parish nurse.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

An advanced practice nurse who takes care of patients across the lifespan.

Fertility Nurse

A nurse whose patients are either couples or individuals who are having fertility or reproductive issues.

Flight Nurse

Also called a transport nurse. This nurse takes care of patients in remote locations stabilizing them until they can be transported via aircraft to the nearest emergency facility.

Apply to a Nursing Job

If any of these nursing jobs interest you. Check out our nurse job board to see what’s available in your area.

Freelance Nurse Writer

A nurse that writes for publications. Can be books, blogs, articles, journals, etc.

Forensic Nurse

A nurse that works closely with the legal system to collect forensic evidence in a case where there’s been a victim of violence.

G-L: Types of Nurses

Gastroenterology Nurse

Also called an endoscopy nurse. This nurse works with patients who have an illness related to the GI tract.

Genetics Nurse

A nurse that works with patients with hereditary illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.

Geriatric Nurse

A nurse who’s nursing practice focuses on the elderly population.

Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice nurse who’s primary focus is the elderly population.

Gynecology Nurses

See Obstetrics nurse.

Health Policy Nurse

Helps in the legislation process for giving input in the creation of public health policies.

Hematology Nurse

This nurse takes care of patients with blood disorders such as hemophilia.

HIV/AIDS Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with HIV and AIDS.

Holistic Nurse

A nurse whose focus is on treating the “whole patient.” Also called a complementary health nurse, this nurse on top of the traditional nursing approach also takes a mind, body, and spirit approach also.

Home Health Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients in the patient’s home.

Hospice Nurse

A nurse that provides care to patients with terminal illness. Requires very compassionate care because the goal is to minimize pain and allow the patient to pass on with dignity.

ICU Nurse

See critical care nurse.

Independent Nurse Contractor

See per-diem nurse.

Infection Control Nurse

A nurse that helps prevent infections in a hospital or clinic setting.

Informatics Nurse

The liaison between software/system engineers and the healthcare providers who use them.

Infusion Nurse

A nurse that administers medications to patients via intravenous lines central lines and other access ports.

International Nurse

A nurse that travels and works in other parts of the world. Similar to a travel nurse.

Labor and Delivery Nurse

A nurse that cares for women during labor and childbirth.

Lactation Consultant

Helps new moms learn how to breastfeed and bond with their newborn.

Legal Nurse Consultant

A nurse that works with lawyers as a medical expert in legal cases. As the medical expert they help the lawyers understand the medical and Healthcare related points of the case.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

A nurse who has graduated from LPN school and is able to take care of patients. An LPN can either function independently or under the supervision of a Registered Nurse.

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

See licensed practical nurse.

Long-term Care Nurse

A nurse who takes care of patients who need medical attention for an extended period of time because of an ongoing medical condition, disability or illness.

M-P: Nurse Specialties

Managed Care Nurse

A nurse that works with patients (young to elderly), providers, medical facilities, insurance companies and government agencies to provide high quality healthcare, while keeping costs down.

Medical-Surgical Nurse

A medical surgical nurse works with a variety of patients on a Med-Surg floor. From pre- to post- surgery to minor and severe illnesses the med-surg nurse will see it all.

Military Nurse

A nurse that works in the military and cares for military patients.

Missionary Nurse

A nurse that works for a non profit (religious or non-religious) providing care to patients who are many times in underserved areas or parts of the world.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse (Nicu Nurse)

A nurse that takes care of premature and usually critically ill newborns in the NICU of a hospital.

Nephrology Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with kidney problems/disease.

Neuroscience Nurse

Takes care of patients with central nervous system disorders.

Nurse Advocate

A nurse that’s the liaison between the physicians and the patients. In a certain capacity all nurses are advocates for their patients.

Nurse Anesthetist

See certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Nurse Attorney

A nurse who has both their nursing and law licensure and degrees.

Nurse Author

See freelance nurse writer.

Nurse Educator

A nurse that teaches nursing students.

Nurse Entrepreneur

See nursepreneur.

Nurse Executive

A nurse that holds a high level management position in a hospital. For example chief nursing officer.

Nurse Historian

See freelance nurse writer.

Nurse Life Care Planner

A nurse that creates a long term care plan for a patient that’s going to need some form of medical care and attention for the rest of their life.

Nurse Manager

The nursing supervisor for a floor or a unit. Can also be the hiring and firing manager.

Nurse Midwife

See certified nurse midwife.

Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice nurse that provides primary care to patients. Depending on the state can treat, diagnose and prescribe medications.

Nursepreneur

Nurse + entrepreneur = nursepreneur. This is a nurse who is also an entrepreneur. It’s a nurse that uses their training to start their own business. While it’s more commonly referenced for nurses who start healthcare or nursing related businesses, it doesn’t necessarily have to.

Apply to a Nursing Job

If any of these nursing jobs interest you. Check out our nurse job board to see what’s available in your area.

Nurse Researcher

Nurses who design studies and analyze results for the improvement of nursing practice.

Nurse Writer

See freelance nurse writer.

Obstetrics Nurse

Also called an OB nurse. This is a nurse that takes care of female patients during labor, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

Occupational Health Nurse

A nurse whos job is to protect the safety and wellbeing of employees.

Oncology Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who have cancer.

Operating Room Nurse (OR Nurse)

A nurse that works in the OR and assists the surgeons during the surgery. The OR nurse can work either before, during, or after surgery.

Ophthalmic Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with eye disease or illness. For example glaucoma.

Orthopedic Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who have musculoskeletal issues. For example fractures and osteoporosis.

Ostomy Nurse

See wound care nurse.

Otorhinolaryngology Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with ear, nose, throat, head, and neck disorders.

Pain Management Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with chronic and sometimes debilitating pain.

Palliative Care Nurse

See hospice nurse.

Parish Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients within a religious community.

Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse

See endocrinology nurse.

Pediatric Nurse

A nurse that specializes in taking care of children.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice nurse who takes care children by providing primary care services.

Per-diem Nurse

A nurse who works for a facility on a temporary or as needed basis (i.e. not a regular full time staff).

Peri-Anesthesia Nurse

See poet anesthesia care unit nurse.

Perinatal Nurse

See obstetrics nurse.

Peri-Operative Nurse

See operating room nurse.

Plastic Surgery Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients who are undergoing cosmetic and sometimes surgical procedures. For example liposuction, face lifts.

Poison Information Specialist

A specialized form of toxicology nurse

Post Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse (PACU Nurse)

Nurses who provided observation and treatment services to patients who have recieved anesthesia.

Post-Operative Nurse

See operating room nurse.

Psychiatric Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia, and substance abuse.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice registered nurse who provides specialty care to patients psychiatric and behavioral health disorders.

Public Health Nurse

A public health nurse provides education and care to patients/people within a community.

Pulmonary Care

A nurse that takes care of patients with respiratory disorders or illnesses.

Q-T: Different Types of Nurses

Quality Improvement Nurse

A nurse that focuses on improving the quality of medical facilities.

Radiology Nurse

Takes care of patients who are undergoing radiation treatments.

Rehabilitation Nurse

A nurse that takes care of patients with long-term disabilities.

Registered Nurse (RN)

The RN licensure is what’s needed to be able to work and function as a registered nurse. You can get this licensure by either going through an associates degree nursing program, a bachelor’s degree nursing program, or a nursing diploma program.

Reproductive Nurse

See fertility nurse.

Research Nurse

A nurse who does clinical trials to figure out new evidence based practice.

Respiratory Nurse

See pulmonary care nurse.

Rhematology Nurse

A nurse whose patients dealing with rheumatic diseases. For example osteoarthritis and gout.

Rural Nurse

A nurse who works in rural geographical areas. Often these areas are going to have limited access to health care.

School Nurse

A nurse who takes care of children in school. Typically Pre-K to middle school is what people usually think about when they think school nurse. But it can also include nurses who take care of high school and college students.

Subacute Nurse

A nurse who takes care of patients who require around the clock care. The difference between this and a long-term care nurse is that subacute nurse patients usually only require the care for a short period of time.

Substance Abuse Nurse

A specialized version of psychiatric nursing specifically dealing with patients with substance abuse.

Supplemental Nurse

See contract nurse.

Telemetry Nurse

A nurse who monitors patients who are on life-sustaining or life monitoring equipment such as an electrocardiogram.

Telehealth Nurse

See telephone triage nurse.

Telephone Triage Nurse

Helps patients over the phone by assessing their need and making sure they’re referred to the right healthcare facility or provider.

Temp Nurse

See per-diem nurse.

Toxicology Nurse

A nurse who takes care of patients who have swallowed poison or came into contact with toxic chemicals or venomous animals.

Transcultural Nurse

A nurse that provides a culturally sensitive and inclusive care.

Transport Nurse

See flight nurse.

Trauma Nurse

Usually works in the emergency room. This nurse provides care to patients in dire situations.

Travel Nurse

A nurse that works for a staffing agency anf takes temporary nursing positions in facilities across the country and globe. Typical assignment length is usually an 8 week minimum.

U-Z: Types of Nurses

Urology Nurse

A urology nurse takes care of patients with diseases or illnesses related to the urinary system.

Veterans Affairs Affairs

Works in the VA health system and takes care of veterans.

Wound Care Nurse

A wound care nurse takes care of patients with wounds, either by medical procedures, or injury and disease.

Final Thoughts

Let us know what your thoughts are.

Which one of these awesome nursing specialties interests you? Also, was there a nursing specialty you know of that we missed?

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of nurse gets paid the most?

The highest paid nurses are typically the advanced practice registered nurses. For example certified registered nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, and certified nurse midwife.

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