List of Most Common Nursing Positions

Nursing is an expansive field, and the varied positions that you’ll be able to choose from are almost inexhaustible. There are the typical jobs that everyone identifies with nursing, such as an RN working in a hospital, and then there are the more obscure positions, such as legal nursing, which is centered around advising and helping attorneys in complicated legal cases. But knowing your options is important, so let’s take a look at some of them with a brief overview of each one.

Broad View:

  • Agency Nursing: There are agencies who employee a large number of nurses on a contract basis, and send them to work in the homes of their clients or doctor’s offices. The nurses that work for these agencies have greater control over their schedules because they are considered contract labor. They are responsible for many duties, and the variety will vary from job to job. (More: Agency Nurse Jobs)
  • Company Nurse: Some large companies employ nurses to help identify and treat illness for the employees of that company. They may also help to identify and contain any viral illness that may loom among employees, or treat emergencies and get further help if the situation warrants it.
  • Doctor’s Office Nurse: Most doctor’s offices will have a nurse on staff to help check in patients, chart their vitals, and organize the paperwork before the doctor sees them. These nurses also administer any medications or injections prescribed by the doctor as well as take samples, such as blood work or UA’s.
  • Home Health Nurse: These types of nurses work with patients who aren’t able to leave their home due to their illness or age. The nurse tends to the patient in their home, administering the proper medications, as well as attending to their personal needs, such as bathing, dressing, and sometimes even running personal errands for them. (More: Home Health Nurse Jobs)
  • Hospice Nurses: A hospice nurse works with those patients who have been told that medical treatment will no longer help them. The patients are terminal, and the nurse will either work with them in a hospice setting, or at the patient’s home. This type of nursing takes a great deal of patience and compassion for both the patients and their families.
  • Hospital Nurse: These nurses work closely with both the doctors and the patients. They follow the doctor’s orders in administering medications, treatments, as well as attend to patient charts, and keep the doctor informed about any changes in the patients. In addition, they keep the patients informed about their treatment progress, as well as comfort and educate them about their illness. In short, they are the link between the doctor and the patient. (More: Hospital Nurse Jobs)
  • Nursing Home Nurse: These nurses work with either the elderly or those who have been incapacitated by a tragedy or illness. They need to have a lot of patience, and know that they probably won’t have the satisfaction of getting to watch a great improvement in their patients. (More: Nursing Home Jobs)
  • Prison Nurse: These nurses work with prisoners, and perform various tasks whenever a prisoner becomes ill or develops a disease. They are responsible for logging complaints and symptoms, administering medications and injections, as well as taking various samples from the prisoners.
  • School Nurse: This type of nurse works in a school setting and is responsible for the care of the children who attend that school. If a child becomes sick during school, it’s their job to determine whether the child should be sent home or required to stay in school. They also have to be on the lookout for any sign of abuse in their children, and then report it to the proper authorities if they’re suspicious. (More: School Nurse Jobs)
  • Travel Nurses: Mobile nurses travel from job to job working wherever they’re called to. Some may work in various hospitals for a pre-determined amount of time, while others will work during a temporary time of need for a community. They often get to choose the location they work in and are typically paid for travel and living expenses. The assignments typically last for 13 weeks. (More: Travel Nurse Employment)

Narrow View:

In each of these broad categories, there are sub-categories that contain many varied positions. Here is a listing of some sub-categories – or specialties – that you may consider for your career path:

  • Ambulatory Nurse: These nurses attend to patients who will only be in the hospital for a short amount of time – usually less than twenty-four hours.
  • Anesthesia Nurse: These types of professionals work with doctors, dentists and others to help with the administration of anesthesia before a procedure or surgery. (More: CRNA Jobs)
  • Cardiac Nurse: These nurses work with doctors in dealing with patients who are experiencing heart problems.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant: These are entry level positions, and the tasks for the position include giving baths to patients, checking their vitals, and moving them in a way that won’t hurt them or cause further harm to their injuries. (More: CNA Jobs)
  • Critical Care Nurse: These are the nurses who deal with trauma and life-threatening illness or events. They often work in Intensive Care Units or Cardiac Units of a hospital.
  • Emergency Room Nurse: The nurses work in the fast-paced emergency room, and are responsible for quickly assessing patients and doing the preliminaries in preparing the patient to see a doctor. (More: ER Nurse Jobs)
  • Forensics Nurse: These professionals work with the victims of a crime and help collect evidence to give to the police, such as in the case of a rape or an attack.
  • Holistic Nurses: These nurses work in a holistic environment rather than a traditional medical setting, and they work with patients to incorporate the mind, body, and soul into their treatment.
  • Midwife Nurses: These are nurses who are able to deliver babies without a doctor present, either in a hospital environment, a special birthing center, or even at the patient’s home. (More: Nurse Midwife Jobs)
  • Neonatal Nurses: These nurses care for newborn babies, and work to assess them and identify any potential health problems in an infant.
  • Nurse Practitioner: This seasoned nurse has received a master’s degree and is allowed to diagnose patients, and prescribe medications and treatment plans.
  • Oncology Nurses: These nurses provide much needed care to patients dealing with cancer of all sorts and in all stages. (More: Oncology Nurse Jobs)
  • Pediatric Nurses: These nurses work with children of all ages, and are responsible for the typical duties of a nurse. They have a wide range of location opportunities, from schools and clinics to hospitals and doctor’s offices.
  • Psychiatric Nurses: These professionals work with patients who are experiencing some sort of mental illness. They generally work in either hospitals or mental institutions.
  • Transplant Nurses: These highly specialized nurses work closely with doctors and help in the process of transplanting organs.
  • Urology Nurses: The nurses work with those patients who are experience urology problems such as kidney stones, male infertility or sexual dysfunction, and oncology. They are often called upon to assist in related surgeries.
  • Women’s Health Nurses: These nurses specialize in women’s health and all the issues related to it. They may work in an OB/GYN office setting or in an environment that provides mammograms.

As you can see, you’ll never be short of options when you choose to work in the field of nursing. You’ll be able to work in just about any setting, specialty or area – it’s really as easy as deciding which career path is right for you, and then pursuing the education that will get you there.


Learn More: Typical Nursing Job Description