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Nurses, Nurses, Everywhere! A Quick Look at Some Careers in Nursing

Registered Nurse (RN)
Education Requirement: Associates Degree or Bachelor of Science Degree
Relevant Certifications: State Nursing License
RNs treat patients and provides advice and emotional support to them and their families. Some educate patients, as well as the public, about medical conditions. There are many nursing specialties available, including critical care, addiction, oncology, neonatology, geriatrics, and pediatrics. There were approximately 3 million registered nurses working in the U.S. in 2016.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Education Requirement: Master’s Degree (MSN), Registered Nurse License (RN) and One Year in Acute Care Setting
Relevant Certifications: CRNA Certification
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is a highly trained nurse that specializes in assisting with anesthesia during surgeries. There are nearly 54,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in the United States working in every health care setting, in both rural and urban areas, in every state. CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals and are the main provider of anesthesia for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. CRNAs make up some of the highest-paid nurse specialties in the medical field due to the high demand of these nurses in surgical settings and detailed training they receive.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Education Requirement: Master’s Degree and sometimes a Doctorate Degree
Relevant Certifications: N/A
A Clinical Nurse Specialist is an advanced practice nurse who can provide expert advice related to specific conditions or treatment pathways. They provide direct patient care by working with other nurses and staff to improve the quality of care a patient receives. They often serve in leadership roles and may educate and advise other nursing staff.

Critical Care Nurse
Education Requirement: Associates Degree or Bachelor of Science Degree, Registered Nursing License (RN)
Relevant Certifications: Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Critical Care Nurses are similar to Registered Nurses, especially in education level, and are also known as ICU nurses. They treat patients who are acutely ill and unstable requiring more frequent nursing assessments and the utilization of life-sustaining technology and drugs. Critical care nurses are specifically trained for emergency situations and address serious wounds and monitoring of life-support systems in stressful scenarios.

Geriatric Nursing
Education Requirement: Associates Degree or Bachelor of Science Degree, and Registered Nurse License (RN)
Relevant Certifications: Certification in Geriatric Nursing
As the U.S. population ages, geriatric nurses are in high demand. A geriatric nurse specializes in the treatment of older patients, focusing on care for injuries, ailments, and chronic conditions to maintain their quality of life. Geriatric nurses help design and explain these healthcare regimens to patients and their families. They often function as “case managers,” linking families with community resources to help them care for elderly members.

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