Nurse Anesthetist Anesthesia is the use of special drugs that temporarily block sensation in an area of the body or enable a patient to be kept unconscious and pain free during surgery. Anesthesia is administered by either an anesthesiologist (a physician who specializes in this area of practice) or a nurse anesthetist (a registered nurse who is specially trained in anesthesiology). As a key member of the operating team, the nurse anesthetist combines professional nursing skills with the science of anesthesia and works in collaboration with a doctor or dentist to administer and monitor anesthesia.
Nurse Practitioner Nurse practitioners (NPs) are nurses who have completed a masters nursing degree or post-masters training in providing preventive and medical health care to individuals and families in collaboration with a physician. NPs provide comprehensive health promotion services to ambulatory clients, evaluate presenting problems at the clients initial contact with the primary care system, and provide continuing care to clients with acute illness and stable chronic illness. Nurse practitioners also educate patients about staying healthy. They often take care of special populations such as the rural poor, migrant farm workers, elderly persons, and children. In communities or facilities with few physicians, nurse practitioners are especially important as providers of health care.
Clinical Nurse Specialist Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) are registered nurses who specialize in a specific field of clinical practice. Some common areas of specialization are cardiac rehabilitation, cardiology, community health, critical care, diabetes, emergency services, gerontology, maternal and child health, medical surgical health, neonatal health, oncology, pediatrics, psychiatric-mental health, organ transplants, and trauma. Clinical nurse specialists also may work as part of a clinical research team.
Certified Nurse Midwife Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are RNs with advanced training in midwifery that allows them to care for healthy expectant mothers and to provide a range of clinical services for women. They examine women during pregnancy, manage labor, deliver infants, and, after delivery, care for the newborn and mother. Other duties include preventive health care, counseling, prescribing medication (most states), conducting clinical research, and teaching. All 50 states have recognized nurse midwifery as a legal profession.
Registered Nurse Registered nurses (RNs) care for patients and promote their physical, mental, and social well-being. The duties performed by RNs include: monitoring patient status and progress, providing care and rehabilitation, administering medication, and advising patients and their families on preventive health care measures. State laws and specific employer restrictions specify exactly what a registered nurse is allowed to do on the job. The title of registered nurse encompasses a wide range of specialties, among them: hospital nurses (bedside care in various hospital departments), office nurses (office and clinical care which may involve office work), home health nurse (nursing service in the home environment), geriatric nurses (long-term care nursing), public health nurses (community-wide health educator), occupational health/industrial nurses (worksite care), and nurse manager/nurse administrator. RNs may also work in evolving roles such as clinical research team members, rapid response team members, case managers, and in nursing informatics. Specialized training or experience may be necessary for all of these positions. The main difference among them, however, is the setting and/or the population served.
Public Health Nurse Public health nurses are registered nurses with special training and experience in providing public health services in health departments, homes, schools, and community health agencies. Public health nurses must be able to work independently to provide health screening, home care, patient education, and consultation to groups and individuals. They also provide health education services to communities.
Licensed Practical Nurse Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide bedside care of patients and perform a variety of other nursing duties. Under direct supervision of registered nurses and physicians, LPNs assume the responsibilities of taking vital signs, observing patients and seeing to their comfort, collecting specimens for laboratory tests, administering medications, dressing wounds, starting IVs, and in some cases supervising nursing aides or assistants.
Certified Nursing Assistant Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are extremely valuable health care providers, especially to their patients, the families of the patients, and employers at health care facilities. CNAs help care for physically or mentally ill, injured, and disabled individuals in hospitals, nursing and personal care facilities, and mental health settings. CNAs perform much-needed daily tasks, such as serving meals, making beds, and helping patients eat, dress, and bathe. CNAs work under the supervision of nursing and medical staff and are important members of the health care team. CNAs take temperatures, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure; help patients with range-of-motion exercises; and assist patients with their daily living needs. May include a geriatric specialty.
Health Unit coordinator Health Unit coordinator (hospital setting) transcription of orders and coordination of health unit (includes admitting & transfering patients, clerical responsibilities and record keeping, personnel management, and safety and security)