Nurse anesthesia is an advanced practice field that requires an advanced degree, certification, and a considerable amount of experience in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in this field, called “nurse anesthetists,” provide anesthesia and related care before, during, and after surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic, and obstetrical procedures. They administer general, regional or local anesthesia to patients, and adjust anesthesia and monitor vital signs throughout procedures. Some nurse anesthetists provide pain management and select emergency services.

Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) that deliver treatment and care to high-risk infants and their families. They deliver treatment in neonatal intensive care units, health departments, home health services, managed care organizations, and nurse-managed clinics. NNPs work in collaboration with physicians and they are often involved in education, research, and consultation.

Geriatric nurse practitioners (GNP) diagnose conditions, conduct exams, and prescribe medication for geriatric or elderly populations. Also called gerontological nurse practitioners, GNPs also counsel and educate patients about preventative care, conduct screenings and order lab tests, and assist patients with pain management and other similar issues. Geriatric nurse practitioners work under the direction of physicians in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hospices, home healthcare services, outpatient care centers, rehabilitation facilities, and more.

Community health nurses are registered nurses (RNs) that provide a number of health and health-related resource services to lower income individuals, families, and seniors or the elderly. Also called public health nurses, community health nurses may provide services such as arranging health care for mothers and newborns (welfare services), health education (control and prevention of communicable diseases), domestic violence and abuse counseling, disability management, outreach screening, pregnancy and/or birth preparation, case management, and resource coordination and assessment.

Ambulatory care nurses (ACN) are members of the registered nurse community. According to Johnson & Johnson, ambulatory care nurses specialize in pain management and general health education for patients with chronic injuries or illness. They provide the medical screenings, triage, and case management that help restore a patient’s ability to live independently.

Nursing science graduates at the baccalaureate level are prepared to sit for the California Board of Registered Nursing NCLEX-RN exam. Upon passing the exam, these individuals typically enter the field of registered nursing (RN). At the Master’s level, graduate RNs may choose to enroll in a doctorate program and/or become an advanced practice clinician, administrator, or educator. These advanced leadership positions are in high demand, with a projected increase in employment of between 23% and 35% for the 2012-2022 decade.

A Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Nursing PhD) prepares registered nurses or students with experience in the field to become educators, researchers, program evaluators, and leaders in health care organizations, government health departments, schools of nursing, clinical agencies, research centers, or other settings. In most cases, PhD-prepared nurses do not work in direct patient care.

Nurse educators plan, develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs and curricula for the professional development of student nurses and registered nurses (RNs). According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse educators also demonstrate and teach patient care in classrooms, in clinical units to nursing students, or both. Nursing educators are also involved in research.

Nurse educators plan, develop, implement, and evaluate educational programs and curricula for the professional development of student nurses and registered nurses (RN). According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse educators also demonstrate and teach patient care in classrooms, in clinical units to nursing students, or both. Nurse educators are also involved in research.

Nurse administrators are leaders in the field of nursing. They are responsible for managing teams of nurses, multiple shifts, or specific nursing units. They have an advanced skill set that includes a firm grasp of nursing procedure and protocol as well as the promotion and development of nursing staff, budgeting, scheduling and supervising nurse staff, making diagnosis decisions and analyzing nursing treatment, maintaining practice and standard guidelines, and employee counseling.

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