Nurse practitioners (NP) provide a mix of nursing and healthcare services to patients and families. These professionals serve as primary and specialty care providers in the areas of family practice, adult practice, women’s health, acute care, pediatrics, and geriatrics. Although these are the most common specialty areas for nurse practitioners, some nurses may choose other less common areas such as neonatology and mental health.

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is similar to a family doctor in many ways. These advanced health care professionals work with patients of all ages, and usually through their lives, conducting routine check-ups and exams, diagnosing conditions, prescribing medication and therapy, and helping prevent disease. Other duties may include assisting with minor surgical procedures and ordering lab tests.

Clinical nurse leader (CNL) is a relatively new field in advanced nursing. According to Johnson & Johnson, these professionals oversee the integration of care for a specific set of patients as well as the medical team they work with. They work with doctors, pharmacists, social workers, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists to incorporate the latest technologies and innovations into treatment to give patients the best care possible.

An adult nurse practitioner (ANP) is a type of nurse practitioner that provides nursing and healthcare services to adult patients. They work in a variety of healthcare settings such as physician’s offices, hospitals, home health care services, and outpatient care centers. Some may work in academic settings and clinics. Although ANPs work in all cities, towns, and villages across the U.S., the largest population can be found in the State of California.

Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Education and Training Programs

Adult clinical nurse specialists (CNS) provide direct patient care and expert consultations in one of many nursing specialties such as psychiatric-mental health. While most adult clinical nurse specialists work in hospitals, some may work in specialty hospitals, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, outpatient care centers or home health care services. They work in all regions across the U.S., but the largest populations can be found in California (#1), Texas, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.  

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is not a career, but a degree that can lead to a higher position in the nursing field. It can also prepare students for study at the graduate and doctorate levels. RNs with a BSN degree hold positions as research assistants, in nurse education, public/community health, consulting, specialized care, and some leadership positions. RNs with a BSN work in just about every type of healthcare environment, and they work in all regions from large cities to small towns.

A nursing ELM (Entry-level Master’s) is a degree program that prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) licensure examination, the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification examination, and to work in advanced nursing practice. RNs that hold an ELM qualify for positions such as nurse educator, in consulting, research, or forensics as well as leadership or management positions in community and public health organizations.

Nursing assistants work under the supervision of nurses and medical staff. They handle many of the routine tasks associated with patient care and assist medical staff with setting up equipment, moving and storing supplies, and (some) basic procedures.  Patient care duties may include feeding, dressing, and bathing patients; changing linens, escorting patients to operating and exam rooms, and emptying bedpans. Some nursing assistants may be responsible for taking patients temperature, respiration and pulse rate, and blood pressure.

Depending on the degree level, registered nurses may work as nurse educators, in consulting, research, or forensics. They might work in leadership or management positions in community and public health organizations. While an RN with a BSN will pique the interest of many employers, RNs that hold an MSN or PhD are usually considered for these higher-level positions and for positions with top health organizations and other employers in the field. For this reason, and many others, some RNs choose to make the transition from RN to RN with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) care for the sick, injured, elderly, or disabled. Also called  “vocational nurses,” LVNs work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. Whether it’s to help advance their careers or earn a higher salary, many LVNs decide to make the transition to registered nurse (RN). Most LVNs hold a diploma, certificate, or Associate Degree.

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