There are many types of nurses in the nursing field but are you wondering which ones are the most rewarding? Not only in terms of salary but also in terms of satisfaction and work-life balance?
Before discussing that, let’s review the types of nurses by education first.
Types of Nurses by Education
There are several educational pathways to become a nurse. Generally speaking, the shorter the education, the lower the salary range and responsibilities will be.
1. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
LPNs work under the supervision of RNs. States and provinces in the US and Canada have different regulations about the scope of practice for LPNs. In general, their scope of practice include medication administration, vital signs monitoring and wound care.
Educational programs to become an LPN usually last for one to two years. After finishing the program, aspiring LPNs must successfully pass the licensure examination in their state or province.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the US Department of Labor, LPNs earn a median salary of $22.23 per hour.
2. Registered Nurse (RN)
RNs have a wider scope of practice than LPNs. They can delegate tasks to LPNs and Healthcare Aides. Their scope of practice includes varied nursing procedures and care management under the order of the patient’s physician.
Becoming an RN requires either an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s degree. Aspiring RNs should also successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN ®) .
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of RNs is around $34.48 per hour.
3. Nurse Practitioners (NP)
NPs have a wider scope of practice similar to a physician. They are authorized to do more detailed examinations, order diagnostic tests and prescribe certain medications.
To become an NP, the minimum entry-level education is to have a Master’s degree. Licensing test requirement depends on the regulations of your state or province.
In general, the median pay of Nurse Practitioners is around $54.78 per hour according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
What Are the Best Types of Nurses in the Field?
Here are some of the best types of nurses according to salary, work-life balance and satisfaction.
Travel nurses work with agencies. These agencies provide temporary staffing to healthcare facilities in need especially in rural areas.
Travel nursing agencies typically provide accommodation and transportation allowances to their nurses. Being a travel nurse provides the satisfaction of filling sudden staffing shortages aside from being assigned to picturesque locations. Their benefits package is also competitive.
NICU nurses are in charge of newborn babies. After delivery, they immediately take over the monitoring of the baby.
Being a NICU nurse bring satisfaction to most nurses. They take part in someone’s life beginning. Since babies are small, NICU nurses have light physical work in the area.
Because NICU is a specialization, NICU nurses also receive premiums and special training.
Hospice Care Nurse
Terminally ill patients nearing end of life are usually being sent to hospice care facilities. Hospice care nurses experience extraordinary moments with these patients. Most of the time, you will experience a unique feeling about providing care to a person in his last moments of life.
If you are a person who is naturally young at heart, a career in pediatrics will be fit for you. It’s another nursing specialty that awards nurses with remarkable experience on the job.
Like NICU nurses, pediatric nurses typically receive pay premiums and special training.
Nurse anesthetists are classified as advanced practice registered nurses. Like nurse practitioners, becoming a nurse anesthetist requires advanced studies like a Master’s degree.
Nurse anesthetists assist in pre and intraoperative induction of anesthesia. It involves less physical work compared to bedside nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay of nurse anesthetists is around $113,390.