5 different types of Nursing Careers

Susanna Kahr

One of the greatest aspects of nursing as a profession is the ability to work in many types of environments and in many different roles. It is a field which is constantly evolving, so here we take a look at 5 different nursing careers you could consider. 

Right now, the baby boomer population is aging which means that there is a greater demand for healthcare professionals at long-term care facilities and outpatient care centers. In fact, the nursing profession is growing so fast that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for registered nurses to grow by 15% between 2016-2026! This means that more nurses will be needed in the coming years and in various different roles, so we’ve found 5 of the most in-demand nursing roles for you to consider. 

Registered Nurse (RN)

Number of jobs: 3,059,800*

Education needed: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all other occupations! So, if you’re thinking of training to become an RN, now’s your chance.  Working as a registered nurse means assisting physicians in hospitals and a variety of other medical settings like hospices or clinics. RNs perform lots of different tasks related to patient care, case management and treatment planning. It’s no surprise then that RNs are the most in demand because RNs specialize in several areas! 

“I’m working as a registered nurse and I love my job and the people I work with and for.” – anonymous employer review at Prestige Linda Vista Nursing & Rehab

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Number of jobs (2018): 728,900

Education needed: Practical Nursing Diploma

The employment of licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses is expected to grow 11% by 2028! Licensed Practical Nurses provide basic nursing care and perform a variety of tasks, but under the supervision of an RN or doctor. LPNs and LVNs work in many different healthcare settings including nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, physicians’ offices, and private homes mostly full time. Among the tasks that LPNs and LVNs do are: administering medicine, checking vital signs and giving injections. If you want to make your first step into world of nursing, becoming an LPN or LVN is a great way to start.

“My recruiters have always been accommodating and understanding and attempt to help with whatever I need.”– anonymous employer review at General Healthcare Resources

Travel Nurse

Number of jobs: 25,000

Education needed: ADN or BSN

If you want to travel, then travel nursing could be the perfect career for you! There are over 340 U.S. travel nurse companies (110 are Joint Commission Certified) and worldwide, there are more than 480 companies, so there are a lot of opportunities available. Travel nurses work temporary jobs around the US and abroad, either for a few weeks at a time or even for a few years. To become a travel nurse you need to qualify and work as an RN first, so you can expect to carry out many of the same duties as a standard RN, often working for an agency that supplements staff to facilities in need. This could be a great gig for you if you enjoy travel and change. Find out more about travel nursing, here

“The nursing recruiters have all been understanding of my needs of a travel nurse. They have worked hard to find assignments that will work around my families schedules and the team calls you weekly to check up on how your current assignment is going. – anonymous employer review at RNnetwork  

Nurse practitioner (NP)

Number of job postings: 166,280

Education needed: Graduate degree

Relevant certifications: Dependent on specialty

Nurse Practitioner jobs (which includes general) are expected to experience a 34 percent growth through 2022. As a Nurse Practitioner you can also work independently, which means that the number of NPs needed is very likely to continue to increase. While some nurse practitioners work under the supervision of a physician, many become autonomous and take on a lot of the roles a physician would normally perform. NPs can diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. They can also order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays, and prescribe medication. If you’re looking for a nursing role which you can do independently and even learn to take on jobs performed by physicians, this is a great place to start. 

“I am part of an amazing team that works together to provide the best patient care. Everyone from the medical directors, nurse practitioners, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, spiritual care coordinators, bereavement coordinators all make it a great place to work.” – anonymous employer review at Heartland

Intensive care unit (ICU) registered nurse

Number of job postings: 68,548

Education needed: BSN preferred

Relevant certifications: CCRN Certification 

ICU RNs otherwise known as critical care nurses work in the intensive care unit (ICU) of hospitals, which means that they’re responsible for providing complex care to those with serious illnesses or injuries. ICU nurses work in specialty hospitals or with children in the pediatric ICU or older people in hospices. Most hospitals require training or continued education before employing an RN in the ICU, but if you’re up for a challenge, you should go for it! 

“This is a great place for motivated nurses interested in the critical care, adult population. The nurses on the unit will support and encourage new nurses to learn and grow within this speciality.” – anonymous employer review at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center


Considering training as a nurse? Find out what it’s like to work as a nurse and whether you’ve got what it takes. Equally, if you’re trying to get ahead in your nursing career, then check out these tips!



If you’ve been working as a nurse then we want to know all about your experiences with your employer. Have you had a lot of opportunities to take on more training? What’s your pay like? And how supportive is your team? Let us know in a review on kununu and help fellow nurses find the right employer for them. 


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