Graduate nurses typically work in hospitals, physician's offices, nursing homes, clinics and nursing care facilities, providing basic nursing care, which includes administering medication, taking vital signs and performing medical history and physical exams. Advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, such as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and registered nurses, perform primary and specialty health care actions, notes the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), on the other hand, perform basic nursing tasks usually under the supervision of a physician or a registered nurse.
Nurses can work in other settings as well, such as in correctional facilities, schools or in the military. The tasks of nurses often goes beyond providing basic health care. Nurses also coordinate patient care, provide emotional support for the patient and the patient's family and give information on health care and various medical conditions, notes Monster.
While both APRNs and LPNs/LVNs work in similar work environments, APRNs receive a significantly higher salary than LPNs/LVNs. LPNs who also choose to work in nursing homes or as private nurses can work more independently without the regular supervision they would have in a hospital setting. The demand for APRNs is expected to increase by 31 percent from 2012 to 2022, notes the BLS. The job market for LPNs, meanwhile, is expected to grow by 25 percent for the same period.