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What are the types of nurses?

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Quick Answer

There are more than 100 different types of nurses, but they are generally broken down into three major categories: degree, advanced-degree and non-degree nurses. Non-degree nurses are usually licensed practical nurses and certified nurse's aides, neither of which require a full degree.

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Full Answer

Degree nurses are almost always registered nurses, or RNs, who hold a either a two-year associate's or a four-year bachelor's degree in nursing. Advanced-degree nurses are those who hold both a bachelor's degree and a further master's or doctoral degree. There are several types of advanced nurses with master's degrees, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, advance-practice nurses and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Nurses who hold a doctoral degree are usually known as Doctors of Nurse Practice.

Of the three groups, registered nurses have by far the greatest number and variety of types. There are many RNs whose titles are based off of the specific fields in which they work, such as cardiac nurses, ambulatory care nurses, dermatology nurses and diabetes nurses. A whole different subset of registered nurses is classified by where they work, such as school nurses, emergency-room nurses and travel nurses. Many nurses may also specialize in some other aspect of medical care, such as legal nurses who focus almost solely on legal matters and court cases.

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