What Different Nursing Fields Are There? (Nursing Career paths)

Choosing a career in healthcare can be extremely rewarding, especially a career as a nursing professional.  Some individuals when signing up for Nursing school don’t realize how many career paths they have available for them upon certification.  Below are 50+ different careers that an individual with the right training can acquire.  This is not a complete list of nursing careers but should help shed light in the multitude of career paths available to nursing professionals.

Click on the position name to receive additional information for training and additional career path information. (coming soon – this will be an on-going project.)


  Acupuncturist Nurse

  • This type of nurse is concerned with integrating traditional medicine to promote health.
  • Training as a holistic nurse practitioner is needed especially in using needles and heat.
  • Must have an excellent knowledge with the human anatomy and must posses good interpersonal skills.

 Nurse Counselor (Addiction)

  • These are nurses that help patients overcome their addiction with substances.
  • They usually work in clinics and institutions to help individuals cope with their different addiction.
  • The competency skills that are needed in this job are assessment, counseling skills, inclined to the mental health field and has the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary approach.
  • Needs to have a certification with CARN (Certified Addictions Registered Nurse)

 Nurse Practitioner (Adult)

  • These are nurses with advanced practice skills providing primary care to adult patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings.
  • They deal with patients with acute and at the same time chronic conditions.
  • Skills needed are: able to provide health education, good assessment skills, medication prescription and performing procedures.
  • These nurses must have at least a Master of Science in Nursing Certificate.

 Immunology Nurse

  • These are nurses that focus on conditions that involves allergies like asthma, allergic reactions and urticaria.
  • The certification needed for this job is that nurses are certified with BLS-CPR (Basic Life Support-Cardiopulmonary Rescuscitation).
  • They also need to have strong skills in organization and knowledgeable in allergy treatment modalities.

 Nurse Attorney-at-Law (Lawyer)

  • Educational requirement for this job is to have at least a basic BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree and a Bachelor of Science in Law or Jurisprudence.
  • Must be knowledgeable with the legal system most especially with nursing and health legislation or laws.
  • Skills that are highly needed for this job are research in legal activities, involving and preparation in court hearings and providing for consultation and may represent clients in court.

Burn Nurse

  • Nurses with this type of work are highly skillful in critical care.
  • Must be efficient in working with patients with burn injury and in a burn unit.
  • Educational requirement: registered nurse.
  • These nurses working in this type of environment are experts in the pathophysiology of burns, using ventilators for patients, and the ability to work closely with other healthcare teams.
  • Basic work profile of a Burn Nurse is that they give pain medications, computes for fluid and electrolyte balance, and uses highly advanced technological equipment in the burn unit.

 Intensive Care Nurse (Cardiothoracic)

  • A cardiothoracic nurse is an RN who works in an Intensive Care Unit.
  • They take care of patients with highly specialized needs where monitoring is essential and assessment for constant hemodynamic changes are done.
  • This type of nurse knows how to do multi-tasking and takes care of patients with increased acuity.
  • Aside from having a BLS (Basic Life Support) certification, the ICU nurse must also have a certificate on ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support).
  • Must be very skillful in arrhythmia interpretation, ABG analysis, and ventilator use.

 Nurse Case Manager

  • Able to organize and coordinate resources in different settings.
  • The priority goal of being a nurse case manager is to decrease cost and efficient continuity of care to patients.
  • Case managers are capable of working in different settings and with different organizations.
  • Certification in case management is required with a very strong communication, teaching and community organizing skills.

 Operating Room Nurse (Circulating)

  • A circulating nurse is excellent in observational skills with complete knowledge on asepsis and operating room techniques and protocols.
  • He or she must be an advocate for clients who are in the operating room for surgical procedures at the same time conducts an “instrument count” after the surgical procedure is done.
  • Must be able to work in a multi-disciplinary approach within the perioperative team.

 Community Health Nurse

  • The field of study for a community nurse is the home, school, and other occupational healthcare environments.
  • The family, schoolchildren, and even company workers are the recipients of care of a community health nurse.
  • The job mostly includes community organizing, traveling to community locations, and an excellent management and organizational skills.

 Correctional Facility Nurse

  • The basic and primary target populations for a correctional facility nurse are the inmates.
  • They deal with inmates with all kinds of health concerns including a comprehensive physical check-up of new inmates.
  • The nurse who works in a correctional facility must have a sound mind in emergency situations, health promotion skills, and can work independently.

 Cruise Ship Nurse

  • These are nurses working on a cruise ship where they provide emergency care to ship passengers and foreigners on vacation.
  • They serve on a ship for 6-8 months as members of the crew.
  • Other responsibilities of cruise ship nurse are to provide medical attention to guests and preparing medical records while complying with maritime policies.

 Dean of the College of Nursing (Nurse Educator)

  • A dean of a college or school of nursing will have an administrative role by providing academic and leadership to the entire college.
  • Usually a master’s degree is the least requirement but a doctoral degree is much preferable.
  • A dean must have a good background on curriculum development, administrative skills, and active in nursing research and education.

 Nurse Diabetes Educator

  • They mostly work with diabetic patients primarily teaching patients about healthy living and common problems with diabetes.
  • Instructions are focused on foot care, modifying dietary intake, monitoring of blood glucose levels, and insulin administration.
  • The nurse diabetes educator must also be an expert in hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia management.
  • Skills are primarily focused on patient education regarding diabetes

 Bioterrorism Nurse

  • A bioterrorism nurse works closely with situations caused by bioterrorist attacks as well as natural disasters.
  • The work depends on the type of disaster, war, or poverty problems faced by the nurse.
  • They are usually associated with the Red Cross organization providing humanitarian help to people in need.
  • Experience on Emergency Room and disaster preparedness is a must when you become a disaster or bioterrorism nurse.

 Domestic Violence Nurse

  • These nurses are trained to deal with patients who experienced domestic violence.
  • They are usually in contact with different healthcare personnel in various settings who serve in survivors of domestic violence.
  • SANE Certification is needed from the FNCB (forensic Nursing Certification Board).
  • They must be knowledgeable with forensics, mental health, and transcultural nursing to deal with and assist patients who experienced domestic violence.

 Nurse Book Editor

  • A nurse book editor is in charge in making many formal research papers and scientific nursing concept papers.
  • Writing and editing, medical records research, and internet research within the nursing and healthcare perspective are some of the various work a nurse editor will do.
  • Skills that are needed are expertise in computer organization and analytical skills as well as a good scientific background and excellent in English.

 Nurse Educator

  • A nurse educator is a faculty of a college or school of nursing who uses teaching-learning strategies that fit to the topic of the nursing curriculum.
  • Teaches students, formulate test questions, motivate and guide, and facilitates interactions between students and patients.
  • Skills that are needed are course preparation, time management, and decision-making skills.

 Emergency Room Nurse

  • These nurses are trained in emergency care, acute care, and trauma and critical care.
  • They take care of patients using triage, physical assessment, and history taking.
  • ER nurses are trained in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and functions in stressful events with efficiency.

 Endoscopy Nurse

  • The primary concern of an endoscopy nurse is to take care of patients undergoing endoscopic procedures.
  • Competencies needed for an endoscopy nurse are proper physical assessment, ability to assist with physicians for the endoscopic procedure, and basic knowledge in gastroenterology concepts.

 Nurse Entrepreneur

  • A nurse entrepreneur must have a good background in business management.
  • They may also work in other industries related or not related to healthcare but inclined to business and administration.
  • They are involved in operations with industry and corporations and must possess with good communication, administrative, and organizational skills.

 Flight Nurse

  • The training of a flight nurse involves critical care and emergency nursing.
  • They must be able to work within a flight crew responsible in transporting patients to hospitals.
  • Must be able to have a certificate as a Flight Registered Nurse as well as Paramedic Nursing.
  • Main responsibility is giving patient care during transport of patients and endorsing these patients to hospitals and other facilities.

 Forensic Nurse

  • A forensic nurse is mainly involved in law and healthcare enforcement.
  • They investigate cases in the medical field, do counseling to victims of abuse, serve as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, and deals with evidences for insurance companies.

 Nurse Anesthetist

  • The main responsibility of a nurse anesthetist is the use of anesthesia and its administration to patients in the operating room.
  • They mostly work with many team members in the OR and are also involved in doing physical assessment and history taking.
  • The required certification for being a nurse anesthetist is the CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) as well as having a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

 Nurse Counselor (Genetics)

  • A genetics counselor must have a background in genetics and counseling.
  • They provide information and emotional support to people with family members with genetic disabilities.
  • They may also provide options and do research as they analyze and investigate the problem to families about the disorder.
  • Having a master’s degree is a requirement and genetic education with a certificate from the ABGC (American Board of Genetic Counseling).
  • Counseling skills is a must with good critical thinking skills.

 Nurse Practitioner (Geriatric)

  • The main responsibility of a geriatric nurse practitioner is to provide primary care to geriatric patients with chronic conditions.
  • They mostly work in clinics and nursing care homes in providing direct care, counseling, do health teachings, and coordination and maximizing the care that is given to geriatric patients.

 Nurse Surveyor

  • A nurse surveyor ensures that hospitals, clinics, and care homes or other healthcare institutions follow and meet the standards set by the state or federal government.
  • They may also help to investigate, audit, and participate in complaints and other medical emergencies.

 Health and Safety Manager Nurse

  • The main role of a health and safety manager nurse is to deliver safe nursing care to medical institutions.
  • They are usually part of the administrative body of an institution serving as a consultant in highlighting safe and quality care in the organization.
  • They must be able to manage resources as well as personnel with a strong leadership, interpersonal, and administrative data management skills.

 Health Center Nurse

  • A health center nurse is mainly a public health nurse specializing on home health care and public institutions.
  • Their main work involves history taking, community screening, and administering immunizations serving both families and individuals in the community.
  • Strong assessment, documentation, and managerial skills are required as they work in a health center.

 Herbalist Nurse

  • An herbalist nurse must be knowledgeable with a wide variety of herbal medicine and its therapeutic use.
  • An advanced knowledge and education on herbal use is required.
  • They also help design herbal treatments for individual patients.

 Nurse Practitioner (Home Health Care)

  • To become a home health care nurse practitioner, one must be certified as a Nurse Practitioner with a master’s degree preparation.
  • They provide care to patients by doing the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation) at the same time closely working with other members of the healthcare team.

 Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse

  • Their main job is to provide care to patients who are suffering from a terminally-ill condition.
  • They mostly work in hospice facility as well as in the homes of dying patients.
  • A CHPN (Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse) is required in most states.
  • Skills that are needed are ability to deal with the concept of death and dying, providing support to families (emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical), able to deal with pain measures, and helping patients to overcome with depression and other emotional symptoms of dealing with death.
  • This is also a collaborative nursing specialty where a hospice and palliative care nurse works with different members and agencies of the healthcare team.

 Infection Control Nurse

  • An infection control nurse is someone who works in an institution where its main function is to prevent, detect and control infection.
  • They are also responsible in dealing with concepts related to epidemiology, infection-free practices, and patient and nurses education related to infection control.
  • Other responsibilities includes making of policies and guidelines directed towards controlling the occurrence of infection, development of strategies to reduce the risk of infection, and investigates possible spread of infection.

 Nurse Practitioner (Infectious Disease)

  • They are specialized nurses with an expert knowledge on the prevention, management, and treatment of infectious diseases in a wide array of healthcare settings.
  • Their roles extend into a variety of skills which includes health educator, advocate, primary care provider, and a researcher.
  • They are also knowledgeable with infection control processes working in a multi-disciplinary healthcare team.

 Intravenous Therapy Nurse

  • An intravenous nurse is an expert in the field of intravenous therapy.
  • Their main role involves checking if the IV rate or flow, checking the site for infiltration and phlebitis, and observes medical asepsis in starting and maintaining an IV line.
  • A certification is required from the INCC (Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation).

 International Health Nurse

  • An international health nurse is an expert with global health problems and issues.
  • They are mostly involved with international agencies such as the World Health Organization.
  • These nurses are also knowledgeable on the fields of public health, epidemiology, community organization, global disaster management, and primary health care.

 Labor and Delivery Nurse

  • A labor and delivery nurse handles mothers in the parturient stage up to the birthing process.
  • They are skillful in helping mothers with the stages of labor and delivery at the same time managing and preventing delivery complications, patient education, and meeting the needs of mothers after delivery in all aspects.

 Legal Nurse Consultant

  • Legal nurse consultants are registered nurses who provide their expertise on medical cases.
  • They involve themselves with investigations, legal matters in healthcare, risk-management activities, research, and with insurance companies.
  • A certification is needed from the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board.

 Nurse Legislator

  • A nurse politician is someone who works in a public office with an experience in the political arena.
  • They must be involved with the country’s social issues, health issues, and advocacy for health reforms.

 Massage Therapy Nurse

  • They must be knowledgeable and an expert in massage and body therapy with strong interpersonal skills.
  • A certification is needed from the NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork).

 Media Nurse Consultant

  • A media nurse consultant is someone who works in the movie and television industry.
  •  Their main function serves as a consultant for media to ensure correct and accurate portrayal of the nursing profession.

 Medical-Surgical Nurse

  • This is a specialty in nursing where nurses are skilled in medical-surgical concepts.
  • They must also have a good background and a sound knowledge base on a wide variety of disease conditions, interventions, management, and the nursing process involving medical-surgical patients.
  • A Master of Science in Nursing is usually a requirement in most states in the US.

 Military Nurse

  • Military nurses are people who serve in the armed forces with a background in the nursing profession as well as with military science.
  • They must be an expert with critical and emergency nursing care.

 Missionary Nurse

  • Missionary nurses belong to a religious affiliation with an objective of helping less fortunate people of the world at the same time spreading Christianity to others.
  • They have a whole lot of roles mostly involving public health and primary nursing.
  • Skills that are needed are excellent interpersonal communication, able to understand and speak other languages, and a passion in serving others.

 Nephrology Nurse

  • These are specialized nurses with a broad range of knowledge on taking care of patients with chronic kidney disease or renal failure.
  • They are also experts in handling dialysis machines (both peritoneal and hemodialysis) and are mostly employed in hospitals and other healthcare settings.
  • Skills involve health education regarding management, treatment and nursing care on patients with renal failure.

 Nurse Midwife

  • A nurse midwife must be a certified advanced practice nurse who takes care of women in pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
  • They also work in a multi-disciplinary approach in a wide variety of healthcare settings (hospitals, clinics, centers and homes).
  • They must also pass the midwife licensure examination given by the ACNMCC (American College of Nurse-Midwives Certification Council).

 Nursing Supervisor

  • A nurse supervisor is a senior nurse in-charge of clinical, managerial and administrative works in an institution (mostly in a hospital setting).
  • They must have good leadership qualities, budgeting and accounting skills, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
  • They are also involved in policy making and research.

 Industrial/Occupational Nurse

  • These are nurses whose main clients are employees of organizations and institutions.
  • Their main role is to provide nursing care, maintain the health of employees, identify occupational risk factors and health hazards, and provide health teaching on the specific health practices in a working environment.

 Oncology Nurse

  • The main responsibility of an oncology nurse is to take care of patients with cancer.
  • They also administer chemotherapy, provide the nursing care and needs of patients undergoing chemotherapy, and be knowledgeable with the disease process as well as symptom management in relation to cancer and its effects.

 Parish Nurse

  • A parish nurse is someone with a burden to take care of the spiritual health of a group of people (church congregation).
  • They also provide an advocacy role to people and facilitate easy interdisciplinary approach to hospitals, community and the church.
  • Activities might include spiritual counseling, bible studies, home visits, prayer meetings, and health teachings.

Ask A Nurse A Question


Your question has been sent!

Do you have a question about a career in nursing? Maybe a question about a specific field or even taking the NCLEX? Ask Andrea our Registered Nurse who has worked in many nursing fields over her career.

Name *
Email *
URL (include http://)
Subject *
Question *
* Required Field