Registered nurses who work in hospitals specialize in a number of areas like obstetrics, surgery, psychiatry, cardiac care, oncology, orthopedics, rehabilitation, intensive care, and many others. They may also specialize in working with particular kinds of patients, such as children, the elderly, the chronically ill, or the physically or mentally disabled.
- Consultant nurses advise hospitals, nursing schools, industrial plants, public health groups, and others about problems related to nursing activities and health services.
- Head nurses and nurse supervisors oversee and coordinate nursing departments in hospitals.
- Industrial nurses work for businesses, treating work injuries, planning safety and wellness programs, and referring patients to other health care providers.
- Infection control nurses coordinate and direct infection control programs in hospitals.
Nurse anesthetists administer anesthetics prescribed by anesthesiologists during surgery or other medical procedures.
- Nurse midwives are specially trained nurses who look after expectant mothers and deliver their babies.
- Nurse practitioners are specially trained nurses who work under the supervision of a physician to provide general medical care and treatment.
- Nursing instructors teach nursing in colleges and universities and work in staff-development or in-service programs in a variety of health service settings.
- Private duty nurses give bedside care to single patients on an hourly or live-in basis. They often work in a patient's home, although some do work in hospitals.
Public health or community health nurses, work for public health agencies, providing care, teaching, and counseling to patients in their homes, workplaces, schools, clinics. Their emphasis is often on preventing illness by teaching health maintenance and disease prevention.
- School nurses treat students who get sick or hurt at school and work with other medical staff and school administrators to plan school health programs.
- Forensic nurses investigate suspicious deaths, work with victims of trauma and abuse, and consult on legal cases involving medicine, nursing and/or illness. Specialties within nursing include the sexual assault nurse examiner, nurse death investigators, nurse coroners, forensic clinical nurses, legal nurse consultants, forensic gerontology specialists, forensic pediatric specialists, and forensic correctional nursing specialists.
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