What are the Different Types of Nurses

There are many different types of nurses.  In fact, Registered Nurses can specialize in many different areas to further their careers but also to find work that is meaningful for you.  Although a Registered Nurse can specialize, it is not always necessary.  Many Registered Nurses work in general areas for their whole career but certainly not all Registered Nurses work in general areas.  One of the best things you can do is to learn more about the different areas within healthcare.  By understanding the different areas, you will be able to know where you would like to work.

Finally, when you are asking what are the different types of nurses, you must understand the setting may chance according to the specialty.  For example, some nurses in nursing homes may be certified in gerontology while others in general hospitals are not certified in anything beyond their Registered Nurse Certification.  Without further ado, here is my list of different types of nurses:

  • Addiction Nurses:  Addiction Nurses normally work in substance abuse facilities.  These types of nurses educate patients on addictive behavior and the health implications of their behaviors.  This includes alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or other substances.  Addiction Nurses need to understand not only the medical and healthcare aspects of addiction, but also the social implications these addictions have on family and friends.
  • Cardiovascular Nurses:  Cardiovascular Nurses work with patients who have different heart issues or are getting prepared for heart surgery.  There are many different heart hospitals throughout the United States and that is where these specialists work.  You will need to understand the inner workings of surgery and taking care of patients with hear issues.
  • Critical Care Nurses:  Critical Care Nurses work in different intensive care units within hospitals or other healthcare facilities. These types of nurses normally work in emergency rooms or critical care units and handle complex issues with patients.  This type of nurse is definitely an interesting and ever changing environment for a nurse.
  • Genetics Nurses:  Genetic nurses work with patients who have very specific genetic disorders.  These types of nurses can work in many different types of facilities including hospitals or specialist physician groups.  Although less known, these positions allow nurses to screen and counsel patients on top of the actual care.


  • Gerontological Nurses:  Gerontological Nurses work in the elderly patient care settings within nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly.  Often these positions allow nurses to specialize in direct patient care for the elderly.  In addition, these types of nurses often work to education the patient and their families.
  • Medical Surgical Nurses:  Medical Surgical Nurses work in a general medical and surgical setting.  These types of nurses work in hospital settings and would often be considered the typical type of nurse.  Their duties of care include general patient intake and helping educate patients and their families.
  • Neonatology Nurses:  Neonatology Nurses work in environments that involve newborn babies.  This can include children’s hospitals, women’s hospitals, and general hospitals.  These nurses understand the treatment needed for babies and the advice needed for parents and family.
  • Nephrology Nurses:  Nephrology Nurses work with patients who have kidney related health issues due to diabetes, high blood pressure, and substance abuse.  Although these types of nurses work in various settings, they do specialize in this very specific area.
  • Rehabilitation Nurses:  Rehabilitation Nurses care for and treat patients with permanent disabilities.  They also work with patients who have had a temporary disability or injury.  These types of nurses work in rehabilitation hospitals or orthopedic hospitals among other places.

Although this is an excellent list of nursing specialties, there are actually more that could be added.  However, these are the typical specialties for registered nurses.  If you are interested in Registered Nurse Education Requirements, or How to Become a Registered Nurse, then feel free to click the links.