INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (2022)

Whether you want to assist surgeons during procedures in a hospital or work with patients in their homes, there are nursing careers available at nearly every educational levelthat come with a variety of salaries, locations and responsibilities.

Nursing is the largest profession in healthcare, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), with the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) estimate that there were nearly 3million registered nursing jobs in 2020. The field is projected to grow by 9% through 2030, BLS reported, adding more than 276,000 positions with opportunities to pursue more than 100 specialties ranging from school or camp nurse to cardiac care.

What Are the Different Types of Nurses and Their Salaries?

So many options can leave new and seasoned nurses wondering which specialty is right for them. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the 16 types of nurses employers are looking to hire, including information on salary, growth potential and required nursing degrees.

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (1)

1. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

  • 2021 Median Salary: $30,290
  • Projected Job Growth by 2030: 8%
  • Education Required: State-approved education program, on-the-job training
  • Location: Nursing care facilities, hospitals and long-term care facilities
  • Responsibilities: Monitor vital signs, bathe and dress patients and assist with their repositioning and walking

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2. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

  • 2021 Median Salary: $48,070
  • Projected Job Growth by 2030: 9%
  • Education Required: Certificate/Diploma in an approved educational program often found in technical schools and community colleges
  • Location: Nursing care facilities, hospitals, physician offices, home health care
  • Responsibilities: Change bandages, monitor blood pressure, collect blood and urine samples and address patient concerns to RNs and doctors

3. Registered Nurse (RN)INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (3)

  • 2021 Median Salary: $77,600
  • Projected Job Growth by 2030: 9%
  • Education Required: Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Location: Hospitals, ambulatory care services, nursing care facilities
  • Responsibilities: Assess patients, administer medications and treatments, assist in diagnostic testing and provide emotional support and health education to patients and their families


INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (4)

4. Surgical Assistant Registered Nurse

  • 2021 Average Salary: $101,700
  • Education Required: ADN, BSN preferred
  • Location: Hospitals
  • Responsibilities: Assist surgeons during procedures and care for patients before, during and after surgery


INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (5)

5. Home Care Registered Nurse

  • 2021 Average Salary: $53,000
  • Education Required: ADN, BSN
  • Location: Patient homes
  • Responsibilities: Prepare equipment, change dressings, administer medication and monitor conditions

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (6)

6. Emergency Room Registered Nurse

  • 2021 Average Salary: $79,300
  • Education Required: ADN, BSN
  • Location: Emergency rooms
  • Responsibilities: Perform triage upon patient arrival, determine order of treatment, conduct examinations, record patient histories, monitor patient progress and consult with supervising physicians

7. Labor and Delivery NurseINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (7)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $76,400
  • Education Required: ADN, BSN
  • Location: Hospitals, private care facilities
  • Responsibilities: Assist mothers through labor and delivery, perform cognitive tests on newborn babies, help parents select a plan of care and assist in the post-delivery care of both mother and child

8. Clinical Nurse SupervisorINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (8)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $76,145
  • Education Required: ADN, BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Location: Hospitals, long-term care facilities
  • Responsibilities: Supervise nursing staff, schedule hours, hand out patient assignments, complete performance evaluations

9. Nurse Case ManagerINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (9)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $66,155
  • Education Required: BSN
  • Location: Hospital, nursing home, industrial environment
  • Responsibilities: Work with patients, medical staff and insurance providers to find the most cost effective care plan, monitor progress, evaluate care and suggest alternative treatments

10. Critical Care Registered NurseINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (10)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $79,800
  • Education Required: BSN
  • Location: Intensive Care Units, specialty hospitals
  • Responsibilities: Provide complex care to those with serious illnesses or injuries

11. Oncology Registered NurseINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (11)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $79,320
  • Education Required: BSN
  • Responsibilities: Provide care for patients undergoing treatment for cancer or patients who are at risk for developing cancer, administer medication and closely monitor patient conditions

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (12)

12. Health Informatics Nurse Specialist

  • 2021 Average Salary: $93,390
  • Education Required: BSN, master's in health informatics, health care management or quality management preferred
  • Location: Information Systems department of healthcare organizations
  • Responsibilities: Maintain medical hardware and software, train medical staff and ensure that electronic documentation meets accreditation and review organization standards

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (13)13. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

  • 2021 Median Salary: $123,780
  • Projected Job Growth by 2030: 45%
  • Education Required: MSN
  • Location: Physician offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers
  • Responsibilities: Diagnose patients, manage treatments, order tests and prescribe medications

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (14)

14. Clinical Nurse Specialist

  • 2021 Average Salary: $111,982
  • Education Required: MSN
  • Responsibilities: Improve patient care plans by working with social workers, doctors, nurse specialists and pharmacists, and occasionally provide bedside care to patients

15. Nurse PractitionerINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (15)

  • 2021 Median Salary: $120,680
  • Projected Job Growth by 2030: 52%
  • Education Required: MSN or a master’s degree in a specialty role
  • Location: Physician offices, hospitals
  • Responsibilities: Examine patients, diagnose health problems, analyze test results and administer medicine and treatments

16. Nurse EducatorINFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (16)

  • 2021 Average Salary: $103,448
  • Education Required: MSN, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Location: Academic settings, clinics, hospitals
  • Responsibilities: Develop continuing education programs, facilitate training, provide educational resources to staff and design educational initiatives to improve patient care

How Many Types of Nurses Are There?

If you’re still not sure what kind of career you want to pursue as a nurse, don’t worry. This list is just a small sample of the hundreds of types of nursing jobs you can pursue in your nursing career.

Nurses are the most employed professional in healthcare and are in the occupation with the sixth-highest projected change in employment in the U.S. according to the BLS occupational outlook.

BLS found that:

  • 1.75 million RNs work in hospitals
  • 199,130 work in physician’s offices
  • 173,790 work in home health care services
  • 131,320 work in skilled nursing facilities
  • 147,720 work in outpatient care centers

INFOGRAPHIC: 16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions and Salary (17)

Advance Your Career in Nursing

Earning your bachelor's in nursingor master's in nursingprovides you with an undeniable advantage in your nursing career.

Although it isn’t required for a registered nurse to have a BSN degree, according to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, about 42% of nurses said the baccalaureate degree was their first nursing license. A BSN is slightly different than an RNas it helps prepare you for the increased complexity of care, advances in technology and a shift from acute care settings to community-based care. Many RN specialty certifications require a BSN as a minimum education requirement.

And, earning your BSN or MSN can help you at the outset of your career. According to the AACN, 40.6% of employers now require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and 77.4% express a strong preference for BSN program graduates.

Additionally, a 2021 AACN survey found that 76% of BSN students and 75% of MSN students had job offers at the time of graduation. Four to six months after the completion of their programs, the survey found employment to be 93% among entry-level BSN and 94% MSN graduates.

Start Your Career in Nursing

Few careers have as much potential to positively impact people’s lives as nursing. According to the AACN, nurses are the primary providers of patient care in hospitals, deliver the majority of long-term care in the country and have a huge impact on patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes.

Although COVID-19 challenged nurses in many ways, a 2020 American Nurse Association survey found that, despite the pandemic, 85% of respondents would become a nurse again if they had to do it over.

“People who want to work in the service of others, who want to aid in healing the whole person make excellent nurses,” said Southern New Hampshire University online BSN graduate Julie Antis '17.

Nursing is a career that allows you to create the life you want. While some nursing jobs follow a standard five-day workweek, many registered nurses work nights, weekends and even holidays, offering flexibility to fit your life. And, nurses are in demandall across the country, which means you can opt for a change of scenery without damaging your career.

A degree can change your life. Find the SNHU online nursing programthat can best help you meet your goals.

Rebecca LeBoeuf ’18 is a writer at Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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