Florence Nightingale has explained the role of the medical sector explicitly in saving the patients from any harm.

Florence Nightingale was a British nurse and a social reformer famous for her steps towards modern nursing. She also served as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. She is known as ‘The Lady With The Lamp’ since she would go around attending patients at night with a lamp in her hand.

Her remarkable reforms allowed nurses to play a more significant role. And that was to lead and better the overall patient care. Gradually, nurses paved their way into the healthcare sector and now play a massive part in this industry. If you are an aspiring nurse and wish to tread on the path set by the torchbearers, know that there is so much that you can do. Unlike the conventional role, most people believe nurses to have, now there are numerous responsibilities you can perform.

Here we list down some of the types of nurses you can find in a healthcare facility and their respective contributions to patient care. These will help you understand how today nurses hold an integral chunk of management in the healthcare sector.

Nurse Practitioner (NP):

Let’s start with the most in-demand type of nurses today, and these are the Nurse Practitioners (NP). However, when we talk about being high in demand, we should not forget to mention the hard work it takes to become a Nurse Practitioner. NP specializes in a particular area of medicine. The work scope is relatively broad, with an NP getting a full practice authority in certain parts of the U.S. They can diagnose, suggest treatments, conduct research, and guide other healthcare workers, making them equivalent to a doctor in practice.

However, as we said before, becoming a nurse practitioner is a feat itself. First, you need to acquire a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science and then earn a Post-Master’s Nurse Practitioner Certificate if you wish to achieve a desired position in the field. Moreover, you also need to have some experience as a Registered Nurse before practicing as a Nurse Practitioner. Summing it up, becoming an NP requires extensive work, but the benefits you reap later are lucrative.

Registered Nurse (RN):

Have you ever had a high fever and ended up in a hospital emergency? If yes, the first person to check you would most probably have been a registered nurse. They are certainly available in hospitals performing tasks relating to providing and coordinating patient care and treatment. They are also responsible for providing emotional support to the patients and their families. To work as a registered nurse, you will have to get a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science degree. Additionally, you will also have to pass an NCLEX-RN test to become a licensed registered nurse.

Registered nurses are vital in the healthcare sector as they handle the core responsibilities involved in patient care. Every aspiring nurse leader first starts as a registered nurse.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP):

A family nurse practitioner is a competent registered nurse who can handle primary or specialized patient care cases. They often practice with a high level of autonomy alongside a physician and even practice independently in certain situations. These FNPs diagnose illnesses, conduct health exams, educate individuals regarding health concerns, prescribe medicines, etc. They do all tasks that doctors commonly do, which means that if you wish to become an FNP, you need to pass a few stringent evaluations.

First, you need to do a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science, which is commonly the prerequisite in every nursing career. However, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is mandatory to become a family nurse practitioner. Furthermore, you may also have to enroll in specialized family nurse practitioner programs for a career thrift. Given that an FNP provides comprehensive patient care, the more learned they are; the better opportunities come before them.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN):

An LPN takes care of a patient’s primary care responsibilities, such as feeding meals, bathing, and providing other essential upkeep tasks. They often work under a registered nurse and have a reasonably limited work scope. Therefore, it doesn’t take a lot to become an LPN like other nursing careers. You can start your career as an LPN after an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Generally, a year of learning will help you begin your career as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

However, even though their scope of practice is limited, they are the ones who deal directly with the patients making their work critical, nonetheless. They follow the registered nurse’s directions or the doctor they work with, and accordingly, administer medications, treat wounds, take vitals, etc. It gives them great hands-on experience in dealing with patients. And thus, they can add value by offering recommendations on improving the provision of patient care. Since they work directly under the supervision of an RN or a doctor, they gain enough training to move into these roles in the future.

Nurse Educator:

While we need skilled nurses, we also need someone to train them to perform lifesaving healthcare services. And this is where Nurse Educators can contribute immensely. Nurse educators are registered nurses who have learned the skills to educate future nurses. They teach in healthcare training programs at colleges and universities. Most nurse educators practice nursing, along with teaching, which makes it all the better. These nurses can transfer the knowledge and experience they gain by working in healthcare facilities. And such insights can significantly help aspiring nurses.

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS):

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is a specialized nursing field that requires a higher set of skills and aptitude than fundamental nursing expertise. They specialize in a specific niche of nursing and are often experts in that field. They differ from NP in several ways, such as NP are more involved with providing primary patient care. In contrast, a CNS will focus more on research, education, and consultation. They can only prescribe medications in practice if they apply for the authority to do so. Still, it is often not required in their area of practice.

Because of their level of expertise, CNSs play a massive role in any healthcare facility. They can advise treatments and mentor others. They can also take-up leadership roles and contribute a lot to bettering the overall healthcare provision.


Over the years, the field of nursing has massively transformed. Before, the majority of people did not consider nurses to play a significant role. But now, it is quite the contrary. Nurses have now started taking up some very substantial responsibilities in the healthcare setup. Universities and colleges now offer higher studies that equip these nurses for leadership and management roles. If you are an aspiring nurse, there are several positions you can aim at, like the ones we mentioned above. The field is vast, and there is a lot that an individual can do once they become a nurse!