31 Types of Nursing Positions: With Job Duties and Salaries
Updated June 30, 2023
If you're interested in a nursing career, there are many different fields to consider based on your strengths and interests. You can pursue a specific nursing position depending on your training, education and preferred work environment. Understanding some common job titles for nurses can help you find a specific role that's right for you.
In this article, we list 31 types of nursing positions with information about their average salaries and primary duties.
What are the general duties of a nurse?
Nurses provide care to their patients by administering medications, observing symptoms and progress, recording information and communicating with doctors and other health care providers. Nurses can work in various facilities, including hospitals, private practices and clinics. Some nurses also travel for their work, while others attend to patients at their homes.
20 types of nursing positions
Though all nurses seek to provide proper care and treatment for their patients, their day-to-day duties can vary depending on their specialty. Here are 20 nursing positions you can find in hospitals, clinics and private practices. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
National average salary: $42,945 per year
Primary duties: Certified nursing assistants help patients get dressed, eat meals, take their medications and move around. CNAs often monitor their patients' vitals, exercise them and communicate their status to other medical staff. This position requires a high school diploma, post-secondary certificate and CNA certification.
2. School nurse
National average salary: $54,763 per year
Primary duties: School nurses provide care to students throughout the school year. When a student falls ill at school, school nurses come to their aid. School nurses typically have an associate or bachelor's degree along with an RN certificate. Though the pay scale for this job differs from most other nursing positions, school nurses also receive school-year time off, including summer and holiday vacations.
Read more: Learn About Being a School Nurse
National average salary: $55,092 per year
Primary duties: Supervised by an RN, LPNs perform a variety of tasks for their patients, including the administration of medication and injections. LPNs require a practical nursing diploma. These nurses can work in hospitals, family practices, nursing homes and long-term care environments.
National average salary: $72,296 per year
Primary duties: Home health nurses care for patients in their homes. They may care for patients who are terminally ill, geriatric or those with mobility issues. Home health nurse roles often require a nursing diploma or an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing.
Read more: Learn About Being a Home Health Nurse
National average salary: $81,898 per year
Primary duties: Registered nurse managers supervise and manage members of the nursing staff. Their various duties include overseeing patient care, creating work schedules and scheduling meetings. Common requirements for the role include a bachelor's degree in nursing, two years of experience as a nurse manager and an RN license.
National average salary: $89,651 per year
Primary duties: Registered nurses create treatment plans for patients with a variety of illnesses, conditions or injuries, and they work across several specialties. RN positions require candidates to have an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. Common work environments for RNs include hospitals, private medical practices and nursing homes.
Read more: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN)
7. Charge nurse
National average salary: $89,969 per year
Primary duties: Charge nurses have duties similar to an RN, but they also handle some administrative tasks, such as scheduling and managing. Because of their duties, they may not see as many patients face-to-face. Charge Nurses typically have a Bachelor or Master of Science in nursing degree.
Read more: Learn About Being a Charge Nurse
National average salary: $92,356 per year
Primary duties: Pediatric nurses provide care to children in various medical or health care settings. They often treat minor injuries and administer vaccinations. Pediatric nursing positions require a minimum of an associate degree.
National average salary: $99,478 per year
Primary duties: Operating room nurses work in hospitals and care for patients before, during and after surgery. OR nurses provide streamlined communication between the surgical team and the patient's family. They can also be called perioperative or scrub nurses. OR nurses require an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing and an RN license.
10. Dialysis nurse
National average salary: $100,208 per year
Primary duties: Dialysis nurses handle the care of patients experiencing kidney failure. They also provide their patients with advice on living healthy lifestyles and support for those awaiting new kidneys. Dialysis nurses typically require a Bachelor of Science in nursing and an RN license.
11. Radiology nurse
National average salary: $109,623 per year
Primary duties: Radiology nurses care for patients undergoing diagnostic imaging procedures and radiation therapy. They do so by preparing them for various scans, MRIs and other tests administered by physicians and performed by radiological technologists. Radiology nurses typically have a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a CRN certification.
National average salary: $110,010 per year
Primary duties: NICU nurses care for premature or sick newborn children. Working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NICU nurses monitor newborns and their various conditions. NICU nurses also provide a source of contact for parents whose NICU babies are in their care. NICU nurses work as registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and candidates require certification in neonatal resuscitation or neonatal intensive care nursing.
13. Oncology nurse
National average salary: $111,198 per year
Primary duties: Oncology nurses care for a variety of cancer patients at all stages. Along with administering medication, oncology nurses observe patients and their ongoing progress. Oncology nurses work to display a great deal of empathy to their patients and families as they undergo cancer diagnosis and treatment. Requirements for this position may vary but often require at least an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing and experience in nursing.
14. Travel nurse
National average salary: $111,669 per year
Primary duties: Travel nurses are nurses that move from city to city to provide care for patients in understaffed hospitals or medical facilities. Travel nurses can be specialized or perform general duties. These roles require the candidate to have an RN license and an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing.
National average salary: $120,102 per year
Primary duties: Emergency room nurses care for a variety of patients that enter their hospital's emergency room. While some deal with non-life-threatening injuries and illness care, others handle traumatic and life-threatening conditions. Emergency room nurses require an RN license and an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing.
Read more: Learn About Being an ER Nurse
National average salary: $121,786 per year
Primary Duties: Labor and delivery nurses help with the birth of a new baby. They support expectant mothers both during and after labor. These nurses specialize in the operations, aftercare and support of labor and delivery practices.
National average salary: $122,835 per year
Primary duties: Cardiovascular nurses, also known as cardiac nurses, treat patients with various heart diseases or conditions, or patients who have recently undergone heart surgery or procedures. Cardiovascular nurses are required to have an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing and an RN-BC (board-certified) certification.
National average salary: $123,338 per year
Primary duties: Nurse practitioners work under the direction of doctors and have the ability to perform tasks beyond typical nursing care. Like physicians, NPs can diagnose conditions and prescribe treatments. NPs require a master's degree or doctorate degree to work in this position.
Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner
National average salary: $130,672 per year
Primary duties: Intensive care unit nurses handle the care of patients with life-threatening injuries. Similar to emergency room nurses, ICU nurses think quickly to help with emergency situations as they arise. ICU nurses require an RN license and an associate degree.
National average salary: $150,164 per year
Primary duties: Psychiatric mental health nurses diagnose and treat patients that suffer from mental illnesses. Psychiatric mental health nurses require a bachelor's degree in nursing and an RN license. These nurses work to help patients manage their medications and understand their mental health conditions.
10 additional nursing positions
Here are some other nursing positions and specializations you may consider. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
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