16 Types of Nurses Including Job Descriptions & Salary

By Rebecca LeBoeuf

Nursing is the largest profession in health care, 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 2.99 million registered nursing jobs in 2020. The field is projected to grow by 7% through 2029, BLS reported, adding more than 220,000 positions with opportunities to pursue more than 100 specialties ranging from school or camp nurse to cardiac care.
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.


There are Hundreds of Types of Nursing Jobs
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 slice of the hundreds of types of nurses you can become in your nursing career. Nurses are the most employed professional in healthcare and are in the occupation with the fifth-highest projected change in employment in the U.S.

Earning your bachelor’s in nursing or master’s in nursing provides 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 a 2020 survey by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, more than 65% of RNs are now prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher. A BSN helps prepare you for the increased complexity of care, advances in technology and a shift from acute care settings to community-based care, and 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, 41.1% of employers now require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and 82.4% express a strong preference for BSN program graduates.

Additionally, a 2020 AACN survey found that 76% of BSN students and 74% 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 94% among entry-level BSN and 92% 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.
“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.

According to a 2016 Medscape survey of more than 10,000 registered nurses in the United States found that 95% of respondents were glad they became a nurse.

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 demand all across the country, which means you can opt for a change of scenery without damaging your career.