Erin M’s Answer
There are many kinds of nurses. There are Registered Nurses, called RNs. There are Licensed Practical Nurses, called LPNs. There are Certified Nurse Practictioners, called CNRPs, and there are Certified Nurse Anesthetics, called CRNAs. This has to do with the extent of their education and what they want to specialize in. For instance in hospitals on regular floors RNs and LPNs do most of the work checking blood pressures, temperatures, pain, and general medical well-being. CNRNs in PA work closely with doctors and can do check ups in offices and treat some routine diseases, thus assisting the doctors (MDs) with their daily tasks. CNRPs do about the same thing with surgeons when you've had an operation. CRNAs are highly specialized and require more traing. They assist and often are the ones in the operating room with you controlling your breathing and any pain you may be feeling. Their work in supervised by a specialty of doctors called Anesthesiologists.
Erin M recommends the following next steps:
- If you are looking at nursing as a career (and there is great need for them in today's economy), think about what level of education you are willing to pursue and also about how independent you want to be able to work.
- The further you specialize your skills as a nurse, generally the higher you get paid. This however, requires time and money for education.
- That doesn't mean that regular RNs don't specialize. My nephew is an RN and he works in an ICU at a local hospital. He, in turn, wants to become a CRNA and work in operating rooms. Some RNs and LPNs specialize to take care of kidney dialysis patients. My mother is a RN and she specialized in taking care of transplant patients. Some RNs work in doctors offices and act can act as information highways between patients and doctors.
- Nursing school is not a cake walk. It can have tough classes in sciences like biology and chemistry. The admissions process to college RN Programs can be rigorous depending on the school. School to become an LPN is generally not as rigorous.
- Overall, nursing is a wonderful and rewarding career with good job stability.