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What Type of Nurse Should I Be?

What Type of Nurse Should I Be?

There are many different types and kinds of nurses in the medical industry. Answering the question, what type of nurse should I be, can be difficult but we have come up with a helpful guide to help you answer the question.

What Type Of Nurse Should I Be?

Figuring out what type of nurse you should be can realistically be broken down into two sections. The first is nursing career categories, and nursing job specialties. Figuring out which nursing career category you might be interested in will help determine which field of nursing you might wish to pursue. The nursing job specialty, will help narrow down your search of which career path you might be interested in based on the routine tasks and setting in which you might work.

Educational Background Opens Up Career Opportunities

The first step in answering the question, what type of nurse should I be, is to determine the educational background you possess, or the education level you’d like to achieve. The world of nursing is one of the most versatile healthcare careers in that there are loads of different career paths for those with all levels of education.

There are nursing career options from those who would possess a Registered Nurse Diploma, to those who go all the way to earn a Post-Graduate PhD. With each level of education, new nursing career options become available.

There is around 100 nursing career specialties, and they can easily be broken down into different brackets by detailing how many new specialities are available for each education level. When breaking down the number of different specialties based on education, one can see that there are plenty of different avenues to explore, and future nurses aren’t limited by the education they obtain.

Essentially, when breaking down this list, with each level of education new nursing career options can become available to that specific education background. This means that with each level of education, careers with less education requirements are available to those with higher degrees.

We have created a table with all of the different specialties available for each level of education obtained. This will help you see which careers open up with each level of education obtained.

What Type of Nurse Should I Be - Nursing Career Categories

Answering the question, what kind of nurse should I be, can also be broken down into the potential nursing career categories. It is useful to break down the types of nursing categories to help answer the question, what type of nurse should I be, by narrowing down the potential responsibilities and workplace settings to find potential matches one might prefer to work in.

In each of these categories, we break down an idea of what each nursing career category does, and in what settings they typically work.

Advanced Practice

This advanced field of nursing requires nurses to obtain a Master’s, Post-Master’s Certificate, or Doctor of Nursing degree. The extra education pays off, as Advanced Practice Nurses are trained to be experts in providing care to patients. In many states, Advanced Practice Nurses have the authority to prescribe medication to patients, and often don’t require oversight from physicians.

Essentially, Advanced Practice Nurses take on additional casework that might be more complex than a traditional Registered Nurse might be tasked with. Typically advanced practice nurses work in a variety of hospital and healthcare settings: hospitals, nursing care facilities, schools, healthcare clinics, and physicians’ offices.


Nurses who work in the Emergency category of nursing typically work in emergency situations, as the name suggests. These nurses typically help recognize life-threatening problems and are trained with solving them on the spot. Some life-threatening problems that might arise are injuries or some form of trauma.

Typically nurses who work in this nursing category find themselves working in emergency rooms, ambulances, urgent care centers, and sporting arenas.

Community Nurse - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be


These nurses help provide mental health care to groups or individual patients. In addition, some mental health nurses might find themselves developing care plans and providing support to those who are at home, and require longer term treatment options. Psychological nurses typically work in psychiatric or mental health hospitals.


Nurses in this category typically provide care to patients in a variety of ways. Clinical nurses can provide care through pediatrics, emergency care, oncology, consultations, or geriatrics. These types of nurses typically work in hospitals.


Family nurses typically conduct physical exams, perform standard diagnostic tests, and help manage patients from the ages of childhood to adulthood. Essentially these nurses work with patients throughout their patients’ lives. These nurses typically work in a family practice or a clinical setting.

Nurse Executive - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be


Nurses who are in this field of nursing typically work in an operating room. These nurses help prepare the operating room for patients, and help setup the tools to make sure that the surgical setting is sterile. In addition, these nurses will help the surgical team during the procedure by passing equipment and tools when needed.


These nurses typically help handle care by working with patients in a community setting. These nurses might visit patients in their own private homes where they can provide care and assistance, or in a private community where nursing assistance is needed. This category of nurses will typically provide advice and care to their patients regarding wound treatment management, catheter care, continence care, and palliative care.


Nurses who are in the management category typically help oversee the daily operations and procedures of a nursing unit. These nurse managers typically focus on administrative and managerial duties of the nurses below them. These nurses typically work in a variety of settings.

Women’s Health

These nurses are similar to family nurses in that they only work with one subset of a patient community. These nurses typically provide comprehensive care to their female patients, and will provide care throughout their patients’ life. The care typically provided focuses around reproductive and gynecological health needs.

Forensic Nurse - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be

What Kind of Nurse Should I Be - Job Characteristics

One additional way of narrowing down the question, what kind of nurse should I be, is to focus on the different job characteristics and how each might fit with different personalities. Some jobs require more patient interaction, while others are more analytical and suited for those who like to keep to themselves more. The good news, is that there is a career in nursing for any type of personality.


These nurses typically work with patients who don’t speak english primarily. As a multilingual nurse, you will be tasked with providing care in different languages. These nurses are important because communication is key when finding what might ail a patient, and conveying potential treatment options to the patient.

Fast Paced

These nurses who work in a fast paced environment typically have a busy schedule and struggle to find any down time. Nurses who are in this field need to be comfortable working under a fast paced environment, and typically prioritize seeing as many patients in a day as possible.


These nurses typically work in an environment where they oversee the operations of the nurses below them. This job has less patient interaction than others on this list, and focuses on interaction between employees and hospital or healthcare officials. This job is well suited for those who have a knack for leadership, motivating others, and are analytical in nature.

Nurse Manager - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be


This job characteristic is well suited for those who operate on a set schedule. Every day is a routine and there isn’t much fluctuation between days. A typical nurses schedule can go from ordinary to hectic at a moment’s notice, and for those who are looking to have a little more structure to their daily routine should consider these nursing specialties where the structure is regimented.

Research Oriented

Not every nursing job has to deal with patients specifically. In several nursing career opportunities, there is plenty of opportunity to focus around research. This job characteristic is typically centered around conducting and reviewing research that might help improve patient care and impact treatment options moving forward. For those who enjoy conducting and reviewing research data, this is a great career characteristic.

Nurse Researcher - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be

Patient Interaction

When one thinks of nurses, many think of patient interaction. Nurses are responsible for most of the interaction that a patient might receive while receiving care, and individuals who have exceptional social skills would do well with the following nursing specialties.


As nursing is typically team based, there are plenty of options for those who would like to have independence in their daily routine. The good news, is that those individuals who would like to have independence can still provide treatment options and impact patients in a positive way. There are nursing specialties available for those who would also like standard or less social interaction.

Registered Nurse - What Type Of Nurse Should I Be


The multifaceted nursing career characteristic essentially brings together all of the individual characteristics above. Those who pursue a nursing career will find that they have to become multifaceted as they interact with and deal with patients in a variety of ways. These nursing specialties are great for those who find they are multifaceted and pick up new skills quickly.

Start Your Career In Nursing

As one can see, there are roughly a hundred different types of nursing careers that one can choose to pursue. With our guide that helps you figure out what type of nurse you should be, getting started is the next step. Investing in a nursing career is one of the most rewarding career paths available today. Get started today!
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