What is Nursing? Defining Various Nursing Roles

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Written by
Jeremy Booher
July 15, 2022

What is a nurse? What does it mean to be a nurse? According to a Gallup poll, Americans have considered nurses the most trusted profession for more than 20 years. Good reasons back the opinions of the majority of Americans.

Why It's Important to Appreciate Nurses

In a healthcare setting, where people go at times when their very life might be on the line, who is there to assess them with the willingness and skills needed to provide care? Nurses. Nursing care is a dire service that's easy to take for granted, but we might all be at the mercy of the hands of a nurse at one point in our lives or another. 

Nurses keep healthcare dependable. They offer the dedication and training required to care for patients in need. These skilled professionals are trained to recognize problems when they arise. Their actions could determine whether you live or die. Furthermore, society depends on nurses in times of distress, such as during this entire COVID-19 pandemic

Who Are Nurses?

They are the people that make critical decisions for us in times of need. Only trained nurses can provide these services, as it takes years of experience and dedication to create a truly great nurse. 

What is Nursing?

With an ever-changing occupation that keeps up with the new advances made in the medical field, nursing is a critical profession that requires a particular person. What type of person makes a good nurse? A person who can deliver their experience and education while also being compassionate with a caring heart. A skilled nurse must make fast decisions that carry significant responsibility and can directly impact the patient's outcome. 

What Types of Nursing Specialties Are There?

There are many different trained and skilled nurses. Once a nurse has earned either their registered nursing (RN) license or their licensed practical nursing (LPN) license, they may seek to hone their skills and specialize in a specific area within their career. These skills may vary from those nurses working in the cardiovascular intensive care units (CVICUs) to those working with mothers and babies or in labor & delivery units. 

What Are Typical Responsibilities of RNs?

Registered nurses are usually the head of a nursing team. There are more than four million registered nurses in the United States, making nearly one in every 100 people an RN. Their job requires several tasks, which may include:

  • Performing physical examinations
  • Assessing patient symptom
  • Triaging patients
  • Administering treatments and medications
  • Starting invasive lines 
  • Examining health histories
  • Making critical patient decisions
  • Coordinating care with other members of the care team
  • Delegating tasks to other clinicians and allied healthcare workers
  • Creating and implementing nursing plans of care
  • Promote healthy habits
  • Provide counseling, education, and training

What Is An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)?

An advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) Is an RN with a master's degree. They can treat and diagnose illnesses. They may also help inform the public regarding health threats.

What Is A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are nurses who provide care under the supervision of an RN, APRN, or medical doctor (MD). LPNs and LVNs perform various nursing tasks, including routine and primary care.

Some of the primary responsibilities of LPNs include the following:

  • Monitoring patient vital signs
  • Assessing patient health status
  • Administering medications at scheduled times
  • Changing wound bandages and dressings
  • Contribute to the nursing diagnosis and care planning process
  • Implementing interventions within patient care plans
  • Evaluating outcomes of patient treatments

Primary Nursing Vs. Team Nursing

Primary and team nursing are the two main hospital nurse management styles. Primary nursing and team nursing both come with their advantages and disadvantages. These systems impact both nurses, health care providers, and patients.

What is Primary Nursing?

When a nurse is assigned a specific patient and is with that patient throughout the entire shift tending to all their nursing needs, this is known as primary nursing. Nurses in this model usually only have one or two patients and are found in intensive care units (ICUs). 

What is Team Nursing?

In the team nursing management model, one nurse organizes the teams of nurses (RNs and LPNs) and nursing assistants. The registered nurse delegates tasks and ensures other nursing team members carry out the interventions. 

Who is Nursa? 

Nursa is an app that connects nurses to managers and staffers at hospitals and healthcare centers nearby to fill PRN jobs. Learn more about us on our homepage.

Blog published on:
July 15, 2022

Meet Jeremy, a contributing copywriter, editor, and publisher at Nursa who specializes in topics around licensing, clinician salaries, and per diem job locations.

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