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Careers in Nursing Involving Service Users

Service users in healthcare are usually cared for by different kinds of nurses. Learn about some of the nursing careers that interact with these users, as well as each position's education requirements and median salary.

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Nursing Career Options Involving Service Users

Most, if not all, nursing careers typically involve service users, as they are the patients who utilize and receive medical care. These nursing careers vary in their specific job duties and areas of specialty, but all work to ensure that patients are well-cared for and receive the best treatment possible. Explore a few of the available nursing careers that involve service users below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Registered Nurses $68,450 15%
Nurse Midwives $99,770 21%
Nurse Practitioners $100,910 36%
Nurse Anesthetists $160,270 16%
Nursing Assistants $26,590 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers in Nursing Involving Service Users

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) interact with service users on a daily basis as they provide patient care to a variety of patients. They talk with their patients as they examine them and begin to record their medical histories and then begin to carry out treatments based on the physician's orders. Treatments may require RNs to use different kinds of medical equipment, perform medical tests and/or administer medications. These nurses also help educate patients and answer patients' questions to prepare them for treatments and recovery. All RNs need a valid license, but they may earn a diploma, associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing.

Nurse Midwives

Nurse midwives (CNMs) specialize in working with women service users to provide them with female-related medical services. They are trained to deliver babies and provide gynecological exams, prenatal care and treatment for other reproductive health issues. CNMs are also trained to handle emergency situations related to childbirth, such as hemorrhaging, and then provide care for the mother and newborn baby after birth. As an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), CNMs must have a license, hold national certification and earn a master's degree in their specialty.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are also APRNs and provide advanced nursing care to service users. As primary or specialty care providers, these professionals exam patients and discuss treatment options with them, much like physicians. They usually specialize in a particular medical area, such as pediatrics, psychiatrics or geriatrics, and are qualified to give patients medication, operate medical equipment, analyze test results and counsel patients. Like other APRNs, NPs need national certification, a state license and a master's degree in their area of nursing.

Nurse Anesthetists

Another kind of APRN is a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) who provides anesthesia to service users during a variety of procedures. They may provide local anesthesia or anesthesia to keep the patient asleep during procedures, but either way they must carefully check that the patient does not have any medical history, allergies or current medications that may interact poorly with the anesthesia. CRNAs monitor patients closely during and after procedures to check for any side effects. As APRNs, CRNAs need a master's degree in their specialty, a license and national certification.

Nursing Assistants

Nursing assistants, or nursing aides, provide service users with basic care during their stay at a medical facility. They help their patients eat, bathe and dress as needed and may transport patients in beds or wheelchairs. They monitor vital signs and may be able to dispense medication, but they also serve as another listener to patients' concerns and can help address these issues with nurses and physicians. Nursing assistants have to pass a state-specific competency exam after completing a state-approved education program.

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