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Obstetrical nurses, also known as OB/GYN nurses or gynecology/obstetrics nurses, are registered nurses (RNs) who care for women during their reproductive years. Because the reproductive years begin during puberty, obstetrical nurses also care for tweens and teens. These skilled nurses perform annual gynecological exams, assist with labor and delivery, administer vaccinations, conduct diagnostic tests like mammograms, and educate women about birth control and sexual health. Some obstetrical nurses specialize in labor and delivery.

Nurse executives are registered nurses (RNs) that work on senior leadership teams at hospitals, health systems, home health agencies, nursing care facilities, ambulatory healthcare services, and schools of nursing. They design and direct processes for delivering care, developing the healthcare system, managing / educating staff, and handling the organization’s finances. Some nurse executives have clinical experience in a specific area. This makes them ideal candidates for nurse administrator positions – for example, at a children’s hospital or an adult rehabilitation center.

Neonatal nurses are registered nurses (RNs) that care for newborn babies. The neonatal period is defined as the first month of life, and neonatal nurses typically work with infants from birth until they are discharged from the hospital. However, neonatal care can last for months if the infant faces birth defects, malformations, infections, prematurity, or cardiac and surgical problems. In extreme cases, neonatal nurses will care for infants until two years of age.

Medical-surgical nurses care for patients with multiple surgical, medical, and/or psychiatric diagnoses. They work in a broad range of environments including hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, urgent care centers, ambulatory care units, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices. According to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN), this specialized area of nursing requires stellar skills in assessment, technical knowledge, organization, prioritization, and communication.

Approximately six percent of the registered nurse (RN) population works in home healthcare services. They travel to patients’ homes, schools, community centers, or nursing homes to provide secondary or tertiary care. Home health nurses offer hands-on treatment, and they educate patients and family members about proper care and prevention. They work with a broad range of patients including the elderly, the terminally ill, the physically disabled, patients in accident rehabilitation, mothers recovering from childbirth, and sick infants.

The U.S. Census Bureau expects seniors (those aged 65 and over) to reach a population of 84 million by 2050. This will nearly double the current U.S. senior population of 45 million. The aging of the Baby Boom generation will power much of this demographic shift. Since seniors account for roughly half of all hospital admissions, the demand for qualified geriatric nurses will increase significantly.

More than 1.5 million registered nurses (RNs) work in state, local, and private hospitals across the United States. Thousands of these nurses work in emergency care. Known as emergency nurses, these skilled professionals provide lifesaving care in emergency rooms, urgent care centers, helicopters, ambulances, and many other environments. They must act quickly to stabilize severely injured and sick patients, diagnose medical conditions, and alleviate pain.

With 2.7 million practitioners in the United States, registered nurses (RNs) comprise the largest healthcare occupation. Of these nurses, more than 1 million hold certification in a specialty area. One of the most common areas is critical care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than 318,000 RNs are critical care nurses.

Clinical nurse leader (CNL) is an emerging nursing role developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in collaboration with leaders from the practice environment. The role was created to improve patient outcomes in response to changes in healthcare delivery and health professional education. The CNL oversees the lateral integration of care for patients, and she may actively provide direct patient care in complex situations. (To avoid confusion: the clinical nurse leader fills a different role than a clinical nurse specialist, or CNS.

More than 2.7 million registered nurses (RNs) are employed in the United States. Collectively, they comprise the largest group of healthcare professionals in the world. While RNs may find employment in a variety of settings, more than 1.5 million work in state, local, and private hospitals. The remainder work in nursing and residential care facilities, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, government, and education. In all settings, RNs provide essential patient care and treatment.

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