Over 1.4 million certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are employed across the country. Nearly 70 percent of these professionals work in nursing care facilities and hospitals. The rest work at continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities for the elderly, home healthcare services, employment services, and specialty hospitals. The largest CNA populations are found in New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
The U.S. is home to nearly 740,000 licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). The two terms are actually synonymous: 133,000 nurses in Texas and California use the title “LVN,” while the remaining ~600,000 nurses use the title “LPN.” Regardless of the preferred title, all LPNs work under the direction of doctors and registered nurses (RNs) to provide basic medical care and ensure that patients are comfortable.
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.
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.
Nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists are collectively known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost half of these healthcare professionals work in physicians’ offices. Close to 30 percent of APRNs are employed at hospitals. The remainder work at outpatient care centers, postsecondary schools, and offices of other health practitioners.