Discover Career Opportunities

Navigating the Nursing Hierarchy: A Career Guide

We may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.

Embarking on a career in nursing is both rewarding and complex, with a structured hierarchy that shapes your journey from novice to expert. Understanding this professional ladder is crucial as it informs your training, roles, and opportunities for advancement. This introduction to the layers within the nursing field will help you strategically plan your path and align your career goals with the appropriate steps and positions.

Our Pick
Becoming a Nurse
$14.95 $6.50

The ideal guide to finding out everything a potential candidate needs to know, Becoming a Nurse provides a thorough, up-to-date overview on the nursing profession

Buy on Amazon.com Buy on Walmart.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/24/2024 04:16 pm GMT

Nursing Career Guide

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA): CNAs provide basic patient care under the supervision of nursing staff. They perform tasks like bathing, dressing, and feeding patients, providing crucial support in daily care facilities.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs care for the sick or injured under the supervision of RNs and doctors. They administer medications, monitor vital signs, and assist with daily living activities, acting as a bridge between CNAs and RNs.
  • Registered Nurse (RN): RNs manage patient care, administer medications, and collaborate with physicians. They also educate patients about health conditions and are pivotal in patient health monitoring and recovery.
Our Pick
How to be a Nurse's Aide in a Nursing Home
$10.00

Have you ever thought about becoming a registered nurse, but were unsure if a career in nursing is good for you? Do you want to become a registered nurse, but are not sure if you have what it takes? Are you not 100% sure about how to become a registered nurse?

Buy on Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/24/2024 04:20 pm GMT
  • Charge Nurse: A leadership role within nursing, charge nurses manage specific departments or shifts. They coordinate patient care, manage nursing staff, and handle administrative tasks, ensuring their unit operates efficiently.
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP): NPs provide primary and specialty care, often with the autonomy to diagnose and treat illnesses. They can prescribe medications and perform procedures, offering a higher level of independence in patient management.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): CNSs are advanced practice registered nurses who focus on improving hospital processes and patient outcomes. They provide expertise and support to nursing staff within specialty areas like pediatrics, geriatrics, or oncology.
  • Nurse Manager: Nurse managers oversee entire nursing units or facilities, managing staff, budgets, and patient care strategies. They ensure quality control and efficient healthcare delivery, focusing on both patient and staff needs.
  • Nurse Educator: Nurse educators train and educate aspiring nurses in academic or clinical settings. They develop educational programs and curricula, guide students, and stay informed on the latest in nursing education and practices.
  • Director of Nursing: This executive role involves directing all nursing activities within a healthcare facility. They set policies, oversee nursing staff, and ensure compliance with healthcare regulations, shaping the overall patient care strategy.
  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO): CNOs are top executives in healthcare institutions, responsible for overseeing all nursing operations. They focus on policy development, organizational management, and leadership within the nursing profession, ensuring excellence in healthcare delivery.
Our Pick
How To Become A Registered Nurse
$4.99

*** Amazon Best Seller in Professional Development *** Have you ever thought about becoming a registered nurse, but were unsure if a career in nursing is good for you? Do you want to become a registered nurse, but are not sure if you have what it takes? Are you not 100% sure about how to become a registered nurse?

Buy on Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/24/2024 06:30 pm GMT

Certified Nursing Assistant

Often seen as an entry point to nursing, becoming a CNA will allow you to fulfill various roles in the context of patient care and even medical dispensing in certain states.

To qualify as a CNA can take as little as three weeks, although you will need to achieve a passing mark in a state-endorsed exam to get officially accredited, after which point you can start applying for positions in hospitals, care homes, and other medical facilities.

“Nursing is one of the “classic” careers– the careers that everyone understands, and many people consider entering at some point in their life. Most of us have had direct experience with what nurses do; the familiarity of the job can make it seem like any prospective nurses should have plenty of insight about what to expect.” – What Should You Really Expect From A Nursing Career?

Licensed Practical Nurse

The next rung on the nursing ladder is becoming an LPN, which requires that you earn your Practical Nursing Diploma and then take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

With the help of NCLEX review courses, it is possible to enter the exam properly prepared so that you can kick-start your career in nursing.

LPNs will be tasked with catering to patients and carrying out procedures in the course of their daily duties. This could include everything from changing dressings on wounds and recording blood pressure readings to dealing with injections and IVs, although again each state has its own rules regarding what LPNs can and cannot do.

Registered Nurse

A more senior role for those with degree-level training in nursing, RNs are not just responsible for caring for patients but can also be involved in the management of nursing teams, often using their training and expertise to oversee the work of LPNs and CNAs.

Either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing can be used as a way to achieve RN status, but again the completion of the NCLEX exam is necessary, on top of any state-specific requirements that may be in place.

Starting your nursing career or looking to climb higher? Understanding the nursing hierarchy is key to your growth. Learn what roles like CNA, RN, and Nurse Practitioner entail and how to progress. #NursingCareer #HealthcareHeroes #NurseLifeClick To Tweet

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

At the top of the nursing tree are APRNs who have master’s degrees in their field and are able to operate on their own or in combination with other medical specialists, dealing with the diagnosis of patients as well as with their treatment.

There are a number of roles that APRNs can focus on, including midwifery and anesthetics, for example. Whichever route you take, you will need to complete a Master of Science in Nursing course on top of your undergraduate degree, followed by achieving the relevant certification in the area in which you hope to make your specialism.

Renewal of APRN certification can be required after a fixed period has passed, which is entirely in keeping with the seniority and expertise that is expected of people in these roles, as well as a factor that is reflected in the salaries that APRNs can command.

How to Become a Nurse: The Exact Roadmap That Will Lead You to a Fulfilling Career in Nursing!
$9.99

This book can circumvent all your worries and uncertainties so you will take only the coursework necessary to get you where you want to be in nursing without wasting your time and tuition money on coursework that won't help you. 

Buy from Amazon
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/24/2024 04:16 pm GMT

Additional Resources

  1. How To Become A Nurse Anesthetist
    $5.49

    CRNA school is extremely difficult, but for those who are determined to become CRNAs, it can be done. The CRNA program is very intensive, as it's a graduate-level program. Try to get any advantage you can to make your life easier. This book does exactly that.

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:25 pm GMT
  2. How to Become a Nurse: The Exact Roadmap
    $9.99

    Becoming a nurse doesn't have to be so difficult as you will find out from this book. You will learn all the tips and tricks to getting your nursing education toward a high paying job with lots of satisfaction and perks.

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:16 pm GMT
  3. Becoming a Nurse
    $14.95 $6.50

    The ideal guide to finding out everything a potential candidate needs to know, Becoming a Nurse provides a thorough, up-to-date overview on the nursing profession

    Buy on Amazon.com Buy on Walmart.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:16 pm GMT
  4. How To Become A Registered Nurse
    $4.99

    *** Amazon Best Seller in Professional Development *** Have you ever thought about becoming a registered nurse, but were unsure if a career in nursing is good for you? Do you want to become a registered nurse, but are not sure if you have what it takes? Are you not 100% sure about how to become a registered nurse?

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 06:30 pm GMT
  5. Work At Home Jobs For Nurses
    $14.97

    Jane John-Nwankwo is a Registered Nurse who loves to write. She has authored more than 20 books ranging from Textbooks to Exam Preparation materials, and now to fiction which is termed "Nurses' Romance Series" Simply search "Books by Jane John-Nwankwo" On Amazon.com Visit her website: www.janejohn-nwankwo.com

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:06 pm GMT
  6. How to be a Nurse's Aide in a Nursing Home
    $10.00

    Have you ever thought about becoming a registered nurse, but were unsure if a career in nursing is good for you? Do you want to become a registered nurse, but are not sure if you have what it takes? Are you not 100% sure about how to become a registered nurse?

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:20 pm GMT
  7. How to Become a Nurse: The Exact Roadmap That Will Lead You to a Fulfilling Career in Nursing!
    $9.99

    This book can circumvent all your worries and uncertainties so you will take only the coursework necessary to get you where you want to be in nursing without wasting your time and tuition money on coursework that won't help you. 

    Buy from Amazon

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 04:16 pm GMT
  8. Thriving Through Turbulence: Overcoming Stress as a Nurse
    $9.99

    "Unwind and Thrive" is an empowering and comprehensive ebook designed specifically for nurses, providing valuable insights and practical strategies to help you effectively deal with stress and cultivate a sense of well-being in your demanding profession.

    Buy on Amazon.com

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

    07/24/2024 05:19 pm GMT
Lasso Brag


What's next?

home popular resources subscribe search

You cannot copy content of this page