Nurses keep patients comfortable and healthy. Your responsibilities and work day are based on the specialty you choose. Nursing is a diverse, flexible career choice because you have the option to work in different settings based on your personal preferences.

Where Should You Work As A Nurse?

The majority of nurses work in a hospital setting. Although 60 percent of nurses work in hospitals, there are a variety of other venues to choose from. Whether you want to be hands-on with patients, supervise staff, educate the public or work with the elderly, nursing gives you plenty of choices.

What's Your Specialty?

An LPN has several different options including hospitals, home health care, day care centers, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. When you study to be an RN, even more specialties become available. Much like doctors, RNs can elect to study a specialty which ultimately determines the setting they work in.

How Do You Know Where To Go?

Let's review a few nursing specialties and what your responsibilities would be. If the idea sounds challenging and enjoyable, it's an area to explore. With so many study options, choosing a specialty that really grabs your interest makes all the work ahead a little easier.

Do you want to take care of people who are seriously ill or disabled? If you are patient and compassionate, acute care nurses provide essential care to those who cannot care for themselves in hospices, veterans' hospitals and nursing homes. You need to be able to handle a crisis, offer assistance physically and emotionally as well as maintain accurate records for the ongoing care and treatment of seriously ill patients.

Do you like the idea of taking care of pregnant moms-to-be and delivering babies? If you want to assist pregnant women, options to include labor and maternity nursing, nurse-midwifery and nursing at women's centers. You will help doctors with the care and treatment of pregnant women. If you are involved with labor, you will assist the doctor with the birthing procedure. Nurse midwives are trained to deliver babies.

Are you outstanding with children? If you get along well with children, you may enjoy a career in pediatric nursing. From working at a school to helping out at a pediatrician's office, you have many opportunities to help children as a pediatric nurse.

Are you grace under pressure in a crisis? If you are cool as a cucumber during a crisis, you may want to consider emergency and trauma nursing. You will deal with a variety of emergency situations and need to be able to make split second decisions regarding the care and treatment of patients. Working well with others is crucial in an emergency room or ambulance setting.

Do you have outstanding communication skills? If you have a knack for communicating complicated issues in a simple way, consider public health nursing. Public health nurses talk to the public to educate them about important health issues. You may conduct educational presentations at business seminars, school assemblies, government meetings or hospitals.

Are you empathetic to people with substance abuse problems? If you have a desire to help people overcome substance abuse problems, consider addictions nursing. Tough but tender nurses with tenacity can help patients beat drug and alcohol addictions at rehabilitation centers, hospitals and doctors offices.

Do you work well with people and technology? If you have great people and technology skills, a career in radiology nursing may be perfect for you. You provide care to people getting diagnostic testing such as ultrasounds.

Are you fascinated by the mind and how it works? If you have a desire to assist people with mental and emotional disorders, you will be challenged in a psychiatric nursing career. You help patients with mood and personality disorders at hospitals and doctors' offices.

Are you a person who enjoys being independent and visiting patients? If you work well independently and like to travel locally, consider a career as a home health aide. You will visit the homes of various patients to render basic nursing care and a bit of compassion.

Do you like to travel and get bored in one place? If you like to stay in different places and see new faces, consider a career as a traveling nurse. With the ongoing shortage of nurses, many hospitals are willing to pay for travel, housing and salary to get traveling nurses. Take advantage of this time in nursing to help people and see new places at the same time.

Do you work well in a structured setting? If structure with diversity appeals to you, military nursing is an outstanding career. There are many places nurses are needed including the military branches, Red Cross and Peace Corps. Military nurses must be brave, think quickly and effectively and make easy transitions to new places and situations.

Are you a natural-born leader? If you have outstanding leadership skills and work well with others to solve problems, you will have a rewarding career as an administrative nurse. Pursue your master's degree and take charge of staff to get things done. As an administrative nurse, you need to be well-organized, rational and impartial.

With so many options to choose from, nursing is one of the most diverse careers around!