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LPNs are licensed practical nurses. LVNs are licensed vocational nurses, which is the designation given for the same position in California and Texas. These licensed professional work under the direction of another medical professional such as an RN or doctor. LPNs duties vary from state to state. In certain states, an LPN may give medication to a patient or even start an IV (intravenous drip). In other states they are not allowed to do this.

RN / Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are medical professionals who have received advanced education and training in the field of nursing and have passed a nursing exam in order to become licensed. They provide direct patient care and education to patients and their families, working with other medical professionals to ensure the patient received the best care possible. RNs provide major medical care to patients in settings that include medical offices, clinics, urgent care centers, hospitals, long term care facilities and more.


Advanced Practice Registered Nurses refer to registered nurses with a Master’s degree who have met additional training requirements such as specific clinical practice. Some of the classifications that fall under this category include:

NP / Nurse Practitioner

A Nurse practitioner has completed advanced training and educational requirements beyond that required for an RN.

CNM / Certified Nurse-Midwife

A certified nurse midwife assists women with all aspects of gynecological and obstetric care. They work in primary care offices, mid-wife practices and private settings.

CRNA / Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Certified registered nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to surgical patients and monitor patients post-surgery. CRNAs are now allowed to practice after receiving a Master’s degree as well as meeting other requirements, but the requirements are going to change in 2015 to require all new CRNAs to hold a DNP degree.

DNP / Doctor of Nursing Practice

DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice is a doctoral degree designed to prepare nursing professionals to perform more responsibilities within their job, actually making diagnoses in certain circumstances and setting up a course of treatment for patients. The DNP is not the same as the doctoral degree required for physicians. The DNP degree will be required of CRNAs beginning in 2015. Currently there is also a recommendation for implementation of a nationwide requirement that nurse practitioners be required to hold a DNP in order to enter into practice.

The field of nursing is wide open to anyone interested in becoming involved in providing caring and compassionate medical care to individuals suffering from medical illness, disease or infirmity. As the national population continues to rise, the need for medical professionals will necessarily rise, ensuring that nursing occupations will always be a viable option for someone interested in employment in the medical field.

Nurses wear a variety of belts. They have black, white, blue, green and mauve.

Black is worn by midwives

White is worn by nursing officers

Blue is worn by senior nursing officers

Green is worn by principal nursing officers

Mauve is worn by Deputy Director of Nursing Services.

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