Nursing is a dynamic profession that provides direct care to individuals or groups of people with a focus on promotion and maintaining optimal health. Responsibilities center of the physical and emotional well-being of the patient as well as the education of patients and their families regarding healthcare and wellness. The nursing profession is ideal for savvy individuals with dedication, patience, respect, empathy, and a true concern for the well-being of patients and their families.
We invite you to experience a nursing career with WellSpan Health. With WellSpan, there are multiple opportunities for personal and professional growth that can meet your individual career goals. As a WellSpan nurse, you will practice patient-centered care in a challenging and rewarding state-of-the-art health system.
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Professional Nursing Titles & Job Descriptions
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered nurses (RNs) provide care, treatment, counseling and health education to ill or injured people. Registered nurses (RNs) interpret and respond to patient symptoms, reactions, and progress. They teach patients and families about proper health care, assist in patient rehabilitation, and provide emotional support to promote recovery. They monitor their patients' conditions, give them medications and treatments prescribed by a physician and communicate with the doctor and other members of the health care team to care for patients.
RNs use a broad knowledge base to administer treatments and make decisions about patient care. Nurses may work in a certain specialty area such as intensive care, surgery or obstetrics, public health, or with special populations such as children, the elderly or persons with disabilities. They also provide education to individuals and families to promote health and prevent injury and illness. Nurses direct and supervise nursing support personnel and can be found working in all healthcare settings.
Licensed Practice Nurse (LPN)
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide hands-on care for patients under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses (RNs). In addition to providing basic care, LPNs may also give injections and medications. They change dressings, evaluate patient needs, implement care plans, and supervise nursing assistants.
LPNs take a patient's temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and other vital signs; dress wounds; administer prescribed medication, and may perform some tests. Assisting patients with exercising, eating, and grooming may also be a part of an LPN's job. LPNs instruct family members on nursing care. LPN opportunities are mostly found in the ambulatory and physician office practice settings.
Nursing Assistant (NA)
By providing routine patient care, Nursing Assistants (NAs) play a vital role in health care delivery. Working under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, they answer patient call lights, serve meals, and check blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and breathing. Assistants visit with patients while helping them change position, walk, bathe, and eat.
They have a great deal of patient contact and are important in developing patient relationships that foster trust. Some patients are discharged from hospitals needing additional home care. Nursing assistants are also occasionally called home health aides, and these individuals allow people to recover at home rather than in hospitals or nursing homes. They assist with medications, change linens, and teach family members to care for the patient during recovery. NAs work in most all healthcare settings.
Anesthesia is the use of special drugs, gases, and nerve blocks that temporarily block sensation in an area of the body or enable a patient to be kept unconscious and pain free during surgery. Either an anesthesiologist—a physician who specializes in this area of practice—or a nurse anesthetist—a registered nurse who is specially trained in anesthesiology, administers anesthesia to a patient. Nurse anesthetists interview patients to gather information on drug use, allergic reactions, and family history.
Caring for patients before, during, and after surgical procedures, they blend nursing skills with the practice of anesthesia. Supervised by physicians, nurse anesthetists are able to provide services similar to those of anesthesiologists. Their primary duties involve managing the patient's airway, controlling breathing, monitoring vital signs (blood pressure, heart function, temperature, etc.), and giving anesthesia.
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
The certified registered nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has taken advanced courses in anatomy and physiology, physical assessment, and pharmacology and possess a minimum of a Master’s of Science degree in Nursing (MSN). CRNPs focus on maintaining health and wellness and also are specialized in a specific patient population, such as adult/gerontological, pediatric, and women’s health. CRNPs are licensed providers who function under the purview of a physician.
Nurse Practitioners focus on health and wellness throughout the lifespan and across the continuum of care. CRNPs can be found in a variety of healthcare settings, from inpatient acute care hospitals to physician offices and urgent care centers, working collaboratively with physician partners.
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
The certified nurse midwife (CNM) is prepared both academically and clinically to provide a broad range of health care services for women and newborns. CNM functions include diagnostic services such as taking patient histories, physical assessment, ordering appropriate laboratory test/procedures, therapeutic management that includes outlining care, providing prescriptions, coordinating consultations and referrals, and health promotion/risk reduction activities.
Certified nurse-midwives may be found in a variety of settings including outpatient practices—either by themselves or in collaboration with a physician, hospitals, freestanding birthing centers or may also assist patients that prefer a home birth setting.
Surgical Technologists work in the operating room helping to provide a safe, sterile environment and adding to the efficiency of the operating room team. These technologists check charts, position patients on the operating table, and provide emotional support. Surgical technologists prepare surgical instruments and materials using sterile techniques.
Also called operating room technicians (ORTs), surgical technologists prepare the skin and help apply equipment and monitoring devices. They maintain the sterility of the operating room by helping the surgical staff scrub, dress, and put on gloves and gowns. During an operation, surgical technologists operate lights, suction machines, and diagnostic equipment. They pass instruments, keep the operative site visible, apply sterile dressings, and prepare specimens for the lab.