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Working Conditions for Nurses

Nurse in a surgery room showing patient's heat rate in the monitor.

Are you reading this because you want to become a specialized nurse but unsure which working condition is the best suit for you? Perhaps you’re curious to know how some of the hardest working people on this planet earn their keep. Well, it’s safe to assume that it takes a type of warrior to become a Nurse.

The working conditions for Nurses are greatly determined by their specialization but are characterized by irregular shifts and work under intense pressure. They can be in a supervisory or take administrative role but engage with patients and their families regularly.

Apart from the incredibly long shifts at varying times, the work of a Nurse is invaluable. Whatever reasons you have for reading this, join us as we dive into different specialized nurses’ working conditions.

A Typical Day for a Registered Nurse

Registered nurse checking on senior man.

Registered Nurses can work shortly after they receive their qualifications, which in the United States is a State Nursing License. Their employability is wide as they can be in private practices, state hospitals, or personal residential care centered.

Registered Nurses work closely with a healthcare team to ensure that the patient receives optimal care, and any changes are regularly checked and managed accordingly.

These nurses are the backbones of hospital settings and have to be quick on their feet, especially since unprecedented incidents occur regularly in these spaces. Registered Nurses can earn an average of $76 000 a year. Some are fortunate to take up to $100 000 a year for their dedicated services.

How the Working Conditions Vary for Specialized Nurses

Different specialization has different working conditions and qualifications, which all influence the working conditions for Nurses.

Cardiac Nurse

Nurse checking patient's heart condition.

Cardiac-related issues are a growing problem within the United States and the rest of the world. So much so, Nurses can specialize to just deal with patients that have cardiac-related issues.

The working condition for these Nurses is very much integrated into every aspect of treating the patient. This specialization doesn’t just include their normal responsibilities with patients. Still, Cardiac Nurses can occasionally assist Doctors in medical procedures like Bypasses or placing a Pacemaker operation.

The working conditions are very much in line with just heart-related problems with patience and can therefore be monotonous. It’s a growing demand that comes with an ever-increasing annual income average of $68 000.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist [CRNA]

Nurse holding anesthesia breathing mask on patient in surgery room.

Certain specialties for nurses are highly specific in their role but come with a nice paycheck. A prime example of this is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist [CRNA]. CRNA’s undergo vigorous training to become highly specialized in assisting with the anesthesia process of an operation.

These highly skilled nurses are in top demand for the intricate services that they’ve trained for. They play an essential role in an operating theatre, which rightfully earns them an average salary of $154 000 per annum.

Nurses who work in this field need to have a prominent level of empathy for dealing with patients and their pain threshold throughout their hospital experience. Nurses, in general, have to have an endless stream of compassion. Still, for those frightened by operations, the nurses that handle them will make the experience.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialist comforting senior woman.

For a medical center to be fully operational and highly functional, the team that operates it has to be ahead of the game at all times. To accomplish such a thing, you have to have one hell of a team. Nurses who have strong leadership abilities tend to fall into the role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Clinical Nurse Specialists tend to administrative-related things, as well as supervisory positions to oversee the activities of the Nurses and allocate roles accordingly. You can imagine the type of personality that would best suit this job, which is rare but not impossible to find.

It takes a couple of years to qualify to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist because you need some experience on the ground before taking the responsibility of a supervisor. There are roughly 80 000 qualified Nurses in this specialty in the US. Depending on their location, they can earn a salary between $65 000 – $110 000 a year.

Clinical Care Nurse

Medical team attending patient in surgery room.

One of the toughest lines of specializations for Nurses is Clinical Care Nurses. The operational requirements in the United States are the same as for a Registered Nurse. The only difference is that Clinical Care Nurses only deal with emergency cases.

The working environment for the line of work is incredibly stressful. It requires Nurses to be quick on their feet, have endurance, and care for a patient after an emergency and communicate a plan of action to further aid the patient.

Apart from working irregular hours, these nurses must make themselves available throughout the evening in emergencies. It takes a particularly strong person to take this role and really focus on a healthy work-life balance. These brave nurses can earn a salary between $69 000 – $91 000 a year.

ER Nurse

ER nurses assisting doctor with patient.

The working conditions for ER Nurses are an incredibly stressful and high pace. They can be dealing with patients in critical care while riding in ambulances to spending most hours in the ER.

ER Nurses require a lot of endurance and people that aren’t afraid of a bit of blood. You would need to become a Certified Emergency Nurse and be okay with working in high-intensity environments.

It takes years of experience to learn certain tactical skills that you cannot learn in the classroom. Practical skill exercises quick thinking and critical thinking skills that are much needed to prosper in the workplace. ER Nurses can earn between $50 000 – $96 000 a year, and the more experiences you have, the more likely you are to make a better pay rate.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioner talking to little girl and her mom.

To be able to diagnose a patient requires a certain level of expertise and qualifications. To even qualify to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, a minimum of 500 hours of clinical hours would need to be completed.

These Nurses commonly work in Doctor’s offices or at Hospice centers and deal with a much more in-depth relationship with patients of all ages. Those who thrive in these working environments tend to have a great ability to establish trust and maintain good relationships with patients and their families.

Family Nurse Practitioners can have long-standing careers in private practice as the relationship with patients is a lot more personal. They can earn a pretty decent average salary of $115 000 a year.

Geriatric Nurse

Geriatric nurse talking to senior woman.

Geriatric Nurses do some of the hardest work on the list of typical responsibilities for Nurses. Nurses in this field of specialization are recommended to have a background in some psychology-related studies. Some patients have long-term illnesses and require a specific type of counseling.

These Nurses working environment ranges from retirement homes, hospitals, and even in patients’ homes. This type of specialization is very hands-on and doesn’t tend to work in large groups.

Being one of the members of caring professionals and can take on more supervisory or administrative roles. Due to the wide range of placements, these nurses can work in, the average salary ranges between $56 000 – $167 000 a year.

Preoperative Nurse, or known as Surgical Nurse

Surgical nurse working in surgery room.

A Preoperative Nurse is like the secret fairy that makes everything happen before and after an operation. They work closely with the anesthetists during a procedure. They are also responsible for monitoring the patient’s pain levels pre-and post-operative care.

This profession requires Nurses to have a mental toughness with excellent communication and a drive to ensure the patient receives the optimal experience under their care. Qualifying for this specialization requires a few additional requirements but is still employable, especially in hospital and outpatient facilities.

Preoperative Nurses play a crucial role in the patient’s experience and are incredibly employable at practices of all sizes. The average Preoperative Nurse in the United States can earn $71 000 per year.

Mental Health Nurse

Mental health nurse treating girl with depression.

Those who become Mental Health Nurses have a nuanced understanding that the working conditions are incredibly tough, especially the mental fatigue that comes with the job. The working conditions for these Nurses cannot be handled by just anyone. The reward, however, for doing the work they do is entirely worth it.

The space of mental wellbeing is taken more seriously. As a result, more people are looking for the attention they need, which means an increasing demand for compassionate nurses to specialize in this field.

This specialization requires a lot of hands-on activities and patience to deal with certain patients.  Mental Health Nurses earn an average salary of $130 000 a year in the United States, and some can earn up to $177 000.

Nurse Educator

Nurse educator educating new nurse.

Nurses in these types of specialization are responsible for educating new nurses on how to care for a patient. Basically, the tricks and the trade of things you won’t pick up from reading the textbooks.

To qualify for such a position, Nurses would need to complete their Master’s. At the same time, other institutions require a Doctorate to teach. The working conditions are a lot less action-based than other Nurses on this list and require a need and drive to educate the new generations.

Since the requirements for this position do not include academic qualifications, a certain number of years of experience is also required. Confidence and clear communication are key to survive in these conditions. Depending on which institution they teach, Nurse Educators can earn an average of $77 000 a year in the US.

Midwife Nurse

Midwife nurse assisting woman in breastfeeding her newborn.

Being a Midwife Nurse is one of the more specific lines of the profession and can be highly stressful and very hands-on. The working environment for these Nurses varies greatly from military hospitals to birth centers to private practices.

To thrive in these conditions, Nurses must be motivated to help comfort pregnant women during the birthing process. These nurses would need the appropriate qualifications to become Midwife nurses and have the ability to counsel and educate newborn parents on adjusting their lives.

Those who become Midwife Nurses are commonly referred to as heroes and the secret weapon to help all new mothers kickstart their journey. It is very hands-on, social, and demands a lot of attention on the patient. These Nurses can earn up to $63 000 a year.

Oncology Nurse

Oncology nurse feeding patient with cancer.

One of the most crucial elements of someone’s cancer journey is how the staff treats patients. It takes a strong-willed soul to become one of the most outstanding and brave jobs in any professional field.

Oncology Nurses commonly work in hospitals but can also work in Cancer Care facilities. They work closely with patients, as well as maintaining effective communication with the family members. They can prescribe medication and deal with a lot of confidential and delicate information.

Nurses have to have spent over 1000 hours as registered Nurse to even qualify for an oncology nurse. The responsibilities stretch beyond being a compassionate component for patients and their families. These heroes earn a respectable average salary of $87 500 a year.

Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurse checking newborn baby.

Those who become Pediatric Nurses tend to want to work with children and teenagers in their day-to-day work. The qualification required to qualify is the same as a Registered Nurse and work in Hospitals or in Doctor’s offices.

The working conditions for these Nurses are far more laidback than other Nurses on this list. Their responsibility is greatly reliant on their interactions with their patients for, it’s usually young children in hospitals who require a certain level of comfort from the Nurse.

Nurses in this field can earn a salary between $ 60 400 – $93 800 a year. This is greatly determined by where the Nurses work; for some, Nurses obtain additional qualifications to specialize further. For example, a Pediatric Nurse can specialize in working in the pediatric oncology ward.

Travel Nurse

Travel nurse standing against the helicopter.

Travel Nurses have the most mobile working conditions on this list. These Nurses work from contract to contract and aren’t just Registered Nurses who can move around. Some acquire additional certifications to travel to hospitals or private institutions that require someone to fill that role urgently.

Nurses in the specialization travel more and earn a lot more life experiences than most nurses found on this list. These experiences are highly credited in the medical field, especially if they can be applied as a guiding principle for healthcare teams to solve the problem at hand.

Travel Nurses are for those who enjoy a change of scenery and aren’t entirely content with working in one specific area. Their salary is greatly determined by the type of qualification and area they are focusing on, but they earn between $56 000 – $76 400.


After reading this, you probably have a new level of respect for Nurses and a broader understanding of different types of Nurse specializations. Regardless of the type of Nurse someone is, they must be able to withstand long hours and quick thinking in a very stressful environment.

Those who wish not to deal with blood in a high-intensity environment can change route and work in more laidback environments like a Geriatric Nurse. Employability is never a concern for a Nurse, for there is always a shortage of healthcare workers across the world.

The constant need for Nurses allows a lot of space for Nurses to not live a monotonous life as they can travel the world while doing their noble work for the world. The working conditions can be incredibly


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Healthcare Occupations

StateUniversity: Career Advice – Resumes, Cover Letters, Job Interviews, and Tips for Career Success Clinical Nurse Specialist