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What are the different types of nursing?

The field of nursing can be a complex one, with many different types of nursing and areas in which to specialize. The different types of nursing fall into several general categories. Within each of these categories, there are many nursing specialty areas. There are also different levels of nursing and nursing degrees.

General Nursing Categories

Whatever your interests, you can find an outlet for them as a nurse. First you may want to decide which general nursing category you want to work in. Categories can include:

  • Clinical
  • Community
  • Emergency
  • Family
  • Management
  • Psychological
  • Surgical
  • Women's health


Nursing Specialties

Within each of these general categories, there are several specialty areas. For example, within a clinical setting, specialties include Diabetes Nurse, Case Management Nurse, or Holistic Nurse. There are over 100 nursing specialties according to the Johnson & Johnson

Levels of Nursing Degrees

There are also different education levels in nursing. Capella University offers the following levels of nursing degree programs:


Specific Nursing and Health Care degrees include:

  • RN-to-BSN Degree Program (BSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Public Health (DRPH)
  • Doctor of Health Administration (DHA)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate (CERT)


Nursing Specialties at Capella

Each level of Capella nursing degree program has several specialization areas. For example, Capella's master's degree in nursing program includes specialty areas such as Nurse Educator, Nursing Leadership and Administration, and Diabetes Nursing, among others.

Specific Careers in Nursing

Specific careers depend on which nursing degree program you are in, which level of nursing education you achieve, and area of specialization. For example, if you pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Nursing Leadership and Administration, potential jobs could include:

  • Emergency department director
  • Nursing executive
  • Nursing faculty
  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief nursing officer
  • Wellness program director


Potential workplaces could include:

  • Hospital
  • Clinic
  • Medical center
  • Home health care agency
  • Community or technical college
  • Land-based or online college
  • University of hospital-based school of nursing



To meet the growing demand for nurses, Capella University's online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and RN-to-Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree programs are CCNE-accredited* and incorporates the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (AACN).

*The BSN, MSN, and DNP degree programs at Capella University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791

You can learn more about Capella's nursing degree programs, specialty areas, and types of careers available by viewing “Career Outcomes and Job Titles” for each specific degree. Request more information and we'll match you with an enrollment counselor who can answer your questions.

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