Nurses work closely with patients. A nurse’s job duties depend on their education, area of specialty and work setting. Types of nurses include:
- Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) are also called Licensed Vocation Nurses. They train for about one year at a community college or vocational school and are licensed by their state.
- Registered Nurses (RN’s) are licensed by their state. They may have completed a diploma program, an associate’s (2-year) degree or a bachelor’s (4-year) degree.
- Advanced Practice Nurses are nurses who have more education and experience than RN’s. Examples of advanced practice nurses are clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife and nurse practitioner.
Pharmacists give patients medicines that are prescribed, or recommended, by a doctor. They tell patients how to use medicines and answer questions about side effects. Sometimes pharmacists help doctors choose which medicines to give patients and let doctors know if combinations of medicines may interact and harm patients.
Pharmacists have a PharmD degree and are licensed by the state. PharmD education may take five or six years and is a combination of college courses and pharmacy school. Pharmacists who work in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or long-term care facility, must also complete 1-2 years of residency.
Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and mouth, along with giving advice and administering care to help prevent future problems. They teach patients about brushing, flossing, fluoride, and other aspects of dental care. They treat tooth decay, fill cavities and replace missing teeth.
It takes six to eight years to become a dentist. This includes 2-3 years of college or a 4-year bachelor’s degree and 4 years of dental school. A dental specialty takes another 2-4 years of education or residency. Dentists are licensed by passing a written and hands-on test.