Nursing and Medical Careers

Nurse leader or Director of Nursing (RN)

This individual directs nursing care to the residents and supervises the day-to-day nursing activities performed by the staff nurses and health care assistants. Supervision must be carried out in accordance with current federal, state and local standards, guidelines and regulations to ensure that the highest degree of quality care is maintained at all times. A registered nurse (RN) is responsible for monitoring patients, developing patient care plans, implementing treatments and providing guidance. RNs who provide in-home care or who work in a care facility can supervise the work of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), nursing assistants or home care aides.

Case Manager (RN)

A case manager assesses the overall health of patients with serious chronic illnesses by reviewing medical records and previous treatment history to create a long-term plan of care for patients. They monitor the progress of the plan, conferring with medical professionals, the patient and caregivers to evaluate progress and make changes as dictated by the patient’s changing condition. This position remains in contact with the physician, caregivers and insurance companies or government health agencies to make sure that progress is in line with expectations and requirements for payment are met.

Charge Nurse (RN or LPN)

A charge nurse is responsible for monitoring patients, assisting in developing and implementing patient care plans and treatments, as well as providing guidance to health care assistants. They may supervise the work of LPNs, nursing assistants or home care aides.

Minimum Data Set (MDS) coordinator

Also known as a resident assessment coordinator or nurse assessment coordinator, an MDS coordinator works in a nursing and rehab facility to ensure the facility meets state and federal regulations for Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes. MDS is a federally mandated clinical-assessment process for residents of long-term care facilities. Most long-term care facilities have an RN who fills the role of MDS coordinator to administer the assessment process for patients and residents.

Home health and private duty nurses

These nurses provide care in the homes of their patients. Patients who need home health nursing are usually elderly or disabled, but they may also be recovering from an accident or suffering from a serious illness. Home health care involves assisting patients with basic needs such as bathing and dressing, as well as more specialized care, such as wound care, medication management, and IV therapy. Home health nurses work primarily for home health care agencies and report to the home health agency administrator. They may work directly with patients or serve as administrators or policy developers.