A system that explains where different positions connect and where they differ. There are some tasks that all nurses can do. Other tasks are only performed by nurses with an advanced education. Each of these tasks still falls within the spectrum of nursing.

For the sake of simplicity, there are some things we’ve left out of the spectrum. This includes advanced nursing positions, such as Certified Nurse Midwife and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. These nurses perform specific tasks, so their place on the spectrum is limited. For a full list of nursing specializations, you can read about them here. We’ve also left out a majority of the technical things that nurses do. Those tasks are hard to comprehend if you aren’t already in the nursing field.

The chart has two main sections: what you can do, and where you can work. These are self-explanatory. There is also an indicator of when and what a nurse does or where the work is considered rare in the industry. For example, you can see that it’s rare for a nurse practitioner to work in a home environment. You can also see that as your level of education goes up, there are more things that you can do and places you can work. This is true for any profession, but it is especially true in nursing. An exception to this rule is a specialized position. In a specialized position, you will do less generalized tasks. A certified registered nurse anesthetist or CRNA only works to administer anesthetic to patients. A certified nurse midwife only helps their patient deliver babies. There are many resources for information on what different nurses do throughout the internet. You can read more about advanced practice registered nurses at American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s publication.

There are many helpful studies that have been published. There was a recent study on how different types of nursing knowledge are applied in the care of hospitalized patients. The study showed five discrete types of knowledge that nurses use in practice, each of which corresponds to three moments of nursing knowledge history. You can read more about this on PubMed’s website.