Childhood Cancer

Nurses are an essential part of the hospital hierarchy. Several nurses with different levels of training may all play a role in your child’s treatment.

Nurse assistant or aide. A nurse assistant can take vital signs (heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure), perform hygiene care, or change bedding.

Licensed practical nurse (LPN). LPNs take vital signs, give medications, and perform general care under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Registered nurse (RN). An RN has a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing, then takes a licensing examination. These medical professionals give medicines, take vital signs, start and monitor IVs, and communicate changes in condition to doctors.

Nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed an educational program that covers advanced skills. In some hospitals and clinics, nurse practitioners perform procedures, such as spinal taps.

Head nurse or charge nurse. A head nurse supervises all the nurses on the floor for one shift.

Clinical nurse manager. A clinical nurse manager is the administrator for an entire floor, unit, or clinic.

At our hospital, each of our nurses is different, but each is wonderful. They simply love the kids. They listen to the kids, throw parties, and act as counselor, best friend, stern parent. They hug moms and dads. They cry. I have come to respect them so much because they have such a hard job to do, and they do it so well.