NurseA nurse is a health care professional who assists individuals, families, and communities in attaining and maintaining optimal health and functioning. Nurses are responsible for the treatment, safety, and recovery of ill or injured people, health maintenance of the healthy, and treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings. Nurses develop and implement a plan of care and work collaboratively with the patient, the patient's family, and other health care professionals. The nursing career structure varies considerably throughout the world. Typically, there are several distinct levels distinguished by increasing education, responsibility, and skills. Nurses are also increasingly employed as advanced practice nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists, who diagnose health problems and prescribe medications and other therapies. At the top of the educational ladder is the doctoral-prepared nurse. Nurses may gain a PhD or another doctoral degree, specializing in research, clinical nursing, and so forth. These nurses practice nursing, teach nursing, and carry out nursing research.