How do you say “nurse” in Spanish?

¿Cómo se dice “nurse” en español?

In my Spanish for Medical Professionals course, I often get asked how to say various job titles. For example, “How do you say Registered Nurse in Spanish?” As to not reinvent the wheel, I found this great article, Names of Medical Professionals and Specialties in Spanish. It lists all sorts of job titles found in the medical professions. Most of the job titles you can figure out just by looking at them. Often, if the job title ends in -o, the person is male. If the job title ends in -a, the person is female.

male nurse = enfermero
female nurse = enfermera

There are exceptions, such as el dentista and la dentista. Most of the time, however, you are safe to assume that you can put an -a at the end of the job title if you identify as female.

One job title that I want to point out is a Physician Assistant (PA). If you are able to read a bit in Spanish, make sure to check out this thread. The summary is that asociado médico might be the best term. The main problem is that a PA is used primarily in the U.S., so it is a difficult concept for Spanish-speakers from other countries to understand. 

As many of my online Spanish students are in nursing, the following vocabulary list will focus on common job titles in this field. Along with a PA, the issue with nursing in the United States is that there are many different kinds of nursing. They require a variety of backgrounds and education. In many Spanish-speaking countries, the term for nurse is simply enfermero. While there may be several distinctions in the United States, the various job titles often do not translate well into Spanish. This list includes translations of what I have seen used. You may have even heard other translations!

Spanish Words for Nurses

EnglishSpanish
nurseenfermero/a
CNA – certified nursing assistantayudante de enfermero
OR
asistente certificado/a de enfermería
RN – registered nurseenfermero/a registrado/a 
OR
enfermero/a titulado/a
LPN – licensed practical nurseenfermero/a práctico/a con licencia 
OR
enfermero/a practicante certificada 
LVN – licensed vocational nurseenfermero/a vocacional con licencia
APRN – advanced practice registered nurseenfermero/a registrado/a de práctica avanzada
NP – Nurse practitionerenfermero/a de práctica avanzada 
OR
enfermero/a calificada para ejercer la medicina (See this article)
CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialistenfermero/a especialista clínica
CRNA – Clinical Registered Nurse Anesthetistenfermero/a anestesista registrada
CCRN – Critical Care Registered Nurseenfermero/a registrado/a de cuidados críticos
nurse midwifeenfermero/a obstetra 
midwife (general)patero/a
nurse educatorenfermero/a educador/a
nurse managergerente de enfermería

If you are a nurse who works in a specific department, you may just want to use “de” and then the department. For example:

emergency room nurseenfermero/a de urgencias
oncology nurseenfermero/a de oncología
labor and delivery nurseenfermero/a de parto y alumbramiento

I am sure that I am missing many titles here, but I encourage you to research your particular title at wordreference.com and linguee.com. (Tip: Scroll down to see either the comments from native speakers or how it is used in context.)

Did you find this helpful? Make sure to check out my other blog posts on learning Spanish, especially the vocabulary for COVID and the COVID Vaccine.

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