The Healthcare industry is getting more complex with time, and the nurses are finding their jobs more challenging with each passing day. Be it technological advancements or changing patient demographics, the nurses can now choose a specialty of their choice. As a result, the demand for nurses is growing continuously, offering multiple benefits such as better salaries, a wide array of career opportunities, and increased job satisfaction as nurses get to work in a setting of their choice.
Choosing a nursing specialty can sometimes be challenging because you need to consider multiple factors before choosing one, but it is easier if you already know which specialty suits you the best. In addition, the growing demand for nurses in the healthcare industry has given them more autonomy over their roles and multiple specialties to choose from.
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Today, the Healthcare industry offers many Nursing specialties to those who wish to pursue their career in this industry and are eager enough to continue their education to pursue a specialization. These special roles include:
• Registered Nurse
• ADN Nurse
• BSN Nurse
• PRN Nurse
• Charge Nurse
• Emergency Nurse
• Labor & Delivery Nurse
• Pediatric Nurse
• Neonatal Nurse
• Forensic Nurse
• Public health Nurse
• Pediatric Nurse
• Surgical/Perioperative Nurse
• Oncology Nurse
• Orthopedic Nurse
• Geriatric Nurse
• Nurse Educator
• Mental Health/Psychiatric Nurse
• Nurse Anesthetist
• Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
• Nurse Practitioner
All the titles mentioned above require some certification or degree to ensure the quality of services. Some require a graduate degree like BSN or MSN, while others may require a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) to land your dream job. Since most nurses are working full-time and wish to pursue their education part-time, many universities offer flexible online degree programs to get them ahead at work.
For example, if you want to work as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), you can opt for DNP FNP programs online to further your career. As a family nurse practitioner, you will enjoy a broader set of responsibilities by serving people of all ages, from infants to senior citizens.
Factors to consider when choosing a Specialty
When you wish to pursue a nursing specialty, you need to ensure that it provides you with great learning opportunities, enhances your skills, is personally rewarding, and does not stress you out. Here is a list of factors that you need to consider when choosing a Nursing specialty:
1. Work Environment
Nurses don't just work in hospitals but also in non-hospital environments like public health departments, rehabilitation centers, schools, industrial job sites, research labs, and private clinics. Even if you wish to work in a hospital, there is a considerable difference when serving in the emergency, delivery room, or intensive care unit in terms of environment, pace, and interaction with patients. Hence you need to understand the roles and responsibilities of the environment you want to work in and then choose your specialty.
2. Earning Potential
Earning a higher salary might be your immediate goal, and management and leadership nursing roles are among the highest paying jobs. However, you may need to pursue a BSN, MSN, or possibly a DNP to get one of the highest-paying jobs in nursing. Research indicates that DNP degree holders earn around $120,460 annually compared to Nurse practitioners who make $113,930 on an average per year.
3. Your Personality and Interests
Do you seek a constantly challenging and exciting job? Then you should probably go for E.R. nursing in the emergency department or critical care nursing in trauma centers.
And if you like to take a slower pace, you can work as an Occupational Health Nurse in organizations or as a Home Health Nurse in patients' homes.
If you are an introvert, you might want to work in a quiet work environment with isolated tasks having little interaction with patients. You can specialize in informatics or forensic nursing or look for research-based roles.
If you are an extrovert, you would surely love to work directly with patients. Nursing jobs such as Critical care Nurse, Pediatrics Nurse, or Medical-Surgical Nurse would best suit your interests.
It all depends on your personality and your interests.
4. Job Market
With the evolving healthcare industry, the job market for nurses with a specialization is quite favorable. If you do not wish to move out of your town, you should look for nursing roles currently in demand.
And if you wish to move out, you should pay attention to choosing a specialization that is in demand or will be in demand in the future in the city you wish to move to.
Also, some states may require a license for nursing, while others may require supervision by a physician. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that there will be a 52% increase in Nurse Practitioners' jobs by the year 2030, which is quite a positive outlook in the nursing job market.
5. Working under Pressure
A nurse's job can be tiring most of the time, and they often juggle work with family and personal responsibilities. Although it has a lot of benefits attached to it, like higher positions and lucrative salaries, if your work affects your family life, you must be very careful in deciding your area of specialization.
You can only go for a high-pressure specialty if your support system is strong enough to let you take all the pressure at work.
6. Your interest in Technology
If you are tech-savvy, you can go for many job roles offered in nursing informatics or help your healthcare organization maintain electronic records in a database. Being a technology geek can provide you with exciting opportunities in the nursing domain.
7. Additional Certifications
Choosing your ideal nursing specialization may require specific certifications, training, educational requirements, and work experience. In addition, you may be requested to take particular certification exams to complete the specialty requirements. These certifications not only provide professional recognition but also offer increased earning potential.
The role of nurses is evolving with time, offering more challenging and more focused tasks in the healthcare industry. As a result, nurses are now inclined towards specializations to pursue their choice's work environment and job role. Therefore, it is imperative to consider multiple factors that affect choosing a specific specialty. These factors include the work environment, personality, interests, the job market, earning potential, interest in Technology, ability to work under pressure, and additional certifications. All these factors, including the necessary degree programs, can help you choose the specialty that best suits you.