Nearly 1,500 nurses shed light on the best and worst nursing specialties of 2022 in light of COVID. Here is a list of the specialties to take a closer look at and the ones you might want to avoid during these unprecedented and uncertain times.
The Best Specialties for Nurses in 2022
Nursing has multiple specialties that one can specialize in, especially since there is an ongoing nursing shortage. Check out nurse educators, home health nurses, nurse managers, perioperative nurses, and pediatric nurses for job satisfaction.
Nurse educators have the highest satisfaction ratings. These master’s prepared nurses generally work in academia, not at the bedside, which might explain the satisfaction. These nurses bridge the gap between didactic learning and clinical practice. They create coursework and curriculum, teach courses, evaluate educational programs, oversee clinical rotations and conduct research.
Home Health Nurses
Home health nursing enjoys high ratings due to the autonomy and reduced oversight from management. The nurses provide care for individuals in their homes. These nurses treat those patients who do not require being in an institutional setting.
Nurse managers are advanced practice nurses who oversee the nursing staff in a health care facility. These nurses spend their time on administrative tasks. However, nurse managers are dealing with ongoing staffing shortages.
Surgery nurses support during surgeries. They take care of patients before, during, and after surgical procedures and work on everything from life-saving interventions to elective ones. There are a range of perioperative nursing roles, including:
- Scrub nurses
- Circulating nurses
- Operating room directors
- Medical-surgical nurses
- RN first assistants
These nurses work with newborns, children, adolescents, and teenagers. Although their duties are similar to other bedside nurses, they have increased knowledge of pediatric patients.
The Worst Specialties for Nurses in 2022
These specialties top the list regarding high levels of dissatisfaction, burnout, discomfort, and other negative feelings.
Telemetry nurses work in a hospital setting measuring life signs, dispensing medications, and communicating with patients recovering from cardiac intervention, such as a cardiac stent or a coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Emergency Room Nurses
These nurses are on the front-line with COVID patients. These professionals also deal with ongoing PPE shortages and overrun emergency rooms. Most recently, these nurses are coping with caring for unvaccinated patients.
Med-Surg nursing is the most common nursing specialty, and it requires the broadest knowledge. Additionally, these nurses have the highest nurse-to-patient ratio. Unfortunately, this situation leads to very high nurse dissatisfaction rates.
Labor & Delivery Nurses
These nurses must handle intense patient relations. Due to COVID restrictions, these nurses handle countless unhappy patients and families not allowed on maternity wards. These nurses also tend to be underpaid, understaffed and lack adequate backup.
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