There are multiple reasons for choosing a nursing specialty. You might be interested in a specific area of medicine, a particular patient population or for personal reasons. Choosing a specialty can help you direct your career and get the maximum return from your nursing education. Some specialties require only a general nursing education, while others require additional training. All have their responsibilities, work settings and patient populations.
Personality and Interests
It would help if you thought about your mindset and your interests. Do you prefer working with children? Do you want to practice in a hospital or out in the community? You might want to be at the bedside or doing research. Thinking about your personality type and what you are interested in will help you narrow down your specialty options.
Work hours are a crucial consideration. Remember that some specialties require extended work hours while others allow a flexible schedule. Many specialties offer excellent career growth opportunities if long hours are no bother.
The patient population is another consideration. All nursing specialists have a different patient population, and you want to be sure you are comfortable working with that population. What types of patients do you wish to serve? Do you want to work with healthy or sick patients? Surgical or medical patients?
Ensure you are comfortable with the working conditions before you choose a specialty. Think about the physical demands of the job. Make sure you are mentally prepared too.
A Partial List of Nursing Specialties
There are many nursing specialties, and deciding which is best for you can be challenging. Here are a few popular nursing specialties to help you get started searching for the perfect nursing specialty:
- Registered Nurse (RN). A nurse who provides direct patient care. RNs work in hospitals, clinics, offices and nursing homes. An ADN or BSN is required. Expect an average salary of $65K to $100K. This specialty demands strong communication and clinical skills.
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). An APRN is a nurse with advanced training who provides direct patient care and can prescribe medications. There are multiple specialties to pursue as an APRN, and they work in various settings. The average salary is $100K to $120K. You will need an MSN or DNP degree. This specialty requires advanced knowledge of pharmacology.
- Cardiac Care Nursing. Nurses with cardiac care training provide care for patients with heart disease. At a minimum, you will need a BSN. Cardiac care nurses need solid clinical skills; the average salary is $75K to $85K.
- Critical Care Nursing. A critical care nurse is responsible for patients who are critically ill or injured in various settings, including hospitals, clinics and offices. For this specialty, you will need a BSN. Expect to earn $70K to $80K per year.
- Emergency Nursing. These highly-trained nurses provide care for a variety of patients. Most work in the emergency departments of acute care hospitals. You can earn $65K to $75K with a BSN and an emergency nurse certification.
- Geriatric Nursing. If you enjoy caring for older adults, geriatric nursing might be for you. These nurses work in hospitals, clinics and offices. The yearly salary is $60K to $70K.
Best of luck finding your specialty. When you decide on your path, the team at myRN Staffing Solutions is ready to connect you with an excellent nursing opportunity.