There is a lot of unprecedented growth in healthcare careers right now, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that there is going to be an increase of fifteen percent in healthcare roles available before 2029. The high demand for healthcare professionals has led to an increase in various specialist nursing career options for both registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses to consider. For nurses who have an advanced education, there are various specialty areas that provide a fulfilling work experience along with a competitive salary. These areas allow nurses to focus on a specific area of practice or patient population by gaining relevant work experience and the required certification and education.
Oncology nurses are involved in caring for patients who are receiving treatment for the various stages of cancer. Oncology nursing will typically allow nurses to further specialize in various oncology subfields including pediatric cancer, breast cancer, or hematology, for example. These nurses identify symptoms, administer treatment, and monitor patient progress. Along with this, they have an important role to play in ensuring that patients are kept in a comfortable, supportive environment while receiving car for cancer. A BSN degree and an RN license is required to begin training to become an oncology nurse.
For nurses who want to move away from the bedside and have a positive impact on reducing the shortage of nursing professionals that the US is currently experiencing, getting into a career as a nurse educator might be an ideal choice to consider.
Nurse educators work in colleges and universities to educate nursing students, including undergraduate students who are receiving a nursing education for the first time and nurses who want to get further education to advance their careers.
Right now, there is a huge shortage of nurse educators, and it is one of the main reasons for the shortage of nurses – while thousands of people apply to get a nursing degree each year, many are turned away since there are not enough professionals to provide the level of education needed.
To become a nurse educator, you will need to gain an advanced nursing degree program such as the DNP from Baylor University and a nurse educator license.
Neonatal nursing is a high-demand specialty area that involves caring for newborn babies who need additional care. These advanced registered nurses have received specialist training and work in intensive care units designed to care for babies that are born at risk of complications or in need of highly specialized care at the beginning of their lives. Neonatal nurses are responsible for caring for premature babies or babies that have been born with health issues including birth defects, genetic conditions, and drug dependency. Neonatal nurses are typically required to gain an MSN, and a Neonatal Resuscitation certification.
A nurse anesthetist administers pain medication and anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures. Their main responsibilities include making necessary adjustments and monitoring patients to observe vital signs both during surgical procedures and during the recovery process. Nurse anesthetists will work with patients of all ages during both scheduled surgery and emergency surgical procedures. An MSN degree with a specialization in anesthesiology is required to work in this nursing role. Along with this, nurse anesthetists are also required to get a specialist certification and an advanced practice registered nurse license.
Family Nurse Practitioner
The role of the nurse practitioner is currently experiencing more and more high demand as there is a shortage of doctors in the US and nurse practitioners step into these roles to fill the gap and make sure that patients are provided with the care that they need.
This is a worthwhile specialty to get into for any nurse that wants to advance in their career without giving up the option to care directly for patients and work at the bedside. FNP (family nurse practitioners) have more autonomy and responsibility in comparison with registered nurses, and in many states, can practice without the supervision of a doctor to examine, diagnose, and treat patients. You will need at least a master’s degree to work as a family nurse practitioner.
As nurses find that the option to make a difference to the lives of the youngest patients is very rewarding, pediatric nursing is becoming a more and more popular option. This nursing specialty area focuses on the healthcare needs of children of all ages, from birth to young adulthood. Pediatric nurses work to provide both primary and preventative healthcare depending on their training level, and there are various career opportunities to consider including pediatric nurse practitioner roles, which offers more responsibilities including examination, diagnosis and treatment of young patients.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
Another advanced practice registered nursing role, psychiatric mental health nurses are tasked with working with patients to assess, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders and illnesses. These specialist nurses will work with patients from all walks of life and various ages who are suffering with conditions such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, dementia and more. Psychiatric mental health nurses will also regularly work with patients who are suffering from substance abuse issues and addiction. To work in this role, you will need to gain at least a master’s degree in nursing and a license to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse in your state.
Trauma nurses work in critical care units, emergency rooms, or as a part of an emergency medical response team that provides care to patients who are in critical or life-threatening conditions. To work in this role, they need to undergo specialist training to work alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat and stabilize patients who are often in a bad condition. They may administer emergency medications, IV fluids and blood transfusions, monitor vital signs, care for wounds, and operate life-saving equipment. At least two years’ experience as a registered nurse is required to work in this role, along with specialist certification.
Whether you are already working as a nurse or are considering nursing as a future career, these are just some of the best nursing specialty areas to consider.