Nursing offers some of the most diverse specialization options in healthcare. Rather than having to choose a single specialty, nurses have the unique opportunity to change fields throughout their career. For example, if you’re an obstetrics nurse that wants to transition to dermatology, you can make the switch after obtaining the necessary training and certification. This makes nursing a particularly attractive career if you crave variety in your professional life.
That being said, choosing a specialty can be daunting. There are countless nursing specialties, so it can feel overwhelming trying to pick the right one. Here’s what to keep in mind when choosing a nursing specialty:
Introverts, who are most comfortable in small groups or alone, may want to consider research-based roles that require less patient interaction, like informatics, forensics, or private duty nursing. Extroverts, who are happiest in big groups, will probably be drawn to more patient-focused specialties, like pediatrics or emergency care.
Was there a particular topic from nursing school that you found fascinating? A group of patients you feel especially pulled to? These considerations should be top of mind when choosing a specialty. Narrowing in on those aspects of nursing that you find most compelling can help steer you in the right direction.
Your workday pace
Some nursing positions are fast-paced and hectic, others involve less hustle and more careful, methodical work. If you thrive in a busy atmosphere, you’ll probably prefer settings that require quick, fast-thinking work – like trauma centers or operating rooms. If you like a slower pace, a home health, occupational health, or research position may be a better fit.
Your money mindset
There’s no doubt about it; some nursing jobs are more lucrative than others. If a hefty salary is important to you, you’ll want to aim for a high paying position. According to nurse.org, some of the highest paying specialties include:
– Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist: $183,580 per year
– Certified Nurse Midwife: $115,540 per year
– Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: $112,196 per year
Check out their full list of top paying nursing careers here.
It’s safe to say that nurses are needed pretty much everywhere. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your specialty of interest will be in demand everywhere. For example, a rural setting without a major hospital won’t need an ER nurse. Before plunging into a nursing specialty, take the time to research where the open positions are. Your specialty should align with where you plan to live.
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