One way to increase your earnings potential as a nurse is to specialize in one medical field. Your specialty will prove that you’re qualified to work with patients suffering from specific medical conditions, but it will still allow you to fill standard nursing positions through hospitals, doctor’s offices and in-home care services.
If you’re passionate about helping patients with a specific illness or type of injury, specializing is a great way to center your career on that interest. The following five nursing specialties represent some of the more exciting options, but there are many others that you may consider.
1. Pediatric Nurse
Pediatricians provide care to children, so a specialty in pediatric nursing will allow you to assist those young patients as well as their parents. If you want to work with children and plan to become a nurse practitioner, a specialty in pediatrics will allow you to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Your pediatrics training will qualify you to work in pediatrician’s offices to help with minor illnesses and preventative care, or you may work in the pediatric department of a hospital. You may also choose a more specific pediatric nursing specialty, such as pediatric endocrinology nursing. This is a specialty that combines well with virtually any other specialty you may select.
2. Correctional Facility Nurse
Inmates in correctional facilities are legally entitled to healthcare, but jails and prisons are unusual work environments for nurses. You may stitch up minor wounds in the aftermath of a prison fight one day while providing preventative care for patients of various ages the next day. Correctional nursing training will prepare you for the unique experience of working within a jail or prison facility, but you must consider whether your personality is a good fit for the job. Depending on the facility in which you work, you may need to maintain professionalism with inmates convicted of violent crimes, and your patients may not always have the most pleasant demeanor.
3. Emergency Nurse
A specialty in emergency nursing will prepare you to respond to a variety of emergency situations quickly and effectively. Your job will involve reacting to known emergencies as well as detecting critical situations that may lead to an emergency. Responding to patients in the moment of severe trauma requires you to think quickly and take swift action to save lives. This specialty will qualify you to work in hospital emergency rooms, but you may also seek employment with emergency response services if you want to work out in the field.
4. Geriatric Nurse
This nursing specialty allows you to care for the elderly with advanced knowledge of the medical conditions, injuries and mobility limitations that they may experience at various ages. You may use this expertise to work in a nursing home or with an in-home care service, but you may also complete this specialty to improve your general nursing knowledge. You will encounter elderly people while working in many nursing positions, so this advanced training may help you respond to the needs of your patients in a more efficient way.
5. Holistic Nurse
You may also see this nursing specialty referred to as “complementary health.” You learn how to combine modern western medicine with alternative treatment options from around the world. This enables you to work with patients interested in controlling pain or treating other symptoms in new ways. As more and more patients prefer not to take medication and seek out natural treatments for various medical conditions, this nursing specialty may become quite lucrative in the future.
You don’t have to limit yourself to one nursing specialty. If multiple types of medical care spark your interest, you may complete training for each of those specialties over time. This will increase the number of jobs that you qualify to fill, and your enhanced knowledge will make you a better nurse to every patient blessed with your attention.