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What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Specialty

What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Specialty

What's your nursing specialty?

Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer

From emergency-room and operating-room nursing to pediatric and orthopedic nursing and beyond, there’s no shortage of specialties for today’s ambitious nurse.

Besides the traditional specialties – OB/GYN, nurse anesthetist and nurse practitioners – there are lesser-known subfields such as telephone-triage nursing, forensic nursing (the application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings) and correctional nursing (nursing in prison settings).

While health care settings across the nation continue to experience nursing shortages, nurses are in particularly high demand in some subfields, including critical care (where the American Organization of Nurse Executives reports a 20 percent vacancy rate), emergency room and telemetry. Since these areas typically require nurses with higher levels of training, skills and certification, there are fewer candidates who fit the bill.

How can you zero in on the nursing specialty that will fulfill your career goals?

Nursing and Stress

One factor is your definition of stress. Some nurses find it more stressful to work in an operating room, where they are almost always on call. Others may find it stressful to work in the recovery room, which requires honed technical skills. Still others may find it stressful to work one-on-one with physicians on a medical/surgical floor.

Where do you feel comfortable? Do you enjoy independence, or do you crave the camaraderie of fellow nurses and staff? “You have to compare your personality with the working environment,” says Bill Morris, president of Beitler Staffing in Chicago. “People who can deal with high stress and juggling lots of balls in the air at the same time are well-suited to the emergency department. If you want a slower pace, then try a community hospital.”

You should also think about what you most enjoyed during training. If you have an affinity for children, you may want to specialize in pediatrics or maternity. If serving senior citizens satisfies you, then geriatrics would be a logical choice.

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Continuing Education

You also need to consider any special certifications and qualifications you need to enter into a particular subfield.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification may be enough on a medical/surgical floor, for example, but to advance to the emergency room, you will need Advanced Cardiac Life Support training. And if you want to work with cancer patients, then you may need special chemotherapy training from the Oncology Nursing Society.

“Are you willing to continue education and further your skills?” asks Kathy Murphy, clinical director for Nursefinders, a health care staffing service in Arlington, Texas. “If you are, then you may be a candidate for intensive-care units and oncology units.”

Next: New Programs Narrow the Field >>


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    Romine

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    What are the most lucrative specialities for and the future of wound care?

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    armstrongcj

    over 6 years ago

    7268 comments

    This article was very informative. I will think about the different options that I have to be a nurse.

  • Dad_stuff_029_max50

    Done

    over 6 years ago

    362 comments

    Take advantage of as many clinical opportunites while in school, especially in critical care- the addage of "paying your dues on med/surg units" is outdated, due to RN shortages many hospitals are now offering internship programs in specialties...if your up to the challange, take it!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 6 years ago

    i have completed 2 yrs of medsurg experience and i want to try some speciality. i like critical care nursing,besides that i want to pursue higher education.but i am confused. i like forensic nursing,nurse anesthetist,nurse councelling or i wanted to do something that is different challenging anf interesting.could you please suggest me the available masers programs and the schools i can apply. btw i live in california

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sikckb

    over 6 years ago

    38 comments

    I am interested in woring in an ICU and find it very helpful to know that starting on a med/surg floor has valuable experience. Also I find it very comforting hospitals are taking timid unsure nursing students and helping them ease their transition to the professional side.

  • 1230623w131_sq90_max50

    gospellove772003

    over 6 years ago

    1252 comments

    No matter what i plan on rolling with the punches no matter what comes i have the drive to do this

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    verri14a

    over 6 years ago

    14 comments

    im geting in to this

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nancyharrelson

    over 6 years ago

    8 comments

    This is very informative information.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    nancyharrelson

    over 6 years ago

    8 comments

    This is very informative information.

  • Hpim0228_max50

    ccburkejm

    over 6 years ago

    148 comments

    This article was very helpful to me. I am going into a nursing school, which places a lot of emphasis on med/surgical courses, and I was wondering if my decision to go to this school was the right one. This article helped to allay some of my fears, as I really want to do oncology nursing (at this time). As life changes and as I experience other areas of nursing, I may just change my mind, but isn't that the beauty of nursing?! I love this career, I want to be the best nurse I can possibly be with God's help.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    linson91

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Finally something to go by.

  • Ist_picture_max50

    Ruby

    almost 7 years ago

    22 comments

    Very helpful.

  • Char_syringe_max50

    JonZ

    almost 7 years ago

    78 comments

    There is now a new article on hemodialysis featured in the medical library. Take a look.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    myra98us

    almost 7 years ago

    2 comments

    i aminterested in hemodialysis

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