Become a Nurse >> Browse Articles >> Specialties


How to Choose a Nursing Specialty

How to Choose a Nursing Specialty

Your nursing program will include at least one semester on each nursing specialty. This gives you terrific exposure for you to make possible career choices, apart from giving you the much-required hands-on experience.

Demand for Specialized Nurses

Currently, the United States is going through a severe nursing shortage, which is projected to continue for a long time. This is actually good news if you have gotten yourself into a nursing school, as it means that your skills will always be in great demand. This is particularly true of nursing specialties such as critical care nursing, telemetry nursing and emergency room nursing, which are always in great demand. These specialties do require higher levels of training, additional certifications and skills. If you want to be in the top layer of much-in-demand nurses, then you must train in a specialty that is always in demand. It won’t hurt to specialize in more than one area as well, to expand your career prospects.

Evaluating Nursing Specialties

You can study traditional specialties such as gynecology and obstetrics, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist and other specialties such as forensic nursing, telephone-triage nursing and correctional nursing. Study each of these specialties by doing your own research using your institute’s library and online resources. After you complete your nursing program, ask yourself which specialty work you enjoyed the most. You might like working with children, which makes you an ideal choice to specialize in pediatrics. Or, you might have enjoyed the training associated with older people and you might want to consider a geriatrics specialty.

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Specialty

You should consider several factors when you choose a specialty, such as job stress levels in a particular area of nursing. A few factors to consider are listed as follows:

Handling job stresses:
As an emergency nurse, ponder if you’ll be able to handle emergencies day in and day out, watching people die and witnessing horrific accidents and crime casualties. Different nurses react differently to the stresses that come with a nursing specialty. Operating room stresses can be very high; so are the stresses on the medical-surgical floor, where you will be required to care for patients who suffer from seriously debilitating conditions. Most nursing specialties will require that you have a strong stomach and a great will to stay focused on your job notwithstanding the daily human travails you witness. However, some specialties are more stressful than the others are and these are the core specialties where the demand for qualified, trained and strong nurses is felt the most.

Next: Working Environment >>

NursingLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use NursingLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.