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Decide on a Nursing Specialty

Decide on a Nursing Specialty

Beth Anderson, RN

The good news is that you have a wide range of specialties to choose from. The bad news? You have a wide range of specialties to choose from. How do you make up your mind? Fortunately you will have lots of exposure to each one. In nursing school you will typically spend about a semester in each specialty. Here’s a run down of each one:

Adult Health
This encompasses a wide range of specialties from oncology to OR nursing. The benefit to specializing in adult health is that you will build a good solid foundation for your nursing career. The skills you learn in this area can be carried over to other areas; the reverse isn’t always true.

Critical Care
Do you crave excitement? Do you like to be where the action is? Then critical care is for you. It encompasses the ER and the ICU. ICU nursing involves more specialized skills. You have a smaller patient load (often 1-2 patients) but your patients are much more acutely ill.

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Pediatrics
Caring for children can be one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences. The challenge? Children aren’t “supposed to get sick” so to see them and care for them in such a state can take its toll on you.

Maternal Health/Labor and Delivery
This is a good specialty to choose if you are interested in women’s health.

Psychiatric Nursing
This involves caring for the mentally ill in various capacities. Psych nurses can facilitate group therapy meetings, and they also carry out care plans for patients who are in the hospital.

Community Health
One thing that you will learn about in nursing school is the importance of health promotion. This is the concept that maintaining health starts with the actions that you take before you get sick. Community health nurses are great facilitators of this concept.

Refer to the Career Specialties profile list for more detailed information on each specialty. For additional information on finding a specialty, please click here.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    RN44637

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    yup

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    affiong

    over 4 years ago

    238 comments

    This is great! I'd love critical care.

  • Photo_on_2009-12-22_at_14

    minmay21

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    oncology or psychiatric nursing sounds interesting

  • L_cb4de039d989451684e10d3f0f0b25b6_max50

    beyondit

    about 5 years ago

    4 comments

    i think imma go wit maternal health ive always been interested in birth.
    great info by the way.

  • Img_4063_max50

    Amaryuu

    over 5 years ago

    4 comments

    I love Children Im going for Pediatrics

  • Nurse_max50

    bestnurse

    about 6 years ago

    6 comments

    Critical Care sounds exciting!

  • Me3edit_max50

    lilmama8387

    about 6 years ago

    2 comments

    is neonatal nursing a branch to choose from??

  • 1122071358_c3_af_1__max50

    casassy62688

    about 6 years ago

    290 comments

    Great info, it really breaks down trying to choose what I want to be once I get my RN. I'm leaning towards pediatrics or labor and delivery. And emergency medicine (I work in a hospital as a PCA and I love the excitement of a code!). It;s so hard to choose just one.

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    mixedlady

    over 6 years ago

    12 comments

    this is very up info, thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    dshillin

    over 6 years ago

    2 comments

    Very Informative

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    verri14a

    over 6 years ago

    14 comments

    looking up

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    verri14a

    over 6 years ago

    14 comments

    looking up

  • Typenningtonw_max50

    dadsjake

    almost 7 years ago

    26 comments

    good to know about all the areas and about them

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