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Within the healthcare industry, nurses make the largest workforce, with over 2.5 million nurses practicing nationwide. Statistics estimate that the demand for qualified nurses will increase as complexities in health care are also increasing. Complications have produced countless challenges.
All the career choices of the nursing industry are both rewarding and fulfilling emotionally. However, with so many specialties, choosing the one that fits right for you can be a difficult task. Considering factors like job security and compensations can help you narrow down your choices.
Importance of Specialization
Many nurses find themselves in a position within their health care practices where they need to adjust to significant changes. They would aim at pursuing leadership or educational roles that allow them to impart their experiences with a new generation of nurses. It also facilitates the change within the health care organization. The decision to specialize and advance to higher levels is a commitment that takes time and effort and the completion of a master’s degree. The rewards of having specializations are far-reaching, hence making continued learning a necessary aspect.
Nurses who decide to specialize have the opportunity to become masters of their field and influence practices and education in the healthcare outcomes. Each specialty has a leadership position with specific qualities that advances the professional career for a nurse. Pursuing a specialization is not only a career advancement step but also helps shape the future for the health care industry.
While the following list of specializations is by no means all-encompassing, it can give you an idea about different areas you can pursue. Various specialties offer an opportunity to break the perception of what a nurse has to do while redefining the importance of community practice.
Here is a list of most rewarding nursing specializations that can help an individual alleviate their career.
Pediatric Nursing Practitioner
Pediatric registered nurses typically work with children in hospitals or doctor’s offices by providing routine checkups for children. The primary role is to administer any care required by a child according to their nursing care plan. There are sub-areas of this specialization, like neonatal nursing, development nursing, and palliative pediatric nursing. Their primary responsibilities lie in communicating care plans to children and working with premature babies to adjust outside of their mother’s womb. Similarly, they assist parents and educate them in various caretaking programs. One should consider this must-have nursing specialization for advancement in career.
How long does it take to become a pediatric nurse? Well, a typical academic lifecycle of a PNP includes four years to BSN and two years for MSN degree with additional 3-4 years for DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice) if they want to follow it professionally further.
Forensic Nursing Specialty
Forensic nursing is a hybrid between nursing and other fields. If one has a passion for crime scene investigation or legal system, forensic nursing is a specialization for them. Practices of this specialization include collection, analysis, and reporting of evidence as well as testifying as an expert witness for supporting victims. If you want to pursue this specialization, coursework in forensic nursing as well as specialized training needs completion. After that, the International Association of Forensic nurses gives you a certification to practice.
Nursing researchers are scientists that study various aspects of the healthcare industry to come with ways to improve healthcare systems and outcomes. If you pursue this specialization, part of your job will be to identify research problems, collect data, analyze and report findings. Many researchers pursue their careers in the education side by teaching clinical settings as well as writing articles for publications. The beginning designations for this career are research assistant, data coordinator, and clinical research monitor.
Critical Care and Emergency Nursing
Emergency and critical care nursing specialization have several sub-areas to master that involves working in intensive care units, emergency rooms, trauma centers, and other areas. This specialty gives an individual practice to handle life-threatening situations and treatments. You monitor people around the clock and provided care in unstable conditions if you specialize in this area.
Psychiatric Nursing Specialization
This specialization blends psychiatric care, nursing, and therapeutic skills to provide care and consultation to mentally ill patients and mental disorders. In general, they provide supportive care to patients with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and others. They also get training in providing behavioral therapy to teach attendants of patients how to deal with challenges and the treatment. Psychiatric nurses often work with multidisciplinary teams, associating with psychiatrists, therapists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals.
The specializations mentioned above are the most popular and rewarding specializations available for nursing practitioners. Besides these obvious choices, you can opt for other specialties like a nursing midwife, orthopedic nurse, or clinical specialist. There are specializations for every nurse, whether they work with patients, future nurses, or other professionals. Leading and communication are the qualifiers that make a nurse excel in their career and adopt various new practices for the health care industry.