Creating a More Just and Merciful World
Reasons To Become A Specialized Nurse
A nursing specialty gives you the power to focus on the specific area of work you find most interesting.
You can serve a particular patient population or work in different departments such as the medical-surgical unit or a private practice. A specialization could eventually lead to a higher salary and career advancement.
Ultimately, choosing a nursing specialty that closely matches your personality, preferences, and experience may offer career satisfaction and fulfillment.
Types of Nursing Specialties
There are several different nursing specialties. Each specialty represents an area of client care and nursing expertise gained from education and experience. Here are popular nursing specialties:
Family Nurse Practitioner—a broad specialty that allows nurses with an advanced degree and certification to provide care for patients of all ages, focusing on preventative care, monitoring long-term health needs.
Pediatric Nurse—works with children and families from infancy through teenage years, seeing patients in a variety of developmental stages.
Critical Care Nurse—focuses on the care for critically ill patients recovering from extensive surgeries or life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
Labor & Delivery Nurse—cares for mothers and their partners (or families) during labor and birth and provides the infant’s initial postpartum care.
Geriatrics—specializes in the care of older adults and is responsible for collaborating with physicians and the healthcare team on treatment plans.
School Nurse—works with children and families in an educational setting, typically K-12 schools to provide health care and education. Colleges and universities employ nurses for campus health programs.
Emergency Room Nurse—as first responders in a hospital emergency room, provides immediate support for patients and identifies and determines the severity of medical issues.
It is important to understand what the required skills are for the specialty. Some specialties might require nurses to complete a certification or residency program.
Each specialty offers its own benefits and challenges. Nurses should consider the unique situations that come from working in a specialty. For example, if you work in pediatrics, you should be comfortable communicating with parents about potentially worrisome conditions. In critical care, you must keep track of everything going on with your patients. Labor and delivery nurses, meanwhile, must be able to direct others and nurture parents and newborns.
Finding Your Fit
You might feel a calling toward a specific specialty. Or, you may need to consider your options while on the job. There’s value in working in units that offer experience working with diverse client groups and needs in order to discover what specialty you are drawn to most.
For nurses, matching personality to area of specialty can improve performance and job satisfaction. Think about your strengths and weaknesses and learn more about the specialties that interest you.
Personality traits matter a lot when making career decisions. This definitely applies to nursing. Introverted types might gravitate toward a role in which they interact with a smaller team and work in a specific environment such as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. However, for people who thrive in fast paced environments critical care or the emergency department may be a good fit.
Questions to ask when choosing a nursing specialty:
- Does this specialty fit my personality?
- What is the work environment and what are working conditions like?
- What are the work hours?
- What patient population will I care for?
- What are the responsibilities?
You do not need to stay in the same specialty area your entire career. Nurses can pursue or change a specialty at any stage in their career—whether they are new or experienced nurses.
Choose Your Path in Nursing
The great thing is that no matter what specialty you choose, the outlook for nursing is positive. Nursing is a career path that offers many benefits such as stability and growth opportunities. Get started today by exploring the nursing degree programs at Carlow University including master’s degrees and post-master’s certificates for specialized study.