Perhaps you are already a fully qualified professional and practicing nurse working in a challenging yet intensively rewarding sector?
Alternatively, maybe you are an ambitious nursing intern or even still training at nursing college and are simply exploring various options for future career pathways?
Either way, here, for your information and, of course, for reading pleasure, are twelve nursing specialisms to further your career in medicine.
1. Informatics Nursing
The first nursing specialism highlighted in this article concerns informatics. It is important to note immediately that, although most medical institutions employ the services and expertise of one or more informatics nurses, not all do.
Organizations such as nursing homes, hospitals, clinics, and even public health agencies and insurance agencies regularly use the services of professional informatics nurses on a full-time basis.
Generally, informatics nurses work with computers and computing technology and are fully and thoroughly trained in information technology, computer science, and, obviously, nursing. Specifically, informatics nurses deal with the management and application of research and data analysis with the overall target of boosting and improving the efficiency and quality of how patients are cared for.
To become a nurse who solely specializes in informatics, you would first need a recognized BSN degree before applying for your registered nursing license, then going on to compete for a postgraduate degree or MSN degree in either computer science or information science. All this extra research and work pays off when it comes to the average salary of an informatics nurse; however, as a 2022 study revealed, the approximate salary of such a nurse ranges from $76,000 to $80,000 per year.
2. Neonatal Nursing
Another intensely fascinating and life-affirming nursing specialism to consider is that of entering into neonatal nursing.
Essentially, nurses specializing in neonatal nursing work in intensive care wards and units and solely work to care for babies and small infants who are either at risk of or have suffered one or more complications either during birth or shortly afterward.
Neonatal nurses can work with a wide variety of different babies with different physical and emotional needs, including but not limited to babies who have been born with congenital disabilities, dependency on drugs, various genetic conditions, and babies who have been born prematurely.
There are certain additional qualifications that registered nurses must undergo to become a specialist in neonatal nursing, including the Neonatal Resuscitation Program certificate and other Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing qualifications.
On average, as of a 2020 study, professional nurses who are working in the neonatal area earn between $68,000 and $71,000 per year.
3. Mental Health Nursing
Nurses who specialize in mental health have undertaken extensive additional training and research and long work placements in mental hospitals and specifically work with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients living with a wide range of different mental disorders.
Examples of such disorders which psychiatric nurses address include low mood and depression, bipolar disorder, multi-personality disorder, phobias, addictions, dementia, substance abuse, and feelings of suicide.
Typical duties of a mental health nurse can involve some of the following responsibilities:
- Attending home visits
- Administering various medications
- Liaising with social workers, doctors, and other nurses
- Encouraging participation in therapeutic activities
- Planning and assessing nursing care requirements
- Listening, reassuring, and talking to patients
- Reviewing and agreeing with other professionals about treatment plans
- Updating and creating individual patient records
- The organization of workloads
- Combating stigma surrounding mental health issues
4. Nursing Educator or Scholar
One of the most endlessly fascinating nursing specialties that have become even more popular in recent years is becoming a nurse educator or scholar.
Typically, nurse scholars and teachers are fully registered and professional nurses who have undertaken extensive graduate training and usually pursued one of the reputable online nursing doctoral programs to be able to teach student nurses in a wide variety of different locations and situations.
Typical roles and responsibilities of a nursing educator include the following:
- Teaching aspiring and training nurses about patient care and treatments
- Planning the forthcoming curriculum
- Supervising clinical and laboratory work
- Overseeing dissertations, graduate projects, and research projects
- Recruiting new nursing students
- Overseeing independent studying
- Serving as a role model and a mentor where appropriate
- Keeping abreast of the latest developments and innovations in nursing
- Guiding and lecturing on class dissertations
- Advising on career and academic topics and issues
- Publishing results of personal research
- Connecting with the local and wider community
5. Travel Nursing
An incredibly rewarding and equally personally and professionally beneficial area of nursing in which you could choose to specialize is that of becoming a registered travel nurse.
For nurses working and registered in the United States, there is a minimum requirement in terms of education and academic qualifications for those working in the traveling area of healthcare and nursing of either a BSN or associate degree and a current RN (Registered Nursing) license. In addition to these mandatory education requirements, other certifications that can be of extreme benefit when pursuing a specialism in travel nursing include the Certified Emergency Nurse, the Certified Critical Care, and the Certified Pediatric course credentials.
Typical responsibilities of a working travel nurse include:
- The acceptance of smaller, contract-based nursing assignments
- Taking readings and samples, including temperature, blood pressure, and pulse, regularly
- Comforting and caring for patients who are terminally ill or else elderly and require an extra level of care
- Conducting vaccination drives as and when necessary
- Attending to and treating patients who are receiving intensive care, either in a hospital setting or in their own homes
- Assisting local nurses with their own individual workloads
- Working with children at schools across the state
6. Infection Control & Prevention Nursing
Currently and certainly monumentally, over the last two and a half years, nurses who specialize in infection control and prevention during the height of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic are still highly in demand.
Essentially, such nurses are usually registered and work with the identification, survey, and management of diseases, infections, and viruses and can work in various places, including hospitals, community health centers, and clinics.
Earning between $70,000 and $72,500 a year, infection control and prevention nurses typically deal with the following in addition to the above general duties:
- Be responsible for hospital-acquired infection control
- Evaluate infection measures in place in different medical venues
- Provide support and feedback to developing staff
- Implement various infection control action plans as and when necessary
- Implement and operate Health Promotion Programmes
- Provide an exceedingly high level of clinical and professional leadership
7. Family Nursing Practitioner
Another exceedingly popular nursing specialism, both here in the United States and overseas, is that of the career progression to becoming a family nurse practitioner.
A family nurse practitioner is often considered the most empathic, closely connected, compassionate, and involved type of nurse in terms of the connection between the patient themselves and their close family members and other loved ones.
The average yearly salary for a professional family nurse practitioner can range quite considerably, from $75,000 to $122,000, entirely dependent on their experience and location.
A family nurse practitioner’s daily life can vary greatly, but one can expect at least some of the following roles, duties, and responsibilities on a daily shift pattern:
- The performance of daily and routine examinations of both the physical health and well-being of a patient as well as the emotional health and well-being levels as well
- The assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of various health conditions which can vary greatly in severity
- The assessment, prescribing, and the dispensing of treatment methods, including that medication
- The assisting in, or indeed the performing of, laceration repairs, cuts, and other minor yet surgical invasive procedures
- The assessing and recording of their individual patient’s detailed records and medical histories as well as maintaining each and every one of the records under their own jurisdiction to include any newly prescribed medicine, new symptoms, and ongoing treatments
- The evaluation and the initial ordering of various tests and their subsequent results to work out the underlying cause, or causes, of different symptoms and health issues
- The provision of primary healthcare services focuses largely on elements involved with preventative care, such as screening tests, shots, and immunizations
- Consulting with other medical professionals and other departments when needed and when felt to be appropriate
8. Trauma Nursing
Essentially, trauma nurses are wholly responsible for providing emergency care in the critical area of a hospital or other medical institution and are professionally prepared and trained to deal with and care for anyone who is sent to the hospital under an emergency situation.
Trauma nurses always work exceedingly closely with trauma doctors and surgeons, emergency service crews, paramedics, ED physicians, and a host of other medical professionals. Their essential aim is to stabilize the individual patient as much as they can with a view to them surviving as best as possible.
Interestingly the annual salaries for trauma nurses can vary astronomically depending on the state in which that nurse works and the years of experience that the nurse can bring to the team.
9. Pediatrics Nursing
One of the most popular specialties within nursing of them all is working with children, which is given the title of pediatric nursing.
Pediatric nurses concentrate on diagnosing, treating, and caring for all ages of children from birth right the way through adolescence until the age of 18, with some of these particular nurses providing both preventative and primary care.
Pediatric nurses’ daily duties, roles, and responsibilities usually include many of the following:
- Participating and administering pain management medication
- Providing medical care to children before and after operations
- Treating and dressing wounds
- Caring for children with a myriad of different illnesses
- Supervising nurses in training
- Tutoring said, nurses
- Writing detailed patient records
- Planning and assessing the requirements for nursing care of each patient
- Monitoring pulse, temperature, and blood pressure in children
- Organizing your own and other nurses’ workloads
10. Oncology Nursing
The admirable and incredibly emotionally intensive specialism of oncology centers around treating individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with all the different types of cancer. Often, however, nurses who specialize in oncology quickly move into a specialism within the specialism, if you will, which would be either breast cancer, pediatric cancer, geriatric cancer, females, males, or Hematology.
In addition to the normal daily duties of an oncology nurse, they are also heavily involved in cultivating and creating a supportive and comfortable environment for every patient in their care.
11. Geriatrics Nursing
Naturally and obviously, thankfully, due to the significant and ever-improving innovations and advancements in medicine and healthcare, the need for geriatric specialist nurses is only increasing as each year goes by.
Often, professional and practicing geriatric nurses build up close connections with the older people they diagnose, treat, and care for. With typical duties of a geriatric nurse include:
- Collecting laboratory tests
- Massaging patients
- Recording vital signs
- Transporting patients to their medical appointments
- Stabilizing patients who suddenly need emergency attention suddenly
- Measuring vital signs
- Changing wound and surgical dressings
12. Acute Care Nursing
Acute care nursing is entirely centered around the provision of incredibly instant and life-saving treatment for patients who are suffering from serious and potentially fatal illnesses or accidents that require immediate medical attention and assistance. It is one of the most clearly versatile nursing specialisms of them all, and treatments of illnesses and situations that require the expertise of an acute care nurse include, but are in no way limited to, the following:
- Emergency room situations include people who have had an injury, an accident, or another sudden and often urgent medical need.
- Intensive care units where individual patients’ needs change incredibly quickly, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis.
- PCP for life or urgent care rooms are for people who require urgent medical assistance but are not classified as emergencies.