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.

Working environment: Another consideration for selecting a specialty is the amount of independence you’ll have as a nurse. Ask yourself if you prefer working on your own or with a group of other health care professionals such as doctors, medical assistants, nursing assistants, senior nursing staff and others, or if you prefer working alone. If you like being a part of the hubbub of a noisy hospital with its stressful but stimulating environment then choose a specialty that’s needed in hospitals. If you prefer a slower pace, opt to be a regular nurse and work in a community hospital, home care or private clinic setting where you can still care for patients and be comfortable. If you opt for the latter option, you shouldn’t feel that you are in any way lesser able than the nurses who prefer working in high-stress environments. Nursing is a very stressful profession and if you get into it with a clear idea of your own limitations and contributing ability, it’s better for your career, and for the safe care of your patients.

Some Specialties Require Additional Certification

If you want to specialize in a particular nursing specialty, you need to be aware that additional certification and education might be required. For example, if you want to work with cancer patients, you will need to take up chemotherapy training. If you want to specialize in emergency room nursing, you will have to obtain certification in advanced life-support training. Are you willing to continue studying for additional certifications even after you’ve completed your nursing school and started a job?

Nursing Specialty Internship Programs

Today, you can take advantage of a number of programs that are available to help you explore your options before you commit to a nursing specialty. Many medical facilities allow newly registered nurses nurse internship programs, which allow you to gain technical skills and experience. These internship programs span 16-week rotations, and you can study specialties such as critical care. You will be paid full salary and benefits, while getting to work in different specialties. These internship programs offer both classroom instruction and clinical experience. You have to complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing in order to qualify for an internship program. An added advantage is that you can use these programs to network with people who might be able to get you the job you want later on.

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: