How to Choose a Nursing Specialty
Nursing is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding professions in the healthcare industry. One of the best things about a nursing career is its potential diversity, allowing you to work in different settings, on various job shifts, and care for different patients. You also can choose a nursing specialty you find interesting. Focusing on a particular nursing field allows you to enjoy greater job security and satisfaction, higher salary, and recognition.
However, with so many specialties available, choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Each nursing specialty has its own requirements, including education, certifications, and experience.
Fortunately, if you’re an aspiring nurse with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, completing an accelerated BSN nursing program can help you become a qualified nurse in less than 16 months. You can then narrow down your options of nursing specialties to ensure you focus on a specific nursing area that interests you. If you’re not sure what nursing specialty to choose, here are a few considerations to help you select the most suitable specialty for you:
1. Your Interest and Personality
The ideal nursing specialty for you should match your personality type. Choosing a specialty based on your personality style is crucial in ensuring you fit in comfortably performing your roles. It’s also crucial when it comes to handling stress and interacting with patients on the job. For instance, a career in a trauma center or emergency department could be ideal if you can comfortably deal with challenges and unexpected situations constantly.
If you can provide warm, empathetic care to terminally ill patients, you might want to choose specialties in oncology and hospice. Additionally, a specialty in clinical research can be suitable for you if you usually have a knack for details.
2. Your Preferred Work Setting
Besides hospitals and clinics, nurses can work in other settings, including correctional facilities, labs, schools, public health, rescue helicopters, and many more. Your chosen work setting can have a huge effect on the way you’ll interact with caregivers, patients, and physicians. However, you should ensure that you choose a setting that suits your preferences and needs.
For instance, if you prefer working in a calmer setting, consider working in a lab or physician’s office. On the other hand, if you want an energetic environment, working in the ICU or ER as a flight nurse or critical care nurse can be suitable for you.
3. Skills and Knowledge Required
While different specialties require different skill sets and knowledge, most of them need more than an ASN degree for you to qualify. Some specialties will require you to have extensive research skills, while others will need advanced clinical skills. It’s important to know the educational requirements of your chosen specialty to ensure you have the required skills and knowledge for the job.
You also must ensure you’re comfortable with the education level required for the job before choosing a specialty. That’s because some specialties can be done with only An ASN or bachelor’s degree, while others require you to complete a master’s degree program. The highest-paying specialties are also often available to people with highly specialized training. For instance, specialties in management positions, education, informatics, and case management will often require specialized education and training.
While there are many nursing specialties available to choose from, not all will be ideal for you. Considering the factors above when choosing a nursing specialty can help ensure you find an area of nursing that will allow you to achieve career fulfillment.