Choosing a nursing specialty is serious business, but selecting a specific route doesn’t have to stress you out. We’ve made a list of the most important considerations to help you tailor your career path to suit your personal preferences.
When it comes to choosing a nursing specialty, it’s important to pay attention to what populations you’d most like to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Do you love tending to newborns, or would you prefer helping the elderly? Maybe you’re drawn to cardiac patients because of a loved one’s struggles, or perhaps you’d enjoy helping those in correctional facilities instead.
Take some time to figure out what patients you’d like to work with most, and get some practical experience with this particular population to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
Does the sight of even a drop of blood turn your stomach, or are you totally fine with seeing the most gruesome of injuries? Be honest! If blood, vomit and needles are dealbreakers for you, that’s perfectly fine — just pursue a more sterile career path rather than a job in, say, an emergency room.
Are you a creature of habit, or do you love career spontaneity? The nursing field is full of different specialty tracks that can cater to your preferences, so give this consideration some thought before deciding on one specific career path. Your daily routine plays a huge role in your job satisfaction, and finding the right fit is imperative to your overall happiness.
Similarly, you’ll want to consider whether or not you’d like to stay in one spot or hop from job to job as a travel nurse. Many young professionals are drawn to travel nursing, as it lets you see the country (and even the world) while gaining experience in a variety of healthcare settings.
On the contrary, other nurses (particularly those with family responsibilities) may want the stability of a permanent placement that affords them a consistent and steady routine.
Another question to ask yourself concerns your personal approach to learning new things. Do you love to read about a wide range of nursing topics, or do you prefer to focus on a single area instead?
Generalists may prefer to work as family nurses, while others may gravitate toward very specific niches in their chosen fields.
Does a bustling ER sound heavenly or nightmare-inducing? Figuring out what type of healthcare facility you’d want to work in is a big part of the equation, whether it’s a nursing home, a school, a rehab center or a doctor’s office.
Okay, okay — everyone enjoys a big paycheck. But you’ll need to consider what kind of salary range you’re comfortable with and what specialty can offer you that kind of range. The average salary for an RN is just over $64,000, while CRNAs earn an average salary of $173,210.
If you’re a people person, nursing is obviously a great field for you. However, if you’re drawn to the technological side of healthcare, a career in health information technology or nursing informatics may be right up your alley.
All specialties need leaders in the field, but it’s important to know what your comfort level is regarding management positions.
Some people love the idea of being in charge, while others shy away from the added stress and responsibilities associated with a higher rung on the ladder. Ultimately, your preferences can guide you toward obtaining special certifications and higher degrees… or saving yourself the hassle altogether.
Likewise, your love of education can directly influence your career path. If the idea of extended academic coursework appeals to you, then you may love the idea of becoming a nurse anesthetist. Otherwise, you may feel the time commitment and educational requirements simply aren’t worth it.
Curious how you compare to your contemporaries? In a research study conducted byNurse.org, over 10,000 nursing professionals weighed in on the aforementioned considerations. The findings included the following trends:
Among those surveyed by Nurse.org, these were the top ten most common nursing specialties:
Additionally, here are some of the leading nursing specialties across the U.S.:
What specialties interest you most, and which one are you currently leaning toward? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, or connect with us via our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The post How to Decide Which Nursing Specialty is Right for You appeared first on Lydia's Scrub Life Blog.