Nursing is a very broad field that allows you to take your career in a multitude of directions. In addition to the plethora of available work environments, there’s also an array of specialties you can choose from, such as a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.
Before deciding which route to take, thoroughly research the different specialties so you know exactly what’s involved with each one. Here’s some advice to help you determine which path to take.
5 Tips to Choose the Right Nursing Specialty
Think About Why You Became a Nurse
Something inspired you to become a nurse, so think back to exactly what that was. Perhaps you wanted to help a certain type of patient or provide a specific kind of care. Earning a specialty can allow you to achieve this goal or even surpass it. Following your heart is the perfect way to advance your career.
Research Education Requirements
Gaining a nursing specialty always requires hard work and dedication, but in many cases, you’ll also need to go back to school. A master’s degree is required for advanced practice nursing specialties, such as nurse practitioner or nurse educator, so be prepared for the subsequent financial and time commitment.
If you’re not willing or able to obtain higher education, there’s still plenty of specialties you can obtain as a registered nurse. Credentialing organizations offer certifications for a variety of patient subsets, including cardiac and geriatric care.
Consider Work-Life Balance
Different nursing specialties require different work schedules. For example, if you choose a specialty that will require you to work in a hospital setting (i.e., certified nurse-midwife), you may be subject to more erratic hours that include nights, weekends and holidays. On the other hand, a classroom-based specialty (i.e., nurse educator) will likely allow you to follow a more set schedule.
It’s important to choose a specialty that aligns with your passion and personal life, so you can feel fulfilled on both ends. Be realistic about how the demands of the job will mesh with your personal obligations because you won’t be happy if you have to make major sacrifices.
Determine Your Ideal Work Environment
Nurses work in a wide variety of settings (i.e., hospitals, doctor’s offices, classrooms) so take this into consideration when selecting a specialty. You want to work in an environment where you feel comfortable and happy because you’ll be spending a lot of time there. For example, if you prefer fast-paced, you might be better off in a hospital than a doctor’s office.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Specialization
If you want to specialize and it makes sense for you, this is a route you should pursue. However, you don’t need to take this step to enjoy a rewarding career. Seriously consider the pros and cons attached to the specializations you’re interested in to decide if it’s the best choice for you.
Not sure what nursing specialty is right for you? Management Registry Inc. is here to help you get on the right track. Contact us today to find a fulfilling healthcare opportunity with a top employer!