When it comes to the United States healthcare industry, nursing is responsible for the largest overall workforce. It is said that the country boasts more than three million practicing nurses. Yet despite this lofty statistic, there’s still a pressing demand for qualified nurses.
This is noted in a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
A strong chance of job security is one aspect. The role of a nurse provides fulfillment and satisfaction helping others, and the competitive salary is also a welcome benefit.
There is one pressing issue, however. If you want to become a nurse, it’s difficult to settle on a specialist nursing field. This is due to nursing featuring over 100 areas of specialization in total.
To help with narrowing down the choice, below, you will find ten of the best specialist nursing fields available:
For those who desire to work with children, becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is an ideal choice.
Pediatric nurses are an ever-present for children, from infancy until their later teen years. Their work can involve measuring vital statistics, performing physical examinations, take blood samples, and so on. Communication skills are particularly important for pediatric nurses. As children can become timid and unclear about communicating their health issues, pediatric nurses require the ability to talk to these young patients and get them to open up. Moreover, they also need to educate parents with clear, concise information about how to best take care of their children.
Becoming a neonatal nurse is an alternative option for those seeking to work with infants. Although unlike pediatric nurses who work with children of all ages, the neonatal variety sticks with newborns.
This nursing sub-specialty is all about helping babies who are suffering with health issues. These issues could be an infection, surgical concerns, cardiac malformations, and birth defects. Neonatal nurses continually care for suffering newborns, treating them in intensive care units until their health sufficiently improves.
Although it is less in the thick of activity as other roles, nurse researchers play an important and rewarding role in healthcare. By studying diverse areas of healthcare, illness, and health in general, nurse researchers have the overall aim of improving healthcare outcomes and services.
One part of the role would be to direct research by identifying suitable research questions, conducting scientific studies by asking relevant people, collecting the data, and reporting the findings by analyzing the data. Researchers can also be found teaching in both clinical and academic settings.
Orthopedic nurses have a key role to play when it comes to treating patients who are suffering with musculoskeletal ailments. These ailments include diabetes, arthritis, and joint replacement issues. The skills learned by orthopedic nurses cover the likes of neurovascular status monitoring, casting, traction, and continuous passive motion therapy.
Along with issuing treatments when needed, orthopedic nurses also assist patients by supplying information. They will educate patients about the nuances of their conditions, and schedule treatment plans to alleviate the problem.
If you want to help patients afflicted with psychiatric disorders and mental health, this is the nursing field to go down. A psychiatric nurse treats people who suffer with the likes of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression. Behavioral therapy is also part of a psychiatric nurse’s training, which means they can teach patients – along with their families – how to best take on the challenges associated with their respective disorders.
A psychiatric nurse also has the advantage of being among the best paying nurse specialties in the US.
While newborns and children require plenty of attention from nurses, the same can also be said for baby boomers. In fact, as the population continues to age, the demand for geriatric nurses will continue to skyrocket.
Working in both hospitals and nursing facilities, geriatric nurses assist with the care of elderly patients in numerous different ways. This is easy to understand when you consider that, due to the fragile health of elderly individuals, even a minor health-related concern can spin out of control.
Nurse practitioners, often abbreviated to NPs, are one of the all-rounders in the realm of nursing. They are present to help patients at all times through their lifespan. Their role covers everything from helping with chronic health problems to managing high blood pressure. Nurse practitioners also possess prescription writing privileges.
Due to the reality of healthcare areas becoming underappreciated, nurse practitioners are continually growing in importance – to the point where they can serve as both primary and specialty care providers.
8.Infection control nurse
Although all nurse types play an important role, an infection control nurse can be vital in averting health issues that could potentially harm several thousand people in a short space of time.
To stop any dangerous epidemics and outbreaks, infection control nurses are specialized in preventing infectious agents – like bacteria and viruses – from spreading. This is particularly important in a hospital setting, as sick patients could become even more ill if they are infected by an additional health problem.
This is the substitute teacher equivalent of nursing. A travel nurse is a great role for those who have no home commitments, like to travel, and help a variety of patients improve their health.
The role of a travel nurse is possible due to clinics and hospitals struggling with nursing shortages. When this happens, travel nurses are brought in to fill the gap. They will often spend between 13 to 26 weeks at one location before moving on.
A nurse anesthetist – aka a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) – has an important part to play for surgical procedures. Thanks to being in a position to administer anesthesia before critical surgeries, nurse anesthetists ensure patients are in the least amount of pain as possible. Along with pain levels being minimized, it also reduces the possibility of a patient suffering from shock.