Over the years, the job of a nurse practitioner has become complex. This shift is due to the demand for better patient care in an environment where new and unheard-of diseases are surfacing. Thus, more than ever, nurses require specializations in particular areas of healthcare. The demand for specialized services has also introduced a vast range of specialties and career options.
The introduction of a diverse range of career choices is one of the reasons why many people are inclined towards adopting the nursing field. With a suitable academic qualification and practical certifications, nurses can go in any field of their choice offered under the umbrella of nursing.
However, if you are in the process of choosing the right specialization for you, the decision can become daunting. If you are not familiar with the different fields open to you at the end of your academic degree completion, you may get confused.
So, here is the list of the top fields that nurses can specialize in and make a difference in healthcare with their high-quality service. The role of each of these nurses is quite different from each other. The similarity is that the job of all of these nurses is to take care of their patients.
1) Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
The first specialization in this list is an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, whose job is to work with adult patients fighting severe chronic illnesses. They are different from the primary care nurse practitioners, hence the name “acute care nurse practitioner.” They can work in various settings, including intensive care units and private home-care settings.
Their job is challenging, and often they work with a team of professionals to stabilize and improve their patients’ condition. They continuously monitor their patients’ condition, hence modifying their treatment and plan of action to get the desired patient care outcomes.
According to salary.com, as of October 2021, an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner can earn as much as $99,787 in one year.
2) Ambulatory Care Nurse Practitioners
Another specialization is to become an Ambulatory Care Nurse Practitioner. These nurses are tasked with providing patient care services in outpatient venues. Other work areas are telehealth, non-acute surgical, and diagnostic settings. They work with several patient care providers to ensure patients get the necessary care without any unnecessary hurdles.
Often they are also found helping the surgeons in same-day minor surgeries and carrying out a patient’s diagnosis. They often have regular work hours, as their schedule is primarily predictable. So, if you desire a continuous flow of work with no last-minute assignments and changes of duties, this specialization is definitely for you. An ambulatory care nurse can earn an average sum of $80,010 in a year.
3) Travel Nurse
This might be an exciting specialization for many nurses not looking for continuous work hours, seven days a week. Travel nurses often fill for those nurses who are absent from their duty for reasons such as maternity leave or sick leave. As the name implies, they might also need to travel to other cities or countries when there is an emergency or shortage of nursing in conditions such as natural calamities.
If you are fond of traveling and meeting new people, this might be your chance to do so. Like in fields that include traveling, a traveling nurse’s salary is also a little higher than others. According to indeed.com, the average salary of a traveling nurse in 2021 is $108,070 per year.
4) ER or Emergency Room Nurse
As the name implies, this specialization helps you work with patients suffering from critically ill medical conditions that are often life-threatening. The nurses working with the emergency response staff and first respondents are often emergency room nurses. This is because they are trained to handle situations requiring quick and collaborative thinking, decision making, and teamwork.
Such a nurse also needs to possess effective communication skills and the ability to handle stress due to seeing people with life-threatening injuries. They have a variety of places where they can find a job, including the first trauma centers and rural hospitals. An ER Nurse can earn an average salary of $78,466 a year in the United States.
5) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
Another category is Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, whose job entails administering general and local anesthesia to the patients. This might look like a simple job of putting someone to sleep. But in reality, their job is very critical. One factor that results in the failure of a surgical procedure is insufficient anesthesia administered to the patient. Thus, the quality of work of these nurses directly impacts the success rate of surgeries.
Apart from general and local anesthesia, they administer sedation, spinal and peripheral nerve blocks, and epidural. They can work in hospitals, private clinics, and similar patient care facilities. According to the numbers of BLS, the average yearly salary of these nurses is $174,790.
6) Nurse Practitioner
If you have a master’s or a doctoral degree in nursing, you are eligible to work as a nurse practitioner. But you also need a certificate from a credible certification agency, after which you are ready to enter the practical field of nursing. As an NP, you are responsible for patient care, performing diagnoses, and carrying out necessary treatments.
As a nurse practitioner, you can further specialize and choose areas such as acute care, gerontology, etc. So, if you want to get some practical experience before entering a specialization, this field might suit you. When it comes to the earnings of nurse practitioners, they also earn a handsome number of $109,820 in one year.
There are often many lucrative options to choose for a nurse. The specializations help nurses focus on a particular area and get all the practical and theoretical knowledge in their chosen field.
Due to the changing demands of healthcare, getting a specialty has become imperative for nurses. Specializing in a particular field also improves their chances of getting more job offers and a higher salary structure. Thus, it is an excellent way to excel monetarily and professionally.