There are several nursing specialties RNs can pursue to improve their medical expertise. But which niche is better for your career? In the United States, nursing remains the most appreciated profession with the highest employee satisfaction rates. Moreover, a survey indicates that over 90% of RNs are glad about their decision to become a nurse. Regardless of which nursing specialty you will choose, as long as it agrees with your passion and interests, you can become successful in your career. Choosing the right faculty helps you attain the knowledge required for better employment opportunities and moving up the career ladder. We’ll show you some tactics to select a well-suited specialty.
Eight factors to consider while choosing a nursing specialty
So, what are some other benefits of choosing a nursing specialty for yourself? The healthcare industry has advanced rapidly in the previous decade. Many nurses must now focus their expertise on a specific faculty to fit into diverse roles. Choosing the correct specialty can ensure better job security while increasing your earning potential in the future. Therefore, having a specific niche allows RNs to become experts in their respective vocations and provide better healthcare outcomes. Now, nursing faculties range from managerial or patient-facing to entrepreneurial or research-oriented. So, let’s discuss some helpful methods to choose a nursing faculty you’re genuinely interested in for your future.
- Expected salary
Nurses who pursue specializations can attain employment opportunities with heavier paychecks. For example, family nurse practitioner salaries range between $91,000 and $95,000 on average. Nurses with more experience can even increase their income by over $100,000 a year. RNs with a DNP can hope to make more than $120,000 annually on average. Do consider your expected salaries before trying to pursue the career of your future. It can help you make a financially well-informed decision now!
- Your personality
You should factor your personality and preferences in your career-related decisions as well. We suggest pursuing a nursing specialty that complements your attitudes and behaviors for better productivity and dedication. Are you methodical and detail-oriented? Do you enjoy tackling emergencies with critical leadership skills? It matters a lot how you choose to engage with people. Based on your personality, we can suggest some possible nursing specialties. So, here are our suggested faculties:
- Introverts can pursue the fields of forensics nursing or nursing research.
- Extroverts can pursue the fields of pediatrics, emergency nursing, or family nursing.
- Research degrees
Nursing careers have various educational requirements you must consider before choosing the right job for yourself. For instance, some specialties demand merely general nursing education. However, other fields may require continued education with additional certificates. Some nurses today may join specialty regions immediately after completing their degree programs. It allows them to attain the necessary experience to apply for advanced responsibilities in the healthcare industry in the future.
- Your location
Don’t forget to consider employment opportunities nearby your residence and the availability of any academic resources in your region. Location matters when you’re contemplating which specialty to choose within nursing. If you wish to pursue a specific faculty offered away from your current location, you may want to consider moving to another city to chase your dreams. Remember to make your educational endeavors worthwhile by ensuring that you’ve attained in-demand skills.
- Consider work-life balance
Every nursing career has some stress associated with it, and these cases have risen since the emergence of COVID-19. Some recent studies reveal that 70% of RNs report suffering from burnout during an ongoing pandemic. So, you must choose a specialty that doesn’t require unconventional work hours (we’ll stress this point later). Pursue a faculty that promotes a healthy work-life balance. Doing so will allow you to dedicate yourself to caregiving without harming your mental health.
- Age group
What sort of patients are you comfortable with as a nurse? This question can help you determine which nursing specialty seems perfect for your career advancement. Some RNs prefer working with adults, while others are comfortable treating children. There are specialties such as geriatrics that focus on serving specific age groups (the elderly in this case). Whether you wish to become a pediatric or a family nurse practitioner depends on your personality and preferences. So, choose wisely now.
- Work hours
Remember to consider your work hours before pursuing a particular specialty within the healthcare sector. Today, RNs can choose to work full-time, part-time, or as entrepreneurs. Nurses who have chosen to work full-time must give 36-40 hours to their jobs every week. So, you can choose to work 12 hours daily, which will amount to 36 hours in 3 days, thereby giving you four days to yourself. On the other hand, nurses working part-time are usually active for 30 hours every week. Thus, make your decision according to how much time you’re willing to commit.
- Work environment
What kind of workplace environment do you prefer? Most modern nurses serve in clinics and hospitals. However, this trend has drastically changed since the previous decade. Today, talented healthcare professionals can work in alternative workplaces, including schools and colleges. Nurses can also visit patients at their residences or leverage telehealth services to avoid traveling at all. As stated above, you must pursue specialties that have a positive impact on your mental health and career goals.
Statistics show there are more than 3.8 million RNs nationwide. Moreover, there are three times as many nurses in the country as physicians. The American nursing workforce also possesses specialization in several fields, including cardiac, neonatal, obstetric, and related faculties. So, how should you choose a specialty which complements your objectives? We recommend asking specific questions regarding your personality, requirements, and estimated paycheck. Which age group do you prefer serving? How do you deal with emergencies? These questions can help you reach a better decision regarding your nursing career. Don’t forget to research different academic options for your certification and find your passion in this subject.