If you’re a compassionate and caring individual who thrives on helping those in need, a career in nursing may be best suited to you. Once you’ve decided that a nursing role is your calling, there are many specialties that you can pick from.
To make the decision process easier, here are the top 10 nursing specialties for 2020, each of which provides job security and invaluable benefits that can help you flourish in a nursing role.
A neonatal nurse is primarily responsible for managing ventilators, maintaining IV lines, analyzing vital signs, and drawing blood. Neonatal nurses assist patients as they give birth, and in the immediate aftermath. As a neonatal nurse, you can work in a range of environments, such as labor, delivery, and postpartum units, as well as neonatal intensive care units. Like the majority of nursing specialties, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing first, as well as your RN license.
Nurse-midwives are advanced practice nurses that guide and assist patients throughout their pregnancy and delivery. Usually, the primary provider for their clients, a career in nurse-midwifery is one of the most sought-after nursing roles in the country. As you advance through the ranks, your salary can increase too. To work as a nurse-midwife, you will need to obtain your BSN, alongside 1 year of clinical nursing experience. Nurse-midwives must also study a nurse-midwifery master’s degree and ensure they have passed state licensing requirements.
The main duties of a dialysis nurse are to provide support, care, and assistance for patients who are suffering from chronic and acute kidney (renal) failure. Dialysis nurses are responsible for assisting pre and during a dialysis procedure. Other responsibilities of a dialysis nurse include recording patients’ medical information, accessing cannulas, as well as cleaning and dressing temporary and permanent catheters. To qualify as a dialysis nurse, you will need to have an active RN license and numerous years of nursing experience.
Critical Care Nurse
A critical care nurse is in charge of treating patients with acute or potentially life-threatening injuries. The thorough training you receive will ensure that you can perform your job correctly and do everything possible to help patients who are seriously injured or ill. To perform this role successfully, critical care nurses need to know how to work well under pressure and have the ability to think and stay alert in tense situations. Critical care nurses can work in several locations, such as the emergency department, intensive care unit, and neonatal ICU.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Sharing similarities with the traditional family doctor, a family nurse practitioner develops solid relationships with patients of all ages, cementing themselves as the primary form of contact in their local community. Family nurse practitioners may treat and track the health conditions of one or more family members over many years. If you would like to work as a family nurse practitioner, you can complete a DNP FNP program that will give you the credentials needed to qualify.
Certified Nursing Assistant
If a career in nursing sounds like the right path for you, many individuals begin their career by working as a certified nursing assistant, before investing 1 to 4 years in training to obtain the credentials needed for a BSN degree. The primary responsibility of a certified nurse assistant is to make sure that patients are comfortable and relaxed, taking patients’ blood pressure and temperature, as well as querying patients to find out more about their symptoms, relaying such information to a physician or supervising nurse.
Playing a pivotal role in the healthcare industry, a registered nurse is on the frontline, responsible for providing excellent quality patient care in numerous settings, such as a hospital, assisted living facility, and doctor’s office. Registered nurses are required to carry out physical examinations to ensure their patients’ health needs are met, administer direct care to patients who are ill, injured or disabled, as well as constantly review and maintain medical records.
Otherwise known as a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist), a nurse anesthetist oversees the administration of anesthesia during a critical surgical procedure, which is designed to minimize pain and discomfort for the patient. With the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) stating that CRNAs anesthetize roughly 40 million patients in the United States every year, this is a job in high demand. The 4 primary areas of anesthesia are general, regional, local, and conscious sedation. In addition to their primary duty, nurse anesthetists must perform physical assessments of their patient before surgery and engage with medical doctors, surgeons, and other nurses to ensure a successful outcome.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric nurse practitioners may choose to operate on their own or offer private consulting services to medical organizations and communities. The main areas that psychiatric nurse practitioners work in include forensics, child and adolescent mental health nursing, and substance abuse. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you will be responsible for observing patient behavior, reviewing patient history, creating specific treatment plans, and collaborating with other members of the team to make sure the patient receives the highest level of care. To succeed in this role, it’s vital that you possess good communication skills, especially as you will be engaging with industry professionals from various fields.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Known as a common career path for individuals who are considering a career in the nursing field, a licensed practical nurse is responsible for completing basic patient care duties, such as inserting a catheter or changing a bandage. They must also observe their patient for any changes in their behavior, mood, or health, and ensuring that any causes for concern are reported to the physician or registered nurse on duty.
For those who are interested in a career in nursing, but aren’t sure which direction to take, know that all the specialties listed above are some of the most sought-after roles in 2020. Regardless of the role you pick in nursing, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will be making a positive difference to patients’ lives.