Nurse Specialities are in demand, and this need grows yearly as the population’s healthcare needs expand and become more complex. With the demand for licensed nurses growing, the nursing profession is trying to keep pace. So, many individuals who choose to advance their education and nursing career can choose from various specialties.
Completing a master’s in nursing or earning a certification in a specialized area increases earning potential. Not only can nurses make more money, but advanced education opens up more nursing job opportunities, including leadership roles.
What is a Nurse?
A nurse is a healthcare professional responsible for providing care for patients. Nurses are educated in the science and practice of nursing, which includes physical and mental health assessments, administering medications and treatments, and developing patient care plans.
Where Do Nurses Work?
Nurses work in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, home health care services, and other health care facilities. They may also work in schools, community health centers, research facilities, public health organizations, and also in private homes.
Top Master’s in Nursing Degree Specialties
Although there are various specialties, here are five crucial Master in Nursing degree specialties.
1. Nurse Midwives
Although midwifery was more of a medical discipline in ancient times, the certified nurse-midwife has become a popular career choice and one of the top Master’s in Nursing specialties today. Certified nurse-midwives work alongside OB/GYN doctors and assist them during a woman’s pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery care of the mother.
While they were initially usually women, more and more men are choosing midwifery as a nursing specialty. To become a midwife, the candidate must be a registered nurse, complete a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery, and obtain certification. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists should see a collective job growth of 46 percent during the 2021-2031 decade.
2. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
As medicine and healthcare continue to improve, life expectancy is also increasing. As the baby boomers get closer to retirement age, they need good healthcare, making gerontology one of the top master’s in nursing specialties.
Graduate nurses who specialize in gerontology are prepared for exciting and lucrative careers in adult primary care. To specialize in gerontology, the candidate must have a master’s degree in nursing, complete a gerontology nurse practitioner program, and obtain licensure from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A geriatric nurse often works in a long term care facility. They may check vital signs, administer medications, and create treatment plans for older patients.
3. Nurse Anesthetist
Individuals who want to play an active role during surgical preparation and surgical procedures often choose to become nurse anesthetists. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists work alongside and assist an anesthesiologist in the operating room administering anesthesia. The nurse anesthetist may also work independently when a local anesthetic is used on patients undergoing procedures.
To become a nurse anesthetist, an individual may have a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in nurse anesthesia. Most have experience working in the emergency room or the intensive care unit. Some hospitals require these professionals to have a PhD in Nursing. Additionally, nurse anesthetists may earn more than $150,000 annually.
4. Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nursing is a nursing field that focuses on providing care for critically ill patients. These nurses also care for unstable patients with life-threatening illnesses or just undergone severe injuries or surgeries.
These specialized nurses also provide a lot of care to the aging population needing additional care. Critical care nurses should have a master’s degree in nursing and experience working in the ICU. It’s also vital that critical care nurses keep up to date on the latest trends in critical care.
5. Family Nurse Practitioner FNP
Family nurse practitioners are very popular, especially at clinics, doctors’ offices, and similar healthcare facilities. They do much of the same work as doctors. Doctors are allowing FNPs to see and treat more of their patients, which gives the doctor more time to see more patients.
In some communities, the Family NP goes out into the community to promote good healthcare to families. To work as a Family NP, the individual must have a master’s in nursing degree, complete an FNP program, and pass a certification exam.
Nurse Licenses and Roles
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)
- Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) / Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs)
- Registered Nurse (RN) / Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
Advanced Practice Registered Nursing
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) have a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. These nurses have advanced education and training. So, they can diagnose patients, order lab tests, and in many states, prescribe medications. Four types of APRNs provide direct care to patients.
- Nurse Practitioners (NP)
- Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
- Nurse Anesthetists or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Nurse Midwives or a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
What are the Types of Nurse Practitioners?
A Nurse Practitioner (NP) can diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses, prescribes medications, and also order tests.
- Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner / Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
- Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner / Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
- School Nurse Practitioner
- Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner
- Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner
- Emergency Nurse Practitioner
- Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
What are the Different Types of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs)?
A Clinical Nurse Specialist CNS provides advanced nursing care in a specific area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or oncology. Below is a list of the types of CSNs.
- Acute Care CNS
- Adult Health CNS
- Cardiovascular CNS
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Critical Care CNS
- Emergency Room CNS
- Gerontological CNS
- Home Health CNS
- Neonatal CNS
- Oncology CNS
- Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Perioperative CNS
- Psychiatric Mental Health CNS
- Rehabilitative CNS
- Women’s Health CNS
What are the Non-Clinical Nurse Specialties?
Nurses that do not provide direct patient care work in non-clinical roles. For example, Nurse Educators use their nursing experience to teach nursing students and other healthcare providers. They do not care for patients but teach others how to provide it. Below are some of the non-clinical specialties for nurses.
- Nurse Educator / Nurse Educators
- Nurse Administrator / Nurse Administrators
- Forensic Nurse / Forensic Nurses
- Legal Nurse Consultant / Legal Nurse Consultants
- Nurse Attorney / Nurse Attorneys
- Case Manager / Case Managers
- Nurse Executive / Nurse Executives
- Certified Nurse Manager / Certified Nurse Managers
- Quality Improvement Nurse / Quality Improvement Nurses
- Informatics Nurse / Informatics Nurses
- Public Health Nurse / Public Health Nurses
- Research Nurse / Research Nurses
- Nurse Writer / Nurse Writers / Nursing Writer
- Health Policy Nurse / Health Policy Nurses
- Case Management Nurse / Case Management Nurses
Nurse Specialities Job Outlook
The BLS indicates that registered nurses are very much in demand and will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future. Approximately 203,200 job openings are expected each year over the next decade.
However, RNs with master’s are valuable in the healthcare industry and typically see the best career opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects advanced nursing jobs to grow by 40% over the next decade.
|Nurse Role||Job Growth||Education|
|Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)||5% (BLS)||6 week training|
|Practical Nurse (LPN or LVN)||6% (BLS)||1 year diploma|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||6% (BLS)||2 to 4 years|
|Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)||40% (BLS)||master’s|
What are Other Nurse Specialities and Careers?
Nurse specialties can vary depending on what they treat or the population they treat. Below are some commonly seen nurse specialties in clinical settings.
- Cardiac Care Nursing / Cardiac Care Nurse / Cardiac Nurses
- Emergency Nursing / Emergency Room (ER) Nurse / ER Nurses
- Labor and Delivery Nurse/ Obstetrics Nurse / Obstetrics OB/GYN Nurse
- Gerontological Nursing
- Critical Care Registered Nurse
- Oncology Nursing / Oncology Nurse / Oncology Nurses
- Pediatric Nursing / Pediatric Nurses
- Perioperative Nursing / Perioperative Nurse
- Postpartum Nurse
- Psychiatric Nursing / Psychiatric Nurse
- Women’s Health Nursing
- Aesthetic and Cosmetic Nurse / Plastic Surgery Nurse
- Ambulatory Care Nurse / Ambulatory Care Nurses
- Hospice Nurse / Palliative Care Nurse
- Otorhinolaryngology Nurse / ENT Nurse
- NICU Nurse / Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
- Charge Nurse / Nurse Care Coordinator / Nurse Case Manager
- Domestic Violence Nurse / Domestic Violence Nurses
- Trauma Nurse / Trauma Nurses
- Operating Room Nurse / Medical Surgical Nurse / Medical Surgical Nurses
- Holistic Nurse / Holistic Nurses / Complementary Health Nurses
- Nurse Advocate / Nurse Advocates
- Burn Care Nurse
- Bariatric Nurse / Certified Bariatric Nurse
- ICU Nurse / Intensive Care Units Nurse
- Infection Control Nurse
- Long Term Care Nurse
- Dermatology Nurse
- Infusion Nurse
- Radiology Nurse
- Developmental Disability Nurse
- Rehabilitation Nurse
- Diabetes Nurse
- Lactation Consultant
- Rheumatology Nurse
- Genetics Nurse / Genetics Nurses
- Nephrology Nurse
- Pain Management Nurse
- Toxicology Nurse
- Health Policy Nurse
- Neuroscience Nurse
- Hematology Nurse
- Enterostomy Nurse
- Fertility Nurse
- Subacute Nurse
- Ophthalmic Nurse
- Substance Abuse Nurse
- Orthopedic Nurse
- Telemetry Nurse
- Gastroenterology Nurse
- HIV Nurse
- Perianesthesia Nurse
- Perinatal Nurse
- Urology Nurse
- Wound Care Nurse
Other Types of Nurses
Different types of nursing are also classified by where the nurse works.
- Camp Nurse
- Parish Nurse
- School Nurses
- Missionary Nurse
- Flight Nurse
- Military Nurse
- Travel Nurse / Travel Nurses / Travel Nursing
- Home Health Nurse / Home Health Nurses
- Telephone Triage Nurse
What Traits Should a Nurse Have?
- Empathy: A nurse must be able to connect with patients and understand their needs.
- Compassion: A nurse must be patient and caring when dealing with patients.
- Attention to detail: A nurse must be detail-oriented to ensure accuracy in patient care.
- Communication Skills: A nurse must communicate clearly with patients and other health care professionals.
- Interpersonal Skills: A nurse must interact effectively with patients and colleagues.
- Critical Thinking Skills: A nurse must think quickly and decide based on the patient’s best interests.
- Leadership Skills: A nurse must be able to take charge when necessary and lead a team of healthcare professionals.
- Flexibility: A nurse must be able to handle multiple tasks and adapt to changing environments.
- Physical Stamina: A nurse must withstand long hours and physically demanding tasks.
- Professionalism: A nurse must always act professionally and adhere to the highest ethical standards.
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