5 Specialties with an Advanced Degree in Nursing

  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Gerontology
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

With the demand for licensed nurses growing every year, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing can offer very good career opportunities. Yet, many individuals choose to advance their education and have the option of choosing from Master’s in Nursing specialities. Completing a Master’s in Nursing and obtaining certifications in specialized areas not only increases the earning potential but also opens up more job opportunities, including leadership roles. Although there are various nursing specialties, here are five popular Master’s in Nursing degree specialties.

1. Certified Nurse Midwife

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 specialities 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 originally usually women, more and more men are choosing midwifery as a nursing specialty. To become a certified nurse midwife, the candidate must be a registered nurse, complete a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery, and obtain certification. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists should see job growth of 26 percent during the 2018-2028 decade.

2. Gerontology

As medicine and healthcare continue to improve, life expectancy is also increasing. As the baby boomers get closer to retirement age, they’re in more need of good healthcare, which makes a 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 nurse practitioner program with a specialization in gerontology and obtain licensure from the American Nurses Credentialing Center according to Nurse Journal.

3. Nurse Anesthetist

Individuals who want to play an active role during surgical preparation and surgical procedures often choose to become nurse anesthetists. A nurse anesthetist works alongside and assists an anesthesiologist in the operating room. The nurse anesthetist may also work independently in situations where local anesthetic is used. To become a nurse anesthetist, an individual may have a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in nurse anesthesia as well as experience working in the emergency room or the intensive care unit. In some hospitals, the nurse anesthetist may be required to have a Ph.D. in Nursing. Nurse Journal indicates that nurse anesthetists may earn more than $150,000 per year.

4. Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nursing is a nursing field that focuses on providing care for critically ill patients. Critical care nurses also care for unstable patients who have life-threatening illnesses or have just undergone serious injuries or surgeries. These specialized nurses also provide a lot of care to the aging population in need of 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

Family nurse practitioners have become very popular, especially at clinics, doctors’ offices and similar healthcare facilities. They do much of the same work as doctors. Doctors are allowing family nurse practitioners to see and treat more of their patients, which gives the doctor more time to see more patients. In some communities, the family nurse practitioner goes out in the community to promote good healthcare to families. To work as a family nurse practitioner, the individual must have a master’s in nursing degree, complete an FNP program and pass a certification exam.

Related Resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Online

The BLS indicates that registered nurses are very much in demand and will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future. Approximately 371,500 new RN jobs are expected to be created by 2028. RNs with Master’s in Nursing specialties are a valuable commodity in the healthcare industry and typically see the best career opportunities.