A career in nursing is full of possibilities, and jobs are always in demand, no matter the economic conditions. Getting through nursing school is both trying and rewarding, but it doesn’t stop there. Choosing a nursing specialty will help give you an edge in the job market for a number of reasons.
Having a specialty focus gives you a specific area you can shine. While there may not be as many available jobs in a particular area of nursing as there are in another area, your proven knowledge in your chosen specialty may be what sets you apart from the rest of the applicants. It won’t always guarantee that you’ll land every position you apply for, but it will be more helpful in securing a position than a more generalized nursing education. I think we could all use a little extra edge out there.
With a specialty focus on your resume, you may find it easier to move up through the ranks. These days, experience isn’t enough to justify hiring an applicant. Not only will a specialty certification make it easier to land a position, but it will make you a higher priority when it comes to promotion opportunities.
In some cases, you may find yourself eligible for higher paying jobs as a result of your specialty certification. While this may not always be true, and relies on a variety of factors including location and demand, it is a good way to work toward getting a pay increase.
So, what certification options do you have? The good news is, no matter your interests or the reasons you decided to go into nursing, there’s something for everyone. Specialty areas include: ambulatory care, burn nursing, flight nursing, geriatric nursing, nurse anesthetist, obstetrics-gynecology nursing, oncology nursing, home health nursing, school nursing, and many more.
Choosing a Specialty
Choosing the best nursing specialty for you lies in determining where your interests and expertise cross. Consider:
- Where you want to work. Would working in certain environments bother you? Would you prefer working in an outpatient clinic, private office, or a hospital?
- Educational requirements. Do you have what it takes, or do you need to go back to school? Are you willing to go back to school if necessary?
- Taking time to talk to other nurses already practicing in your desired specialty to get advice. They may offer information to you to change your mind or set your choice in stone.
- The stress level of your specialty. Can you handle it? If not, you may want to consider another.
When trying to determine which specialty would be best for you, make a list of possible choices. As you consider all the factors mentioned above, you’ll be able to prioritize and get a better grasp on which specialty you may like to go into. If you still can’t make a decision, see if you can find a job shadowing opportunity allowing you to closely follow another nurse so you can see firsthand what you’d be dealing with.