Top 5 Specialties That Will Propel Your Nursing Career was originally published on uConnect External Content.
Healthcare is evolving rapidly as medical advances lead to longer lifespans and increased disease management for those previously seen as incurable. Every day there are new and promising treatment options being tested and rolled out, giving hope to those who are waiting for cures. Our aging population, coupled with these rapid advancements, are placing nurses in high demand with opportunities for growth in just about every area.
If you’re a nurse focused on long term career goals, choosing the right specialty is one of the most critical choices for you to make. Demand in the field, opportunities for growth, and pay aren’t guaranteed in every area, even if a need for staffing is present. So, I’ve compiled a list of the top specialties that are expected to grow rapidly and provide a plethora of opportunities that will pay you well! They’re sure to propel your career now and continue for years to come!
According to the World Health Organization, it’s expected that the number of people over age 60 will to climb to 2.1 billion by 2050. This puts gerontology at the top of our list for expected growth and makes now the perfect time to specialize in the field. While many nurses find themselves caring for the aging population by default, specializing in the field will place you ahead of the rest when it comes to career growth. Obtaining your board certification in Gerontological Nursing (GERO-BC) or continuing on to become a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner will propel your career in geriatrics even further!
Once you’ve specialized in the field, a world of opportunities will be open to you. Most think immediately of long-term care facilities and personal care homes, but gerontological nurses are in high demand in varying types of organizations. Hospitals, public health organizations, and home healthcare are all seeking out nurses within the specialty to work in staff nursing as well as management.
A relatively newer specialty in nursing, Hospice care has expanded rapidly in recent years as our population ages and those with chronic diseases are managed for a longer period of time. The growth outlook for nurses focused on this field is very promising and is a great reason to consider it as an option!
Because hospice nurses work 1:1 with patients and physicians managing symptoms from varying illnesses, they gain deep insight and experience that makes them extremely marketable going forward. Choosing this route can lead to promotions within the field or can build your resume for transfers to Oncology, Memory Care, Home Healthcare, Cardiac and many others. Moreover, there are multiple specialties available within the field including Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (CHPN), Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN), and Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse (CHPPN).
Clinical Research Nursing
Aging populations who are living longer and require more chronic disease management, along with continued advances in medicine, put Clinical Research Nurses in high demand as they work directly with researchers in their search for improved symptom management options and cures. The International Association of Clinical Research Nurses is currently working to create a certification program for this specialty, with a goal of completion by 2024. Entering the field now and becoming certified when available is a strategic goal for climbing to the top of the field!
An exciting aspect of clinical research nursing is that its opportunities are not limited to patient care. While there are many direct patient-care career paths within the field, there are also opportunities to become a writer, work in compliance monitoring, do recruitment, and more! There quite literally are no limits to the possibilities with a career in the field!
According to the CDC, Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for men, women, and ethnicities of all types. While education on the importance of healthy eating habits and exercise is more widespread and researchers continue to work diligently on new and effective treatments, the field is still expected to continue its growth for years to come. In fact, it is one of only two nursing specialties whose expected growth is higher than the average for all RNs.
If you’re looking to enter the field of Cardiac Nursing, you can start with a position on an acute care cardiac unit. Gaining experience on the floor will prepare for your certification. Once you’ve added Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification (CV-BC) credentials to your name, you can move on to work in areas such as the OR, ICU or clinic setting as you care for patients in various stages of their cardiac illnesses.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have been and continue to be in high demand. While earning your CRNA will require more education and time than some other fields, it is worth it for some as they are the highest paid nurses of all nursing specialties, and their employment outlook continues to grow.
Working directly with patients in an OR setting, CRNAs are typically limited to hospital or surgical organizations. However, if you enjoy being part of a team while also maintaining some autonomy in the workplace, this position is a definite fit!
A career in nursing is promising as the field continues to grow and see increasing demand. If you’re career focused and want to guarantee that your nursing career propels you above the rest, choosing your field wisely is one of the most critical decisions that you’ll make. Choose one from this list and you can’t go wrong!
**Editor’s Note: If you found this nursing resource helpful, consider browsing our nurse openings to see if there is a career fit for you!**