Career Advice > Registered Nurse

Different Types of Nursing Specialties

There are more than one hundred different nursing specialties.

It's hard to know what specialty to choose, especially with medical demands constantly changing.

Hang in there! We'll let you know the types of nurses that are on the rise.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Nurse anesthesiologists prepare and administer anesthesia to patients. They provide care to their patients before, during, and after the administration of anesthesia, which includes monitoring vital signs and ensuring that the patient stays well during the procedure.

All of these roles are difficult yet important skills to have for hospitals or other surgical facilities. If you've ever had surgery, you most likely had a CRNA by your side the entire time.

The average salary for a CRNA is $151,138 per year, and it is projected to grow by 17% from 2018 to 2028. Nurse anesthetists are needed in all medical centers that perform surgeries.

To become a CRNA, you have to get a Master's Degree in the appropriate nursing program and pass a national exam for certification.

2. General Nurse Practitioner

General nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings with a variety of different patients. From the emergency room to the family physician's office, general nurse practitioners are knowledgable in all aspects of basic patient diagnosis and treatment.

This is a great pick for up-and-coming nurses who aren't sure what they want to specialize in.

Working as a general nurse practitioner would allow you to learn a little bit about all sorts of medical specializations before deciding whether or not you want to specialize in any specific field.

The average annual salary is $98,547, while the growth outlook is 26% from 2018 to 2028. You would have to get your Master's of Science in Nursing and get your state license.

3. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists are revered as experts, whether this is in a specialized clinic or even in a specific illness.

Clinical nurse specialists are able to diagnose and treat illnesses just like general nurse practitioners. However, clinical nurse specialists are also able to work on bettering nursing practice within their organization in general.

The advantage of this kind of nursing is this management aspect to it. You will be able to oversee an entire nursing department.

This specialization earns an average of $91,237 per year. Because they can offer cheaper care than physicians, clinical nurse specialists are highly utilized and preferred.

To become a nurse practitioner, you will need a Master's of Science in Nursing with a specialization in clinical nursing.

4. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Many people don't realize that nurses can work in a psychiatric setting, but this position makes it possible.

Psychiatric nurse practitioners have the ability to counsel all sorts of patients. This may include patients with mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, and the like on a daily basis.

The average salary for a psychiatric nurse practitioner is $109,203 per year, and its outlook is good as mental health becomes less stigmatized. This shift in the thought behind how people with mental health issues live has allowed for an increase in the demand for psychiatric services.

To become a psychiatric nurse practitioner, you have to get a Master's of Science in Nursing as well as a state license in psychiatric nursing.

5. Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified nurse midwives are great positions for nurses looking to work in obstetrics, labor and delivery, and prenatal care. They stay with moms-to-be through all stages of having a baby, from before trying to conceive to the birth of the baby.

Certified nurse midwives are able to assist with infertility issues and help with delivering the baby.

Being a certified nurse midwife requires extensive knowledge about the mother and the baby. You can find these specialists in several work settings. This includes obstetrics and gynecology offices, hospitals, and clinics.

The average salary for a certified nurse midwife is $92,725 per year. The position is expected to grow by 16% between 2018 and 2028. 

Certification for this specialization is obtained through the American Midwifery Certification Board rather than the state that you're practicing in.

6. Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse

Becoming a neonatal intensive care nurse is a fantastic choice for anyone who loves babies. This role allows you to work in saving young infants.

Being a neonatal intensive care nurse takes a strong heart. You may encounter infants that are barely hanging onto life, but the feeling of letting a family take their baby home after the fight of their lives is an irreplaceable feeling.

The average salary for this specialization is $102,560 per year. There is a strong outlook for this specialization with the rising frequency in premature births as well as the advances in medical technologies.

To become a neonatal intensive care nurse, you have to have neonatal unit experience or become certified as a neonatal nurse practitioner or a neonatal clinical nurse specialist.

7. Pain Management Nurse

Pain management nurses work with patients who have chronic pain issues as well as patients who are recovering from surgery. They work to look for the causes of pain and determine the right course of treatment from the discovered or assumed cause.

Nurses that work in pain management also work to educate patients about pain medication. This can include deep conversations about the dangers of dependence on and addiction to pain medications over time.

The average salary for pain management nurses is $99,263 per year. The growth outlook for this specialization is also promising because of the growing aging population.

Anyone looking to become a pain management nurse needs experience as a registered nurse in order to obtain a Pain Management Specialist Certification.

8. Nursing Administrator (A Nurse Who Manages Other Types of Nurses)

Nursing administrators handle all of the background tasks that come with managing a healthcare facility. Of course, nursing administrators mainly focus on organizing a great nursing staff, but their duties go beyond that.

These specialists have the ability to handle everything from human resources to budgeting. They are truly the general managers of their facilities, whether they work in a hospital or another medical facility.

Nursing administrators make an average salary of $85,536 per year. The job is projected to grow by 23% from 2018 to 2028.

In order to become a nursing administrator, you have to have a Master's in Healthcare Administration as well as proper licensure from the state that you're working in.

9. Family Nurse Practitioner

Family nurse practitioners act as primary care providers for their patients. They are able to diagnose conditions, consult on patient concerns, assess symptoms, and recommend prescriptions and treatment.

Family nurse practitioners are the closest nursing specialization to doctors. These nurses are able to carry out the majority of the same roles.

Being a family medical provider comes with understanding a little bit of every specialty. Your patients can really be of any age, so your expertise must range from pediatrics to gerontology.

The average salary of a nurse practitioner is $98,984 per year. The growth outlook for nurse practitioners is 28% from 2018 to 2028.

In order to become a nurse practitioner, you must have a Master's of Science in Nursing as well as board certification as a family nurse practitioner.

10. Registered Nurse First Assistant

These nurses serve as the second set of hands during surgical procedures. The abilities of a registered nurse first assistant depend on where the nurse is working.

First assist nurses can help with surgical procedures by controlling the patient's bleeding, suturing wounds and incisions, and helping the surgeon if unforeseen complications arise. The main role of these nurses is to assist the surgeon they are working with however possible and however permitted.

These nurses earn about $99,000 a year. There is great potential job growth with these positions due to new outpatient surgical centers opening constantly.

In order to become a registered nurse first assistant, you should have a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, a license as a registered nurse, some perioperative experience, and certification in perioperative nursing.

11. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

Gerontological nurse practitioners work with the elderly population and their needs. This specialization is needed since older people do have a special set of medical needs and health issues. This profession is great for those who like working with elderly patients.

These specialized registered nurses get to help look after and care for their elderly patients. Gerontological nurse practitioners mostly help their patients with completing daily tasks. This includes eating, taking medications, and other things.

Gerontological nurse practitioners make an average of $101,513 per year. Due to longer life spans and an aging population, these nurses have a great job growth outlook.

In order to become a gerontological nurse practitioner, you must have a Master's of Science in Nursing as well as a certification as a gerontological nurse practitioner.

12. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators work to educate other nurses. This can be in the form of education in the classroom or education in a healthcare facility.

Nurse educators work directly with other nurses to teach them about nursing. Nurse educators can teach all sorts of different classes at all of the different skill levels.

Many nurse educators start by working in patient care and then transition to a job as an educator.

The average salary for a nurse educator is $72,124 per year. Because of the consistently increasing numbers in nursing students, there is a shortage of educators. This shortage means that there is an excellent growth potential for the profession.

Nurse educators must at least have a Master's of Science in Nursing, but it is highly encouraged that they get a Doctorate in Nursing.

13. Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurses are where nursing and technology come together. This specialization combines the management of health information and communication technologies.

Informatics analysts monitor trends and ensure that there are no errors with current systems. If errors do exist, these specialists are tasked with building more efficient systems.

Creating better systems leads to better patient care. If providers are stuck with outdated, frustrating systems, they are less likely to be able to spend more time and energy paying attention to and caring for patients.

The average salary of informatics nurses is $83,134 per year. With the exponential rise in electronic medical records, these nurses are among the most needed in the immediate future. 

In order to become a nursing informatics specialist, you must have a Master's of Science in Nursing or a Master's in Information or Computer Science.

14. Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nursing is a great specialization to consider for nurses who like dealing with intense situations. The world of critical care consists of life or death situations daily.

Because of the nature of the job, critical care nurses typically work in intensive care units in hospitals both during the day and during the night. However, there are some situations that may warrant a critical care nurse working at other locations.

The average salary for critical care nurses is $67,548 per year. Due to nursing shortages in adult critical care units, pediatric intensive care units, and neonatal intensive care units, critical care nurses are at a constant high demand.

There are no special requirements for becoming a critical care nurse, but it may be worth considering a certification in critical care nursing. Getting a certification can be useful for advancing your career.

15. Health Policy Nurse

As the name suggests, health policy nurses work on health policy. This can include advocating, researching, analyzing, developing, implementing, and evaluating policies.

As a health policy nurse, you'll have control over healthcare laws, policies, and regulations. You'll be affecting providers and patients.

Health policy is a subject on the rise for the greater community, so there is no greater time to consider this career.

The average salary for health policy nurses is $62,138 per year. To become a health policy nurse, you need to get your Master's of Science in Nursing. After this, you'll need to complete a health policy residency program that runs for about ten weeks.

Join the Nursing Community!

Now that we've gone through the different nursing specialties, go ahead and get to studying.

What are you waiting for? Feel free to join several types of nurses all around the world in one of these specialties or another specialty of your choice.

For a little more guidance, check out the rest of our career advice for nurses and other hospital staff.

  

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