In the US healthcare system, nursing is the most popular choice of profession, with more than 4.2 million registered nurses. As a nurse, you get the chance to make a fruitful career, from providing care and support to patients to becoming an autonomous practitioner. This journey, from starting at your grassroots level to specializing in a particular sector, requires some thought. Each subfield has its limitations and benefits, which can facilitate your decision in picking the right nursing specialty. Who doesn’t want to advance in their career, secure better income and have a chance to expand their professional resume? As a nurse, there is so much you can do for yourself, and here’s how:
Understand nursing is diverse
Nursing specialties encompass a wide range of employment opportunities. These factors boil down to your preferred age group, the kind of environment you feel the most comfortable working in, and your working hours. By answering these questions, you’ll be able to pick one out of all the nursing careers that align with the kind of healthcare provider you want to become. For example, if you become a family nurse practitioner, you’ll work with all your patients, from kids to elderly folks.
There are about 22 states that grant you the right to practice independently. As a result, once you become an FNP, you’ll be to diagnose your patients and recommend tests and medicines so your patients can come to terms with their well-being. The types of nursing degrees available to you will help you decide on your career.
As a nurse practitioner, you will interact with numerous patients daily and have to deal with all age groups. You should have a more extroverted personality, making it easier to communicate and talk to your patients on a level they comprehend. Likewise, choosing the nursing field will decide your working environment and how close it will be to your patients.
The healthcare sector has all kinds of providers. Not every doctor or healthcare practitioner makes it to the front lines and does more research-oriented work relevant to their field. This also depends heavily on their personality. It would help if you asked yourself questions to determine your kind of nurse. If you’re happy around crowds and prefer working with them, you can work in more patient-centric fields, such as becoming a nurse midwife. But if you like working with children more than adults, consider becoming a nurse pediatrician.
This job allows you to work, diagnose and check children’s health from the minute they’re born to when they’re teens. But if you feel shy around patients and find yourself more inclined to work related to big data and AR to anticipate new advancements, join nursing informatics.
Imagine your work environment
You must decide what environment helps you work the best and lets you thrive. Not everyone in the healthcare sector likes pressure or can handle it. This is what you need to think about in yourself as a healthcare provider. If you do well under stress, no matter how high the stakes, you’re best bet is to work as an emergency room nurse. Your patients may need intensive treatment and surgeries to stop and stem their wounds. You may have to give CPR to sudden critical cases who are unresponsive.
But if you’re not good at working under pressure and crack easily but don’t want to interact with patients unless necessary, you should become a nurse administrator or manager. In both cases, you’ll be handling the legal work and documents of mentoring and leading nurses. As an administration worker, your work is about maintaining and managing the business cash flow, finding investment opportunities, and looking for potential business investors. Nursing educators train nurses to ensure they understand their health sector role. This is a senior position in which you have to design a curriculum, lesson plans, and study guides while walking potential nurses through the clinical and theoretical aspects of working in a hospital.
The age group
As a nurse practitioner, you can decide what age group you’re most comfortable working with. This will lead you down a different route in your career and help you gain skills relevant to that age group. If you like working with children, such as newborn babies or adolescents, you should be a pediatrician. You will specialize in all diseases related to infancy and childhood, including genetic illnesses. Your job is to ensure a newborn baby is healthy and is not showing signs of a birth injury like cerebral palsy. Your other option includes becoming a nurse for older patients, such as those with chronic health conditions like arthritis and diabetes, and helping them regulate their well-being.
This involves ensuring they’re taking the proper medication, guiding their caretakers on optimal care, and encouraging them to visit for a follow-up. If you have no trouble working with families, you should become a family nurse practitioner. This allows you to work with children of all ages, including adults, and help them manage everyday illnesses, get their flu shots, and discuss possible diagnoses.
Choosing a nursing specialty is not easy. You have many factors to sort through before you’re sure about your choice. This highly qualified field opens new doors and potential opportunities for you, making it a highly desirable career. Nursing specialists get divided by their work, the patients they serve, and the workload upon them. No two fields are alike, so you have to pick carefully. Think about your working environment, personality, and the age group you find yourself comfortable and interested in working in.