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Tips for Choosing a Nursing Specialty

Nursing is a rewarding career with many options.

However, this range of possibilities can make it challenging to decide on a specialty.

To determine which area you might most enjoy, consider your personality type as well as what type of work environment you prefer.

Work Setting

To begin, determining where you want to work is a good start.

Alternatively, you could begin by eliminating where you don’t want to work.

Hospitals are the most commonplace we think of nurses working.

There are, however, many other locations that require nurses if hospitals don’t appeal to you.

For those who enjoy working with the elderly, long-term care homes are an option.

In-home care is also an option. For those with interest in working in a lab environment, clinical research is an option.

The workplace’s physical environment may be a deciding factor, but there are many other things to consider.

Your Interests and Personality

The many types of nursing specialties mean there’s one that matches your specific personality.

Each specialty has an environment and pace of its own.

Finding the right match means you will be comfortable and able to do your best work.

Some of the things to consider when matching your personality to your preferred specialty include:

Are you an adrenaline junkie?

Do you thrive in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment?

Do you enjoy constantly being faced with challenges?

If you said yes to this, the emergency department or trauma unit would be a good fit.

Are you methodical?

Would you rather focus on the details with time for deep analysis?

If so, clinical research may be the ideal career path for you.

Looking beyond work, what are your interests?

These interests could be incorporated into your work life, too.

If you love kids, working in a children’s hospital may be rewarding.

If food and healthy eating is a focus in your life, then a career in nutrition may be fulfilling.

Nursing Specialties for Introverts

Some people find constantly meeting new people and engaging with others to be exhausting.

And some people prefer to work in a quiet, calm environment.

Here are some nursing jobs best suited to introverted personality types:

Nurse researcher

This career path involves studying health and health care through a scientific lens.

The goal is to find ways to improve health care services through scientific research methods.

This is not typically an early stage career, but rather something one works up to after a few years in the field as a nurse.

The job requires advanced education – typically a Ph.D. – with a background in nursing.

Legal nurse consultant

Being a legal nurse consultant requires knowledge and experience in medicine as well as an understanding of medicine’s legal aspects.

A legal nurse consultant’s job is to help lawyers and other legal professionals navigate the complexities of the medical field by providing expert advice and insight into medical matters.

As such, they must have the experience required to consult on medical law cases.

Nursing Specialties for Extroverts

For extroverts, nursing can be a rewarding career choice.

Some of the specialties that will let your people skills shine include:

Pediatrics nurse

For a person who enjoys working with children, this is an ideal job.

In a hospital environment, the job involves working directly with children to provide care.

This can range from working with newborns in the neonatal unit, to providing care for children with developmental disabilities, or providing general care to sick children.

Emergency nurse

Working in the emergency department of a hospital is a high-intensity, challenging job.

For those who love a fast-paced work environment, this can be ideal.

There is a constant stream of new patients, with each one requiring a unique and personalized approach.

The Job Market

Before setting your heart on a particular specialty, consider the demand for that position.

If you’re willing to relocate for work, this isn’t as much of a concern.

You can just move to where the jobs are. But for those who wish to stay in a specific location, it is worth finding out which specialties are most in-demand for the chosen region.

Technology And You

Do you consider yourself a technologically competent person?

Or do you struggle when it comes to using computers? Consider, also, whether or not you enjoy working with technology.

If you genuinely enjoy working with computers and technology, a nursing informatics career could be the specialty for you.

Nursing in today’s health care environments requires navigating electronic health records, so a certain level of computer proficiency is required, no matter the specialty.

Salary Considerations

Research nursing salaries in your area to ensure the pay range is within acceptable limits.

If you’re looking to earn more as a nurse, there are some options.

You could earn advanced qualifications, such as a master’s degree, to move up the nursing ranks.

Another option is to transition into leadership or management, which typically pays more.

If you’d rather be a nurse than a manager, some in-demand nursing specialties have the potential for higher salaries.

Legal nurse consultants also tend to earn more than nurses in hospital settings.

Additional Training

When researching specialties, be sure to consider the education and training needs.

Certain areas require advanced training, either in school or on the job.

In some cases, the job will require an advanced degree.

Some nursing positions require certifications, such as BLS, that can be earned through online courses.

If you’re committed to the profession, the extra time and effort to gain the necessary credentials will pay off in the long term.

No matter the specialty, taking an approach of constant learning is always a good idea.

So is working to improve your skills through additional qualifications and training.

At ProMed, we offer a range of certifications to help your nursing career.

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