Which Nursing Speciality Is Right for You?
Explore these trending nursing careers and see where your degree can take you.
If you see yourself in the wide world of nursing, or are looking to advance your nursing degree, there’s a field that meets your interests—and needs your skills and passion. With dozens of specialties available, the nursing career path you select depends on whether you’re looking for an entry-level position, an executive role, or something in between—and what level of education you want to pursue. Our guide to the top nursing specialties available, as well as the potential outlook for trending careers, can help focus your search.
Put Your Passion to Work
While the following list of nursing specialties is by no means all-encompassing, it can give you an idea of the different areas you can pursue. Most of these specialties could also be pursued as an advanced practice path. Many of these nursing careers have some overlap in setting and duties, and they also offer the opportunity to break the standard perceptions of what nurses do and redefine the importance of the role in the home and community, and not just the hospital.
Or, if you know what area of nursing you’d like to pursue and you’re ready to start researching nursing schools that can help you apply your skills and passion for helping all kinds of people, click the Find Schools button below.
Administrative, legal and workplace nursing
All types of environments outside the hospital or clinic need nursing expertise. You can make a difference in the courtroom, at the crime scene or in victim advocacy, the classroom, and even the corporate working world in these nursing roles.
Investigate crime scenes or provide healthcare in assault cases or correctional facilities
If you’re a people person and shine in the day-to-day care of those in rural, home health care, parish—and other neighborhood environments—here are some areas where you could make a difference on a personal, or community, level.
Encourage physical and spiritual health and wholeness within faith communities
If you’d rather be on the front lines of patient care, you may choose to assist people who are dealing with trauma, intensive and time-critical injuries, illnesses and issues.
Geriatric and palliative care nursing
If you’re the special type of nurse or carer who brings comfort and care to elderly patients who have a unique set of health concerns or to those enduring possible end-of-life conditions, this may be a satisfying area of nurisng for you.
Specialized areas of nursing
If you work better in a particular environment—think OR or med-surg—or in a specific group, such as heart patients or those dealing with rehabilitation—you might fit best in one of these specialized fields of practice.
Supply preventative and acute care in all settings to children and adolescents
Assist with elective and nonelective plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures
Serve as liaison between researchers and patient volunteers participating in clinical trials
Treat patients with a variety of acute and chronic respiratory illnesses across the lifespan
Women’s health and birth-related nursing
From pregnancy planning stages to birth and beyond, you’ll care for women for their routine and preventive health issues, reproductive issues and pre- and post-pregnancy wellness.
Provide healthcare to women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum perio
Provide healthcare to women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period
Start, Change or Advance Your Nursing Career
As you can see, under the broad umbrella of nursing, there are many different types of Registered Nurses (RNs), which, along with a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) role, is the traditional starting place for a career in nursing. Some RN specialties include working with specific types of patients and focusing on certain conditions or working in administrative and leadership positions after going on and earning an MSN.
Many RN specialties in the fastest-growing areas of nursing will take you outside the usual settings, such as a hospital or clinic, and put you into the community or courtroom. According to American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nursing Association, there is a substantial movement to community-based care and an increasing number of RNs are moving into roles in public and community health. In addition, the journal reports, nurses are moving to Fortune 500 companies as organizational and occupational nurses and opening their own businesses to care for patients.
If you’re ready to start researching nursing schools that can help you apply your skills and passion for helping all kinds of people, click the Find Schools button below.