healthcare around the world is no longer clumped into just one medical category. with advances in our theoretical understanding of medicine and improvements in technology, healthcare is becoming an increasingly diversified and specified field. individuals who wish to become a part of this bustling industry are faced with a huge number of choices which require different skill sets and involve dealing with particular types of patients.
what types of specialties are available?
there is not a consensus on exactly how many specialized nursing fields there are, but it is safe to say that there are well over 100 different specialties. nurses who wish to work with children or neonates can become neonatal or pediatric nurse practitioners. these are highly paid professionals who provide health assessments and treatment plans for children. nurses who are more interested in working closely with anesthesiologists may enroll in a nursing program that specializes in anesthesiology and become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. options in forensics nursing are available for those who want to work in providing evidence for police officers and criminal investigations.
how can i become a specialized nurse?
in most cases, specialized nursing fields require you to obtain a master degree in nursing with an emphasis in the specialization. these programs vary in their duration but generally range between two to three years for a full-time student. in order to apply for these programs you must have completed an undergraduate degree in nursing, earning a bachelor of science in nursing (bsn). your master's degree will add to your existing knowledge of medicine and nursing by covering topics pertinent to your specialization. you will also be given training in any clinical methods which are relevant and highly used in your field. completing your degree is only part of the process though. you will also have to attain certification or licensing from the relevant authorities in order to practice your profession legally within the us. the american nurse credentialing center and the national council licensure examinations are two organizations that offer certifications or licenses to practice.
why should i specialize?
there are multiple reasons and benefits to specialize. the first of these is the demand. the healthcare industry in the us is currently dealing with a larger population with very specific health concerns. having a competent nursing staff can help bridge the gap between doctors and patients by providing specific answers. because of this growth, the demand for qualified nurses is consistently high. naturally, a higher demand means that employers are willing to pay competitive salaries to professionals who meet their skill requirements. as a result, you are going to be able to secure a more stable and higher paying job through your choice in nursing specialties. the salary you make will depend on your geographical location, employer, and your expertise. specializing in a particular field is also a means of assuming greater responsibility and challenging yourself. if you are in the nursing field looking for a leg up, definitely consider focusing your learning in a specific area.