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How to specialize in a certain area of Nursing such as Pediatrics, Mental Health, etc.?

I want to broaden my nursing degree and specialize in an interesting area, but I have no clue how to go about doing such a thing. #college #nursing #nurse #degree #mental-health #healthcare #hospital-and-health-care

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Nick’s Answer

Contrary to some of the responses here, there are ways to specialize as an #undergraduate #nursing student. However, you have to look around specifically for these programs and since the majority of nursing undergraduate schools train nursing students as “generalists.” (Where you get exposure to a few areas). The reason for this is to match the test plan of the RN licensing exam otherwise know as the NCLEX. NCLEX tests on medical, surgical and obstetrical nursing and to some degree psychiatry. It does not test on specialists areas such as critical care, pediatrics, although there are some exceptions to this.

That being said, certain schools allow students in their senior year to enroll in their senior seminar or leadership course to gain exposure in a speciality. Some more competitive schools might offer a dual degree program (where you obtain another degree in addition to your BSN) and minors to focus on. For example, the University of Pennsylvania allows students to minor in four areas (http://www.nursing.upenn.edu/academics/bachelor-of-science-in-nursing-bsn/minors/) Again, these are not typical of all schools and I agree that most nurses specialize once they graduate and in graduate school.

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Felisha L.’s Answer

If you are in an undergraduate nursing program you will receive a generalist preparation meaning you will possess basic knowledge in multiple areas which may include but not limited to, women's health, pediatric, psychiatric mental health by the time you earn your degree.

Graduate programs in nursing (masters) have specializations where student can focus on a particular area of nursing. #nursing

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Kayla,
If you are in nursing school, you really have to follow the program which has med surg, a bit of pedi, ob,and psych. Usually you specialize when you get out of school :)