FOUR TYPES OF NURSING SPECIALTIES
1.) REGISTERED NURSE – Registered nurses (RNs) work in many different healthcare environments and perform a large variety of healthcare tasks that are pivotal to patient care and recovery. They can administer medicine, set up patient care plans, and use important medical equipment. They might work at hospitals, physician offices, nursing care facilities, schools, or health clinics, among other places of employment. RNs usually spend most of their shifts on their feet and may need to work overnight hours at many facilities. Registered nurses work alongside physicians in hospitals or other medical settings to treat patients in need of medical assistance. Education for this career is obtained by completing an associate's or bachelor's degree program. The final requirement to become a registered nurse is passing a licensing examination.
• Education Requirements for Registered Nurses – Aspiring RNs can choose to pursue an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Some educational programs can be interwoven; an individual who has earned an associate's degree, for instance, may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at any point in their careers by enrolling in an RN-to-BSN program. Individuals who have completed an ADN program and have obtained licensure as a registered nurse are equipped to work in the field. However, a BSN is required if a nurse wants to advance in the profession. Obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree may lead to career advancement opportunities, such as clinical nurse specialist, anesthetist nurse, midwife nurse and nurse practitioner.
• Employment Locations: Hospitals, residential care facilities
• Relevant Certifications: State Nursing License
• Median Salary Range: $70,300 annually
2.) PEDIATRIC NURSE – A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse who specializes in the care of infants, children and adolescents. These nurses must be licensed by the state after having completed a minimum of an associate's degree in nursing and passing a national licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN. Many pediatric nurses are employed by hospitals, community centers and clinics. The overall job market in nursing is strong, and pediatric nurses may choose to obtain optional certification to better their job prospects. Pediatric nurses work in hospital and clinical settings with pediatricians, monitoring and providing care to children and infants. To become a pediatric nurse, an associate's degree or higher in nursing is required. Students interested in pediatric nursing can focus their education on pediatric related programs and electives in order to prepare for their career choice. In order to get a job as a pediatric nurse, professionals must pass the National Registered Nurse licensing examination.
• Education Requirements for a Pediatric Nurse – Aspiring pediatric nurses may also complete a 2-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Like nursing diploma programs, these degree programs offer classroom education combined with clinical experience. Coursework may include nursing ethics, health assessments and patient management. Students hoping to work as pediatric nurses may be able to enroll in pediatric-related electives or focus on pediatric care during their clinical education.
• Employment Locations: Doctor’s Offices, Hospitals
• Relevant Certifications: State Nursing License
• Median Salary Range: $76,800 annually
3.) CRITICAL CARE NURSE – Within hospitals, critical care nurses work in a variety of settings, including ICUs, emergency rooms and cardiac care units. They provide continuous, high-level care for critically ill patients and their families. Some, who have a sub-specialty in adult, pediatric or neonatal nursing, serve a specific population. In general, critical care nurses work with fewer patients than those who work with less acutely ill patients; however, the needs of these patients are far greater and require constant monitoring and assessment. Critical care nurses are responsible for monitoring life support equipment, attending to wounds, responding to changing patient conditions and providing advanced life support. They document all these patient interactions to give the physician an accurate picture of the patient's status.
• Education Requirements for a Critical Care Nurse – The first step to becoming a critical care nurse is to earn an RN credential. Some hospitals offer a diploma in nursing. Other routes to becoming an RN are getting an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at a community college or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at a 4-year institution. Candidates must also pass a national licensing exam to become an RN, the NCLEX-RN. Many nurse education programs offer courses in critical care that help prepare nurses for the specialty, but most training in the field is provided by hospitals after a nurse has been hired to work in critical care. Many critical care nurses pursue certification in the specialty. Certification is not mandatory, but many employers prefer nurses who have this credential because it verifies they've met professional standards. Experience in critical care, passing a rigorous exam and continuing education are necessary to earn certification in critical care through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Certified critical care nurses often earn higher salaries than their counterparts who have not obtained certification.
• Employment Locations: Hospitals and Doctor’s Offices
• Relevant Certifications: Certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support
• Median Salary Range: $81,600 annually
4.) CERTIFIED EMERGENCY ROOM NURSE – Emergency room nurses work directly under doctors in hospital emergency room or urgent care settings and are responsible for attending patients with serious illness or injuries. Duties might include patient assessment and diagnosis, tending to wounds and injuries, monitoring temperature and blood pressure, taking vital signs and setting up IVs. The majority of certified emergency room nurses work in hospitals, however, these nurses can also work in urgent care facilities, government offices, poison control departments, helicopters and ambulances, sporting events, cruise ships, prisons and other establishments. Certified emergency room nurses are registered nurses who specialize in providing immediate care to patients with acute injuries, critical illnesses and other potentially life-threatening conditions. These nurses must efficiently respond to a variety of medical situations, including respiratory, cardiovascular and other trauma emergencies. They need a nursing diploma or degree and a state license. They can earn optional professional certification as an emergency room nurse by passing examinations.
• Education Requirements for a Certified Emergency Room Nurse – At minimum, a certified emergency room nurse must have a registered nursing credential, which requires completion of a nursing program, usually taking 2-4 years. There are three ways to complete a registered nursing program, including earning an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or a diploma from an approved nursing school. Though bachelor's degree programs usually offer students more clinical practice, all registered nursing programs prepare students with classroom instruction on important components of nursing, including classes on anatomy, physiology, nutrition, statistics, microbiology, ethics and client assessment. Through clinical practice, potential nurses learn to work with a variety of patients, including infants, adults and medical health patients.
• Employment Locations: Hospitals
• Relevant Certifications: Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
• Median Salary Range: $85,700 annually
Hope this was Helpful Athena
There are no limitations in nursing. You could work in a corporate office, a physicians office, become a bedside nurse or even work in the Operating room. It just depends on what you want to do. Any of these areas could consist of the equivalents of being a high level nursing. I for one started working in the nursing industry as a pediatric nurse.. I then moved to adult critical care in a hospital doing bedside care. For the past 13 years I moved to the corporate side of nursing working for a wonderful medical device company. The sky is the limit! I recommend sometime in the next year or two seeing if you can find people that you know in these industries to maybe shadow to see what peeks your interest the best.
In addition to specialized nursing area, you can also think about if you want to be a people manager of nurses or use your nursing experience to teach nurses, write policies, etc. For example if you are interested in managing people, you can move up the management ladder from staff nurse to lead nurse (for a station or shift) to Director of Nursing. If you are interested in combining teaching and nursing, every organization (clinics, hospitals) need nurses to teach new nurses or teach new policies or new skills. There are so many ways to use your nursing skills!
Best of luck to you!