Skip to main content
7 answers
7
Asked 592 views

How do I decide what nursing specialty would be best for me?

I really like working with kids so I think I'd like pediatric nursing, but from what I've looked at I think being a nurse anesthetist would offer better pay. I'm more interested in pediatric nursing, but I have various ambitions that I think I would need to be very financially stable to accomplish. How should I decide which one to focus on in the long run, and would being a pediatric nurse ever be an equally stable career, or not?

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

7

7 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Adelina’s Answer

Let me share my story, and perhaps it can shed some light into yours. Years ago, I obtained my certification as a nurse aide, and started working my first job. I was fortunate to have found an employer that was very rewarding to employees. Due to personal circumstances, however, after working a few years there, I had to move out of the area. I continued working as a nurse aide for a new company, but I was not getting paid as well as I did in my first job. I began considering switching careers to something with higher pay, but carefully reviewing my options, I realized that I was taking a big gamble. Instead, I focused my efforts on strengthening my knowledge and skills by taking quick related courses (some available online and for free). I also worked on building relationships with others, for both references and networking. I am now working for a company that is paying me far more than I ever did before, and this without giving up on what I have enjoyed doing. My advice would be not to focus on salary figures, because those can be unrealistic, and even deceiving. For me, investing time and money growing professionally in what I love doing, has eventually paid for itself. Doing what you love is a guaranteed way to ensure that you will be able to gain more knowledge and length of experience. And your experience and loyalty to others will likely get you a more rewarding future.
Thank you comment icon I agree with this statement! Christine Robinson
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Raquel’s Answer

Yes, being a nurse anesthetist will pay more, but you also have to go to graduate school for that licensure. That's something to consider when looking at financial plans and stability, will the added cost of graduate school affect your needs/goals? While there are certainly issues, as a general rule, nursing is a well paying job. With just an RN license ICU and ER jobs tend to be the highest paying, but if you're interested in pediatrics, most bigger hospitals have a dedicated pediatric ICU and many have a separate pediatric ER. So that could provide you with a slightly higher pay than being a regular pediatric nurse. It's important to pick a job that you enjoy, it will make working much easier and more enjoyable if it's something you actually are passionate about. If you think you'd enjoy being an anesthetist then it's absolutely something you should look into. But you should also seriously ask yourself if you would enjoy it, or are you doing it purely for money. If so, would the extra pay be worth not liking your job?
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Salem
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Neo
Thank you comment icon Hi! I think this is some solid advice and good information to consider. I would also like to share my perspective coming from someone in CRNA school. Yes graduate school is expensive. To be very direct, I think my student loan debt will average 300k by the time I graduate. However, the pay for nurse anesthetists ranges from 180-450k depending on various factors... Something else to consider is the lifestyle you want for your future.. You could pursue a job in pediatric ICU but I want you to know you could also pursue a job as a CRNA at a children's hospital! Both mean you are working with kiddos! It does require more time, money, and energy, but I believe it is worth it if you are interested. It opens the door to many opportunities. Emilie Schmidt
Thank you comment icon Also, use caution when taking advice online! Emilie Schmidt
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Christine’s Answer

Have your graduated yet? The next step would be working at a hospital. I entered a Graduate Nurse program after graduation. You get to rotate through all the areas in the hospital. This gives you the experience you need to branch out. I enjoyed the detox unit, and hospice. I had worked in a SNF as a CNA for 3 years and enjoyed Geriatrics. I worked as a RN in home care, transitional housing for drug and alcohol rehab, in the Medicaid dept of the state of NY, ICU, a Doctor's office, and in a skilled nursing home. Due to physical restraints, I ended up in Disability case management for 13 years. I was able to work with people, teaching, advocating, and getting them back to work. That ended up being my niche job. That is where I earned the most money. However, I was happier working in a lower pay range. The more you earn, the higher your taxes. It was easier to make ends meet in the 40-50,000 range. All the experience made me a better nurse. Good Luck!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Megan’s Answer

Hi John your sort of comparing apples to oranges. Nursing is generalized education so the first step is getting your Bachelor degree in nursing first and foremost. Then you can choose to work wherever you want in whatever specialty you choose. You can even jump around to different floors. To see what fits you best. THEN you can decide if you want to apply to be a nurse anesthetist. Programs are very competitive and once in mentally demanding for 2-3 years of which you can not work also in order to even apply you have to have 2-3 years of ICU or ER experience first. As you can see you get paid more bc it’s several more years of training and a different position all together as a floor nurse. Good luck! Start with a BSN

Megan recommends the following next steps:

Apply to Bachelor Nursing Programs
Complete Nursing Degree
Work icu 2 years
Apply for Nurse Anesthesia Program
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Char’s Answer

Hi Salem,
The great thing about nursing is there's so many routes you can take to achieve achieve exactly what you want. First of all, it's great that you already have an idea what you want to do. On top of that, you're considering income and job stability which is very smart!

In your case, you can have all three. Here's some options:

1. Remain a pediatric nurse, but live in a state that pays well. Some states (like California) pay many of their pediatric nurses over 6 figures.

2. Remain a pediatric nurse, but choose a specialty, for example, pediatric ICU or pediatric oncology. These fields will generally pay more.

3. Remain a pediatric nurse, but do pediatric travel nursing. Travel nurses easily make over 6 figures. All you'll need is 1 - 2 years of experience at a hospital first.

4. Go to graduate school and become a Pediatric nurse practitioner. If you work in a hospital, this can pay very well.

Keep in mind, the higher the degree, the better the pay. Also, the more specialized the field, the higher the pay. Becoming a nurse anesthetist solely for pay might make you very unhappy in the end. The pediatric nursing world needs nurses who love kids. Good luck to you!
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

John’s Answer

Hi Salem - Your plans likely will depend on where you are now and where you'd like to be eventually. If you're in nursing school, then finding a job in an area you think you will enjoy is a good place to start. If you think you'd like to work with children, then a pediatric ward is great. If you're thinking about nurse anesthesia, then most programs will want you to have a couple years of some critical care level of practice - ICU / Critical Care Unit. They want this because of the complexity of the care you will provide as well as having experience in critical and stressful situations. While many nurses have watched a code or perhaps been involved in one, in an ICU situations like this are much more common and can be complex and involved depending on if the patient is on a vent, multiple medications / pumps, and has tubes & lines everywhere. These types of situations will be much more like a critical situation you may encounter in an OR where all of those factors as likely to be in play. There will be lots of people, different specialties, and sometimes differing opinions. Navigating that as a nurse or CRNA takes some experience and a bit of practice. While most CRNA programs require a BSN to apply, some do not - but the applicant's experience is paramount, so keep that in mind if you're thinking that may be a goal for you.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Ann’s Answer

There is no one good answer to your question. Going through nursing school will help narrow the areas you’re interested in pursuing after graduation. And after graduation, you might not initially get into the area you want if the job isn’t in that field but you can get your foot in the door and start somewhere (what happened to me). From there, you move on to positions that are more appealing. Nurse anesthetists can make good money. You do need more education to do that job. I’d encourage you to make a decision on what you love, rather than on the amount of money it pays. I absolutely agree that money is important but it’s not really worth it if you aren’t happy doing it.
0