Here's some suggestions for choosing a specialty/path in nursing.
1. Answer questions on a career quiz. Here's one for Finding a Specialty: https://nursing.jnj.com/find-my-specialty/
2. Imagine where you want to work. Nurses can work in:
- Health clinics, centered around dieticians, dermatology, or another medical focus.
- Summer camps
- Diagnostic centers
- Outpatient venues
- Telehealth or remote (which is new!)
When you think of places, you start to ask yourself, "Do I prefer to support kids, adults, elderly, or all ages?" and "How do I like the idea of working in a slow paced or fast paced environment?" Consider how you want to solve problems and who you want to serve.
3. Follow nurses and nurse content. You can watch the following videos from nurses & hear their professional advice:
- RegisteredNurseRN | https://youtu.be/jyhdK82fg0E
- Nurse Zara | https://youtu.be/PMFg2xRfcAg
- Buck Parker, M.D. | https://youtu.be/EnKXFhO_028
- Will Kelly, NP | https://youtu.be/nrVnW4y6HlM
After you've explored online, you can do these things to help you narrow down your path:
1. Write down at least three areas that interests you
2. Dive into researching/looking at these areas.
3. Write some of the daily tasks that appeal to you
4. Speak to nurses in your area. Either people in the field, recent graduates, or senior students.
Sending you encouragement as you find your specialty :)
The good thing about nursing is, you can change your specialty anytime you want. You may start off wanting to do a particular specialty and as you go on your journey, you may find something else that interests you. You might also find that the specialty you chose wasn't what you thought it would be. You're never locked into a specialty and quite frankly, in nursing, you're most valuable when you have a range of experiences.
My nursing journey started over 10 years ago and is still evolving. I started off in med/surg just to get floor experience. I knew I wanted to work as a leader in the community in some way but I didn't know how until I got to public health semester.
I ended up getting my public health certificate and even landing a job with my county after only a year as med/surg nurse. I didn't take the job because I realized I didn't really like the job description. I thought public health nursing would look a certain way, but for my county, it looked different. I decided to stay in med/surg.
I started precepting on the floor and enjoyed it. I decided to go back to school to be a clinical instructor. After doing that, I realized that I'd rather teach in the classroom so I started on that path.... and the list goes on....
I bring all of this up to show you that your nursing journey can take you all over the place. I would say start at a hospital first if possible. Med/surg or telemetry is probably the easiest to get into. Then let your journey reveal your next path. It could happen as you take classes in nursing school or it could happen as you start working. Good luck to you!