How do I know which type of nurse I should specialize in?
I know I want to be a travel nurse but I’m not quite sure which field I should specialize in. I love kids but would it be hard to see sick children constantly? I also love human psychology so would a psychiatric nurse be a better fit for me?
Dr. Marlena’s Answer
Dr. Marlena recommends the following next steps:
Nursing is a beautiful profession, brimming with a myriad of specialties for you to explore. The wonderful thing is, you're not limited to just one - you can specialize in multiple areas. Right now, there's a significant demand for travel nurses, particularly for the adult population.
There's also a vast number of nurses who've chosen to specialize in both adult and pediatric care, especially in rural or remote areas where healthcare access is limited.
While it can be challenging to witness children's suffering, the joy and satisfaction of seeing them recover is beyond words. Whether you choose to specialize in pediatrics is a deeply personal decision, and your rotation in pediatric nursing during school should give you a clear indication if it's the right path for you.
Your interest in human psychology is a great asset, regardless of the specialty you choose. It will be invaluable when interacting with patients and their families during their most vulnerable moments. Psychology plays a significant role in nursing, as you're not only treating physical symptoms, but also the emotional and psychological responses to illness.
As for a specialization in psychiatry, you'll have the chance to experience a psychiatry rotation during your nursing education. This will give you a taste of what it's like, helping you decide if it's the right fit. The recent pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of mental health, making psychiatric nursing an incredibly meaningful field. It requires a unique type of resilience, but the reward of being able to assist people during their darkest hours is truly gratifying.
Best of luck. ME