From emergency room and operating room nursing to pediatric and orthopedic nursing and beyond, there is no shortage of specializations for the ambitious nurse of today’s.
Besides the traditional specializations — OB/GYN, nurse anesthetist, and nurse practitioners — there are lesser-known subfields, for example, telephone triage nursing, forensic nursing (the application of nursing science to public or legal proceedings) and correctional nursing (nursing in prison settings).
While health care settings across the country continue to see nursing shortages, nurses are in especially high demand in some subfields, including critical care (where the American Organization of Nurse Executives reports a 20 percent vacancy rate), emergency room and telemetry. Since these places commonly require nurses with higher levels of skills training, and certification, there are.
How can you zero in on the nursing specialization which will fulfill your job goals?
Nursing and Stress
One factor is your definition of pressure. Some nurses find it more stressful to work in an operating room, where they are nearly constantly on call. Others may find it stressful to work in the recovery room, which necessitates technical abilities that are honed. Still, others might discover that it’s stressful to work one on one with doctors on a medical/surgical floor.
Where do you feel comfortable? Can you enjoy autonomy, or can you crave the camaraderie of staff and fellow nurses? In case you need a slower pace, then try a community hospital.”
You should also think of what you appreciated during training. If you’ve got an affinity for kids, you may want to specialize in maternity or pediatrics. Then geriatrics would have been a logical choice if you satisfied.
In addition, you must consider any unique certifications and qualifications you have to enter right into a unique subfield.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation certification may be enough on a medical/surgical floor, for example, but Advanced Cardiac Life Support training will be needed by you to progress to the emergency room. And in case you want to utilize cancer patients, then you may need chemotherapy training that is special from the Oncology Nursing Society.
“Are you ready to continue education and further your abilities?” asks Kathy Murphy, clinical director for Nursefinders, a healthcare staffing service in Arlington, Texas. “If you’re, then you might be a candidate for intensive care units and oncology units.”
New Applications Narrow the Field
Programs are emerging in hospitals throughout the nation to permit distinct specialties to be tested by nurses before creating a career commitment.
For instance, the Ohio State University Medical Center provides a nurse internship program that allows newly licensed RNs to learn practical skills and experience the cultures within various medical units -week stint.
“Interns can choose from critical care, girls and baby, cardiothoracic and four other specializations,” says Gina Hirth, RN, MSN, nurse manager for the program. “Nurses receive full salary and benefits, formal classroom education unique to each course and clinical rotations that permit them to make important contacts which could lead to job placement.”
Externships Offer Hands-on Experience
“We supply new nurses with medical/surgical training to facilitate their transition from a student nurse to some nurse graduate function, and then we link that training to some specific specialization they are interested in,” says Corky Holm, supervisor of strategic recruitment at Atlantic Health System. “Meanwhile, our eight-week summer externship programs let student nurses have various kinds of specializations.”
Nurse recruiters recommend new nurses start on a medical/surgical floor before venturing right into a specialty. With that experience under your belt, it will be more easy to settle on a specialization that matches your interests.
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