Factors To Consider When Choosing A Specialty For Your Nursing Career


Getting your nurse degree can be a dream come true. Many nurses state that their career in nursing has been something that they’ve always wanted to do since they were little. However, once you become a licensed nurse, you usually end up craving more. Many nurses will continue to obtain further education in a specialty field that they enjoy. Choosing that specialty field can be a little difficult to do.

For the record, there are two types of nursing specialties. There are ones that require you to get additional training or pass a certification. There are also ones that you can endeavor into with just your general nursing education. In general, most licensed nurses will start in the adult medical field. Some are happy with this career area, while others want to move to another specialty.

Decide Your Stance On Further Training And Certifications

Before you can determine what specialty you may want to enter, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re willing to undergo. For some, undergoing years of additional training is just not in their realm of possibilities. Many nurses will take the time after obtaining their license to work in the adult medical field and focus on other areas of their life, like starting a family.

Other nurses may be perfectly fine with committing to further training to get to a specialty that they enjoy. You really need to sit down and think over what you’re willing to commit. This will help to narrow down the specific specialties that you consider for your future endeavors.

Do You Want To Travel?

Travel nurse jobs in Indiana and other states are on the rise, especially in the wake of the recent pandemic. As a nursing graduate, it’s a good idea to consider if a traveling career would be right for you. Traveling nursing is not for everyone. However, it can be a killer career for those who want to explore the country and meet a ton of new people in the process.

When you’re a traveling nurse, you work short-term for different healthcare facilities around the nation. You can choose what jobs you take and only accept ones that are in your desired pay rate. Travel nurse jobs tend to pay higher than permanent nursing job positions. This can be a big advantage if you’re wanting to enjoy crafting a large income.

Consider Your Previous Clinical Experiences

You have invested many years in getting your nursing degree. Throughout those years, you’ve spent a lot of time interacting with patients and learning different aspects of the medical field. Now, it’s time to take a few minutes and think about the times that you enjoyed most. Consider learning new skills and the types of patients that you found the most enjoyment in helping. Some questions to help get you started include:

  • What Practice Areas Have Interested Me?
  • What Procedures And Duties Do I Feel Most Comfortable Doing?
  • What Type Of Patient Do I Get The Most Enjoyment Interacting With?

Often times, when we reminisce, it leads us into thinking about the future and what we would like to see. After you consider the questions above about the past, consider where you want to see yourself in the future. Think in terms of the next 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. Consider other aspects than just solely your career. Where do you see your family? What role do you play in the community? By taking a broad perspective of where you want to be in the future, it will give you more of a direction to move towards.

Do You Want To Go More In-Depth Or Change It Up Fully?

If you’ve been an experienced nurse for a while, you’ve likely considered going into a more specialized direction. You have one major decision to make before you can determine just what position you want to hold. This is determining whether you want to go more in-depth in the field that you’re already in or if you want to change things up completely.

Changing things up completely would be a move from being employed at a health clinic to being employed at an ER. Conversely, going more in-depth may look like moving from an ER nurse to a forensic nurse examiner. The latter typically requires continuing education or passing certain certifications.

Know Where You Want To Live

If you’re not interested in a traveling nurse career, it’s likely that you would rather stay in one place to develop your career. You need to determine if you’ve already chosen that place or that place will be chosen based on the specialty that you go after. It’s vital that you understand the option that you want before picking a specialty.

If you want to stay in your hometown, then you’ll need to consider the jobs that are available in your community. If your community is a small town, you may have trouble finding a career in an in-depth specialty like a forensic nurse examiner. You’re likely better off picking a first-level specialty like pediatrics or geriatrics as these jobs will be more plentiful.

On the other hand, you may be open to moving to another town or city. If you already have a specific location in mind, you’ll need to check out the job openings in that area to get an idea of what specialties you’re best suited to get hired in. If you’re open to moving anywhere, then you can choose a particular specialty based solely on your interest in it.

Desired Income

At the end of the day, income is always a factor. It may not be one that is your sole guiding light. However, you’ll need to pick a specialty position that allows you to earn enough money to cover your desired standard of living. Some of the highest paying nursing specialties include pain management, certified registered nurse anesthetist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, and neonatal intensive care nurse.