Virtually every department in a hospital needs nurses. While the main focus of the job is fundamentally the same—taking care of patients—each area has requirements and tasks that make it unique. Each department may serve a particular type of patient or perform a specific kind of care and finding your niche can help make your nursing career even more rewarding.
During clinicals, you will likely spend time in various departments. As a preview for this experience, let’s look into the day-to-day job of four different nursing niches.
Surgical nurses play an essential role in the operating room, caring for patients before and after a procedure. A surgical nurse prepares the operating room, setting up the tools, and making sure everything is sterile. This nurse also assists the surgical team, handing the doctors their instruments as needed. After the operation, the surgical nurse will clear away the tools and may transport the patient to the recovery room.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
You could argue that the happiest floor of a hospital is the obstetrics unit. Watching a new life come into the world can be very rewarding. Labor and delivery nurses help pregnant women throughout the entire childbirth experience, from early labor to postpartum. Their job is to monitor the mother’s contractions, administer medications, and assist with the delivery. After the baby is born, a labor and delivery nurse will care for the newborn and mother.
If you love children, pediatrics may be a good fit for you. Pediatric nurses provide care for children from infancy through the late teen years, working at hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, schools, or surgical centers. A pediatric nurse will take a child’s vital signs, assist doctors with procedures, administer shots and medication, and provide care instructions to parents. Pediatric nurses may also specialize in certain pediatric care areas, such as cardiology, oncology, trauma, and endocrinology.
A geriatric nurse cares for elderly patients. Like other specialty areas, this type of nurse requires additional training to understand the unique needs of this age group. Elderly patients often have more fragile health and can require more care. Some of the daily tasks include monitoring vital signs, administering medications, transporting patients to treatments, and helping them bathe, dress, and use the bathroom.
It is important to note that you may be interested in more than one nursing niche. Shadowing or talking to nurses who work in those areas can help provide additional perspective and insights. Ask them what the best part of their job is, and what is the most challenging? Additionally, you may find it helpful to ask if a nurse needs specific skills or a particular type of personality to succeed in the specialty.
No matter which niche you pick, nursing is a rewarding career filled with opportunities to learn and grow, and a Fortis nursing education can help you get started on that path. Click here for more information or call us today at and speak to one of our career counselors.