Nursing fields have become more specialized as medical science has advanced. "One nurse fits all" is no longer the case, especially with specialized certifications available in almost every field. But how do you decide which field of nursing is the best fit for you?
Who Do You Want to Work With?
Do you love children? Do you want to assist mothers through the births of their children? Do you have a deep respect for veterans of the military? Would you like to help care for patients undergoing cancer treatments? Or would you rather work in a nursing home or assisted living facility? Think about which patient group you are especially passionate about caring for. This can help be a guide to where you want to focus your career. It is much easier to care for patients with one hundred percent effort if there is an emotional investment in your work. Nursing school is a great time to get a feel for which patient group interests you because you are exposed to many fields in a short period.
What Jobs Are Available?
The first nursing field that you enter may not be the field that you spend the rest of your life in. Sometimes, your specialty is determined by job availability. If you want to work in pediatrics, but the med-surg telemetry job is open and you get hired for it, then it's a good idea to take the job that wants you. After a couple years of experience, you can apply to the pediatric position with a full résumé and great references.
Building Important Experience
Some nursing fields require nurses to have experience in other fields before they can have the job of their dreams. For example, working in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) usually requires at least two years of critical care experience. So if you know that you want to work as in the PACU, look for jobs in critical care to help you get the required experience. If the critical care jobs require experience in telemetry, you can take that step first.
Keep Your Eyes Open
In the meantime, while you are gaining experience to get into your chosen nursing field, you may fall in love with another field of nursing and go in a different direction. That's the beauty of nursing — even though you may choose one field, you can go into another with some field-specific training. You never have to be bored or feel stagnant, because there is always another mountain to climb or area to explore.
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