The profession of nursing is extraordinarily broad, which allows you to choose a career based on your interests, personality and preferences. Nursing specialties are diverse and involve numerous medical treatment areas as well as work settings. Your options encompass the entire spectrum of patient care.
Specialties Within Hospital/Clinical Settings
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest percentage of nurses are employed in private general and medical surgical hospitals. Specialties within this category relate to different diseases and different organ systems of the body. Examples of specialties in disease areas would include diabetes, infectious disease and AIDS nursing. Examples of specialties in organ systems areas would involve cardiac, nephrology and neurological nursing.
This medical/surgical category could be divided into further subcategories in different ways. One division would involve specialties relating to age, such as geriatric and pediatric nursing. Other specialties would pertain to various departments within a hospital, such as perioperative and sub-acute care nursing along with trauma and rehabilitation nursing. Finally, some specialties would involve concentrating on a particular medical procedure like intravenous therapy or perianesthesia nursing.
Specialties Outside of Hospital Settings
Aside from hospitals, as a nurse you can work in settings within the community. These settings include offices, schools and occupational health nursing as well as correctional and telephone triage nursing.
While all the aforementioned specialties are most popular, the nursing profession is broader still, including areas such as flight, legal and forensic nursing in addition to research and travel nursing. This healing profession is needed in many areas not primarily associated with medical treatment.
If you desire to further your education beyond a bachelor's degree, you have more options. Additional training can open the door to specialty careers such as a nurse anesthetist or a nurse midwife, for example.
The extensive scope of choices available to you in the nursing field is a distinct advantage of this profession. If you adore children, you may gravitate toward a career in pediatrics. On the other hand, if you have a passion for helping people regain their function and independence, you may be most attracted to rehabilitation nursing. The range of nursing specialties gives you the ability to fine-tune your career, and focus on a particular concentration that best suits you. Acquiring an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor of science degree in nursing is the first step to becoming a registered nurse, which is a prerequisite to fulfilling work in any of these specialty areas.
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