Healthcare careers are offering unprecedented demand and growth right now. By 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 15% increase in healthcare roles. This high demand for healthcare professionals has led to an increase in career options for registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses who want to get into highly-specialist roles.
Today, nurses can choose from a wide range of specialist areas that provide a fulfilling work experience, an opportunity to focus on your main interests and strengths in the workplace, and competitive salaries. These specialist areas allow nurses to focus on a particular area of practice or patient population. Some nursing specialties that are in high demand right now include:
Pediatric nursing is becoming a more popular choice as nurses want to be able to work in a role that allows them to make an impact in the lives of the youngest patients. Working in pediatric nursing is a very rewarding role, focusing on the healthcare needs of children from birth to young adulthood.
Pediatric nursing involves a range of different roles, with registered pediatric nurses able to work up the career ladder within this specialty, for example, with pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs from Baylor University that allow them to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner in a role that offers more autonomy and responsibility along with higher salary expectations.
Acute Care and Trauma Nursing
Trauma and acute care nurses work in emergency rooms, in acute and critical care settings such as the ICU, or are part of emergency medical response teams. They provide care to patients who are in critical, unstable and life-threatening conditions due to serious illness or injury.
To work in this high-demand role, nurses are required to undergo specialist training that provides them with the high level of skill and knowledge that is required to work alongside physicians and stabilize patients in serious conditions.
The roles involved in working as a trauma or acute care nurse include administering IV fluids, emergency medications, and blood transfusions; operating life-saving equipment; monitoring patient vital signs, and caring for wounds. Two years of experience working as a registered nurse is usually required to get into this role, and you will need to gain a Certified Trauma Nurse certificate.
Family Nurse Practitioner
The role of a family nurse practitioner is quickly becoming one of the most popular and in-demand in the healthcare industry today. Family nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who have a main role of working with patients of all ages, typically in a primary care setting.
To get into this role, you will need to earn at least a master’s degree in nursing. Family nurse practitioners are becoming increasingly important to primary care since there are fewer medical students deciding to get into this area, creating a shortage of general practitioners. In twenty US states, nurse practitioners have full practice authority, which allows family nurse practitioners to diagnose, prescribe medication, and treat patients without the need for authorization from a primary care doctor.
Neonatal nursing is a specialty area that offers high demand and excellent salaries. Neonatal nurses are advanced practice registered nurses who have received highly specialist training to work in the NICU and care for infants who have been born prematurely or at risk of complications that require them to have highly specialist care in the first few days or weeks of their lives.
Neonatal nurses tend to work exclusively in the NICU where they are tasked with caring for babies born with a range of health conditions including premature birth, drug dependency, birth defects, and genetic conditions. A BSN and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program certificate are the minimum requirements for becoming a neonatal nurse.
Within this specialist area there are further opportunities for nurses to advance their careers, including the role of a neonatal nurse practitioner, which will usually require a master’s degree plus further specialist neonatal care training.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Psychiatric mental health registered nurses are specialist nurses who work with patients to treat and improve mental health. In this role, you will typically be working in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or residential programs that specialize in treating patients with mental health conditions and concerns.
This area of nursing focuses on treating patients with a wide range of psychiatric conditions including but not limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse issues, and dementia. There are also further opportunities to advance within this role, including working as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, an advanced role that requires at least an MSN along with specialist psychiatric nursing training.
A nurse anesthetist works in a role where they are tasked with preparing and treating patients who are undergoing surgical procedures. The main role of this specialist nurse is to administer anesthesia and pain medication to patients.
They are also responsible for monitoring vital signs throughout the surgical procedure and during recovery, and will work with patients of all ages to provide care during both scheduled and emergency operations. Due to the high level of skill required to work in this role, nurses need to gain an MSN degree and specialist training in anesthesiology, along with a specialist certification and license to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse.
Oncology nursing is a role that involves caring for patients who are in treatment for cancer. Oncology nurses will often specialize in a subfield of this area, typically focusing on treating patients who are suffering from a certain type of cancer, or a certain patient population such as children or the elderly.
Oncology nurses undergo specialist training that allows them to identify symptoms, administer cancer treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and monitor patient progress. Oncology nurses are also often tasked with providing end-of-life care and making sure that patients are in a comfortable, safe, and supportive environment while receiving cancer treatment.
The various specialist and advanced roles make nursing an ideal career for ambitious and caring people. These are just some of the nursing specialties experiencing a high demand right now.