Five Great Nursing Specialties

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses (RN) jobs are expected to grow more than 22 percent by 2018. While there are many excellent job prospects in nursing, here are five specialties outlined below are particularly interesting for a prospective nursing school graduate.

1. Nurse Practitioner

In the 1960s, a shortage of physicians brought about the need for a new healthcare role— the nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners promote a comprehensive approach to health care and emphasize the overall health and wellness of their patients. They are qualified to meet the majority of patients’ healthcare needs. In fact, the American Nurses Association cites that 60 to 80 percent of the primary and preventative care doctors traditionally have performed can be administered by nurse practitioners.

While nurse practitioners make a healthy $84,250 a year on average according to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, they continue to be a more affordable employment option than most doctors. And, with President Barack Obama’s recent healthcare reform initiatives, many insurance companies are focusing even more on the prevention of health-related issues, which brings a huge opportunity to the table for nurses nationwide.

2. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Anesthetists administer medications to keep patients asleep or pain-free during surgery and constantly monitor every important function of the patient’s body Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . Like the medications they give their patients and unlike most nursing professions, nurse anesthetists’ services are billable.

3. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Today’s patients have a wealth of information at their fingertips; they ask more questions and are better educated about their healthcare than ever before. Clinical Nurse Specialists serve as expert consultants for nursing staffs and take an active hand in improving health care delivery systems ( Most importantly, clinical nurse specialists use their expert knowledge to give patients the answers they are looking for.

4. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses work within the community to promote health and prevent disease, injury, and disability. Similar to nurse practitioners, public health nurses stand to directly benefit from Health Care Reform’s focus on prevention. In addition, as the Baby Boomer population continues to age, public health nurses will be needed to support the health care agencies many of them will rely on.

5. Nurse Midwives

There are approximately 490,000 babies born every day worldwide, according to Wiki Answers. The steady arrival of babies entering the world brings the demand for certified healthcare professionals to assist with the delivery and postnatal care. Certified Nurse Midwives provide a full range of primary health care services to women, including gynecology check-ups, family planning services, preconception care, prenatal and postpartum care and delivering babies, as cited by the Princeton Review. In addition, nurse midwives focus on natural health care remedies—a popular trend as patients become more educated on the benefits of natural care.

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