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How To Choose A Specialty In Nursing Education
Being a nurse opens up a wide range of career opportunities. You could begin your career in a medical-surgical unit, work in the intensive care unit for a while, and then end up in a private pediatrics practice. However, you will be more satisfied with your work if you select a nursing specialty that aligns with your personality.
But this is easier said than done because the healthcare sector offers several roles for nurses to lend their expertise. Hence choosing one out of a plethora can be quite confusing. To make your decision-making process easier, we recommend you consider some tips to narrow down the most suitable nursing specialty for yourself:
Take work-life balance into account
Determining what hours and days you are available to work is crucial when deciding on a specialization. It is also important to think about how your chosen path will affect your mental health.
Even though all nurses require compassion and may occasionally deal with difficult situations, an FNP may not have to deal with burnout as frequently as other nurses. The reason is- family nurse practitioners enjoy the luxury of deciding their work hours for the most part. The role thus allows them to strike a better balance between personal and professional obligations.
Also, since they can work without a doctor’s supervision, there’s an uptick in demand for these professionals. Since the current work environment gives more weight to a flexible schedule, you may want to consider an online MSN FNP program to fast-track your career.
Every specialization has its own unique experiences and challenges to deal with. Finding a career that complements your nature will help you enjoy the work and the subject matter. Do you thrive in high-pressure, high-adrenaline work environments?? If yes, becoming an emergency nurse practitioner could be ideal. Likewise, if you enjoy working with senior citizens, and have good communication skills and patience, perhaps consider wearing the shoes of a hospice nurse.
Assess your personality
Some individuals are naturally introverted, which means they feel uncomfortable after spending a lot of time with others. They prefer to be alone and want to listen to others rather than speak. Nursing jobs that match these personality traits are hard to come by, but not impossible. Take the example of a nurse educator.
The role demands considerable clinical skills and expertise to plan and administer academic programs for nurses. While these nurses work in social and educational environments like nursing homes and community colleges, their interactions with patients are far less, making the role more apt for introverts.
Before choosing a specialty, consider where your degree can be put to use and how far you are willing to travel to work in your field. Is your area of expertise in high demand in your current city? How far would you be comfortable commuting to get to work? Are you open to the possibility of relocating to another state or even another region of the country? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can allow you to be more strategic in pursuing the right specialization.
Research the academic requirements
Do some research and determine how much education is required for your chosen specialty. For a fair proportion of aspiring nurses, this proves to be a deciding factor in picking a specialty. So much so, because of the time and money involved, some people even decide to put off pursuing a nursing specialty altogether.
Work as a registered nurse (RN) if you are still unclear about your career path after college. Get some experience under your belt. That way, you will have the extra cash and time to research an appropriate specialization.
Learn about the different work environments
The most prevalent work environments for modern nurses are hospitals and clinics. That being said, these are by no means the only places where nurses might find employment. They are recruited in educational institutions and corporate settings. Besides, nurses can also opt to visit patients in their homes or work with law enforcement agencies to solve crimes. Depending on the specialty, you will have to offer your services in a specific setting.
Assess job security
Although nursing is flourishing, some niche roles gather more steam than others. In the management and administration of medical and health services, the BLS predicts an 18 percent rise in jobs through 2028. APRNs are also in high demand since they are qualified to perform many of the same responsibilities as physicians. By 2028, the number of people working as advanced practice registered nurses is expected to rise by a whopping 26 percent.
As time goes by, procedures requiring patients to undergo surgery, such as liposuction, laparotomies, and nose jobs, are more likely to be substituted with less invasive, less expensive options. So you should be cautious while picking such specialties.
Are you looking to work with adults or children or prefer working primarily with women or infants? Your responses to these queries will help you decide which advanced-practice specialty best fits you. Typically, the following six groups of patients are the focus of advanced-practice nurses:
- Psych-mental health;
Figure out your work style
Do you prefer working with a close-knit group of colleagues? Or do you like to do the bulk of your work by yourself? Regardless of how you want to work, it is crucial to consider whether you will be doing things alone or in a group.
Though all nurses must work in close conjunction with their coworkers, some spend more time with colleagues than others. For example, in surgery and obstetrics, doctors, experts, and other nurses have to be present on-site.
The intensive care unit (ICU) is a great place for introverted nurses to thrive because they are typically left to their devices, especially during the overnight shift. Unlike other health care personnel, home health and community nurses spend a lot of time with patients and are not surrounded by other health care staff.
Specialty in Nursing Education: Conclusion
Provided the increasing demand for nurses and the wide variety of roles out there, you may decide to specialize in a particular nursing area. That is where many nurses go wrong. They end up getting hooked up to the wrong nursing specialty. If you are aspiring for the ideal nursing specialization, you should pay attention to the factors listed above before getting enrolled in any program. Doing so will ensure you enjoy your work later on.