Becoming a nurse practitioner opens many doors. An advanced degree provides higher starting salaries, salary leverage, and the opportunity to specialize in many different areas of nursing. What’s more, nurses, at all levels of experience, are needed to fill increasing job opportunities. As our population ages and lives longer, the nursing shortage becomes more critical. Additionally, many nurses are reaching retirement age. The take away? It’s time to take your career to the next level and become a nurse practitioner.
If you’re already a R.N. with a few years of experience in the field, becoming a nurse practitioner is a great career move. Not only will you become an expert in your field, but you’ll also numerous other benefits such as schedule flexibility, income growth, better benefits, just to name a few. But if you’re not sure what area to specialize in, we’ve provide the top five nurse practitioner specialties to help you get started.
- Nurse Educator: If you’re interested in stepping away from the bedside, becoming a nurse educator might be a specialization worth considering. A nurse educator is a registered professional nurse with an advanced degree who teaches and prepares licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN) for entry into practice positions.
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: A clinical nurse specialist is a multifaceted position with the purpose of providing direct care, case management, and counseling services for patients. You’ll need an advanced degree and an interest in leadership, staff development, and clinical research. This role is instrumental in optimizing workflow, improving patient care, and streamlining processes.
- Women’s Health Nurse: A women’s health nurse is exactly that. These advanced practice RNs are trained in primary and gynecologic care of women including reproductive-gynecologic health and other relevant areas. They work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, community centers, private practices, outpatient centers, and many other facilities.
- Nurse Anesthetist: If anesthesia interests you, working as a nurse anesthetist might be an option. You’ll assist in the administration of anesthesia as well as care for patients during the recovery phase of treatment. It’s a demanding job, one that requires extra training and certification, but the rewards are plentiful.
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: A neonatal nurse practitioner is a very professional. These advanced practice nurses specialize in the care of infants and newborns. They monitor premature and sick babies as well as assist families in learning more about their newborn.