You are probably aware that the field of nursing offers many options for specialization. If you like variety and flexibility, this is a fantastic career choice. However, many decisions can be overwhelming when you try to focus on your nursing career path. What education will I need? Will I need experience? How do I get started? Let us take a look at the requirements for popular nursing specialties.
Popular Nursing Specialties
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurse
NICU nurses take care of very ill or prematurely born babies. This specialization is both rewarding and emotionally draining. It is also unbelievably satisfying work. To become a NICU nurse, you will need to pursue either an associate degree in nursing or a Bachelor of Science in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. After building experience as a registered nurse in a neonatal setting, you can sit for the Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) Neonatal certification.
Critical Care Unit Nurse
Critical care or intensive care nurses care for patients with life-threatening health problems. This role demands an awareness of fluctuations in a patient’s status and an ability to think on your feet. For this work, most employers prefer a Bachelor of Science in nursing and the passing of the NCLEX-RN examination. With experience, you may sit for the Critical Care registered nurse (CCRN) adult certification.
This specialty is a common entry point for many new nurses. These nurses do a little bit of everything and work in various health care settings providing direct care to patients. A licensed practical nursing diploma, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in nursing plus successful completion of the NCLEX exam is the requirement for entry. Credentialing, as a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse, is an option.
The nurse educator trains and educates other nurses. Beyond instruction, these educators conduct research to improve nursing standards. These professionals work in classrooms and clinical settings. You will need to start with a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a successful NCLEX-RN exam passage. Most positions in this specialty prefer a Master of Science in nursing or even a doctorate.
Operating room nurses treat patients before, during and after surgical procedures. This career is a high-pressure specialization that demands quick thinking while assisting surgeons in critical situations. The job requires either a licensed practical nursing diploma, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in nursing along with sitting for the NCLEX-RN exam. A Certified Nurse Operating Room Certification is available.
This specialty requires that you spend your time caring for patients with urgent medical problems. It requires focus and an ability to stay calm during emergencies and catastrophic events. No two days are ever similar within this specialty. If you are up to the challenge, it requires either a licensed practical nursing diploma, an associate degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in nursing plus successful completion of the NCLEX exam. With experience, you may wish to complete your Emergency Nursing Certification.
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