Secret to Choosing a Nursing Specialty

With approximately 104 areas that nurses can specialize in, there is a field that suits almost every personality and individual. However, when it comes to analyzing which field is the right fit, finding the right nursing specialty can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is that nurses do not have to be stagnant in one field, but can adventure into the different disciplines sometimes with only a bit of additional training. Before digging into the different areas, it is important to determine the type of degree and certificate that is required. Many nursing fields only require an ADN, but more advanced positions may entail a BSN degree or a specific nursing certificate. Deciding the time allotted to obtain further degrees and certificates should be a deciding factor. Moving along, decipher the type of job characteristics that align with the job desired. Determine some of these characteristics: multifaceted, patient-facing, independent, managerial, structured, research-oriented, fast-paced, and multilingual. Lastly, select the top nursing categories that gauge interest: advanced practice, emergency, psychological, clinical, family, surgical, community, management, and women’s health. (Visit Johnson & Johnson to view a more in-depth look into each category by clicking here.) Also consider the lesser-known nursing specialties such as forensic nursing, telephone-triage nursing, correctional nursing, concierge nursing, flight nursing, and travel nursing.

It is recommended that new nurses do at least two full years in the medical-surgical unit to solidify the nursing fundamentals before deciding a specialty. Taking the recommended two years allows nurses to acclimate to the transition from nursing student to registered nurse and paves the way for them to become confident in their skills and knowledge.

Take a stab at the questions below to hone in on your personal characteristics that you will want to keep in mind once you are ready to select a nursing specialty.

  1. What is your stress level?
  2. What type of environment do you feel comfortable in?
  3. Do you like to work individually, with a small group of colleagues, or with a larger team?
  4. What did you most enjoy about nursing school?
  5. Are you motivated to continue your education if needed?

What will be your nursing specialty?

Click here to take the test, provided by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future!