There is no denying that nursing is both a rewarding and challenging profession. When you start as a nurse, your job is highly patient-centered. This includes updating the electronic health chart, monitoring the vital signs, and asking primary questions about their symptoms. However, as you progress through your career as a nurse and look towards specialization, your role shifts dynamically. While you’re still at the forefront of providing patients with care, you have far more liberty in making decisions based on your skill and expertise.
Additionally, nursing specialization opens doors toward research, gives you more opportunities to find your niche, and paves a path to a stable income. So, if you have been thinking of specializing for a while, look no further. Investing time into acquiring a specialty takes you into a land of opportunities. Let’s demonstrate a few.:
1. You Gain More Autonomy
Specialization gives you the space to practice your career freely without the need for constant physician supervision. As a nurse, that is a massive shift from working under doctors to becoming their counterparts. While you may not do everything a doctor can, you can still order tests, interpret lab results and explain a diagnosis. As a result, patients may prefer you as a primary care practitioner. So, as you move from RN to FNP, you go through intense clinical training, get a deeper insight into looking after patients, and get a chance to expand your skill set, which allows you to practice with full authority successfully.
There are roughly 28 states in which you can practice on a state level without the need for a physician to intervene. For instance, states like Maryland, Massachusetts, and South Dakota are nurse practitioners’ havens. As technology like telehealth becomes more mainstream, with patients preferring online checkups over physical meetings, your degree can help you take care of patients virtually.
2. Access To High Paying Salaries
A stable income is an integral part of any profession. If you’re spending time, energy, and skills to do your job, it’s natural to want a good salary. Therefore, by looking into nursing specializations, you bump your chances of getting paid quite handsomely.
Depending on the state you’re working in, the discipline you go for can secure you excellent monetary benefits. For instance, as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you can make up to $88 an hour, which amounts to roughly $183,000 per year. California is one of the best paying states for nurses with a specialization if you go by state. By getting a job on the west coast, you can make a six-figure salary.
3. You Stay In Demand
Nurses with specialization are in high demand with the nationwide shortage of physicians, especially after the pandemic of 2019. Your skills are very much needed. By getting a master’s, you can take care of many acute illnesses such as a sudden heart attack, bronchitis, common colds, and pneumonia.
You’re also valuable to the aging population since more than 16% of the American people are baby boomers. Senior patients need more attention and care and your guidance in managing chronic conditions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners will see a growth rate of over 28% by 2028.
4. Excellent Working Hours
Nursing can often get tedious because of the extensive working hours. Depending on the type of work you choose, you can create a manageable working schedule for yourself. For instance, as a Nurse Care Manager, you’re responsible for coordinating and dispatching care plans for physicians and doctors to discuss with their patients. According to hospital policy, you may also step in and talk about treatment options with patients. This is a typical nine to five job and doesn’t require you to stay back for an extensive period. You also don’t need to pull a weekend shift unless necessary.
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But if you choose to work in the emergency room as an emergency care nurse, you should expect longer working hours, get called into work at odd hours, and stay back for the weekend. You may need to work eight to twelve hours shifts depending on the number of cases for the day. However, most nurse practitioner jobs are flexible with reasonable working hours, giving you ample time to go home and relax. This makes the profession enjoyable and prevents you from feeling burnt out at work.
5. Multiple Options To Choose From
Nursing specializations are not restrictive. The sub-field you choose can expose you to different work environments extending beyond hospital walls. As a public health nurse, you will be responsible for community wellness and education. This includes discussing prevalent infectious diseases found within the population, administering care to those who can’t access hospitals, and even working with school children to establish healthy habits early.
On the other hand, you will work with patients experiencing mental health disorders as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Your advanced skillset puts you in an ideal position to diagnose, treat and design a regime to control mental health conditions that develop either from substance abuse or genetics.
Other specializations include pediatrics, where you provide care to children from toddlers to young adults ensuring they have a healthy upbringing, get their vaccines on time, and get treated for common illnesses such as ear infections. Having options allows you to explore your interests, find a profession that suits your personality, and align yourself with a field where you’re most comfortable working.
6. Immense Job Satisfaction
Your profession is a part of you. It molds your identity and gives you a sense of purpose. So, feeling happy at work is pivotal as it motivates you to perform better. The connections you develop with patients, and their respect make you feel appreciated for your work. You are both a healer and a mentor for your patients, and your guidance helps in subsiding numerous health-related diseases. So when you get praised at work, receive your fair dues, and get to make a change on a broad scale, you will feel satisfied at work.
Going for a nurse specialization degree is the best choice for your career. An advanced degree gives you the independence and liberty that makes you a valuable asset to your patients. You also manage to secure a stable income for yourself, which can lessen the financial stress. Nurse specialists are also in demand. The healthcare sector is rapidly expanding, and with the high number of patients, the medical services industry needs your expertise.
In addition, you get to choose your working hours, giving you ample time to relax and decide the kind of working environment you wish for yourself. Nursing specializations are also a vast sector that allows you to define your career trajectory. Finally, the job satisfaction you feel is immeasurable. When you’re happy, enjoy working with patients, and witness the change you’re bringing, you get a strong sense of belonging. A sensation everyone seeks for their profession.