Nurses play a vital role in the health care industry. Unsurprisingly, they make up 59 percent of all healthcare professionals. The World Health Organization, estimates the global nursing population, to be around 28 million. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing population is expected to expand from 2020 to 2030, with nearly 200,000 job openings in the U.S. alone.
Therefore, your aspirations of becoming a nurse, are more achievable than ever. However, there are various specialties, and it’s crucial to know where your strengths and interests lie.
Here are five of the most popular nursing fields you should know about.
1. Geriatric Nurse
One in seven people in the United States is 65 years or older. According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 92 percent have at least one chronic disease, with 77 percent having at least two. How do seniors get the ultimate health support they require? Enter, the world of geriatrics. Geriatrics is one of various healthcare specialties dedicated to the clinical care of older adults.
Geriatric nurses work in special homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living communities. Apart from administering health care, geriatric nurses also coach families and carers of older people, on how to manage their daily symptoms. For this reason, geriatric nurses require specialized training. To start with, you’ll need a BSN degree. Once completed, you can then register for an online AGNP DNP program.
2. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed practical nursing, can be a great start if you want to advance to associate or bachelor’s degree nursing. These nurses assist physicians by providing patients with basic nursing care. Their services are crucial in the day-to-day running of health facilities. According to BLS, the job outlook for licensed practical nurses, is expected to increase by 9 percent by the end of 2030.
3. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses perform diverse roles, including coordinating patient care, educating patients on healthy living, and providing emotional support. Registered nurses can work as part of a team comprising physicians and other specialists, or as individuals, administering the advice of physicians on duty. It takes about four years to become a qualified registered nurse. You need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to begin working in this field.
4. Nurse Anesthetist
Anesthesia is a highly specialized type of health care. A nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), certified to administer surgical, and general pain management anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists are slightly different to anesthesiologists. The differences between these two roles hinge on the type of supervisory and leadership positions, so the latter attracts over the former. In addition, an anesthesiologist will need to earn an MD and meet the desired requirements to earn that degree, such as taking a residency.
But certified nurse anesthetists, are highly respected for their services and rank eighth in the best health care job list, by the U.S News and World Report. Studies show that they’re the highest-paid nurses in 2022. Nurse anesthetists can work in multiple settings, from clinical to non-clinical settings.
5. Emergency Room Nurse
These nurses mainly operate in surgical theatres and operating rooms. They provide urgent care to patients suffering from life-threatening health conditions. Emergency room nurses have roles similar to nurse anesthetists. However, anesthetists are highly specialized practitioners, and work independently. Emergency room nurses must be effective team players, with excellent communication and coordination skills, who work well with emergency medical staff and first responders.
Generally speaking, nursing can be your best bet if you want a highly diverse, lucrative, and fulfilling role in the health care industry. Feel free to consult a career coach about the long-term implications of venturing into your specific nursing field.