Five Specialty Career Choices for Nurses


Nurses are vital to healthcare, as they provide specialized care to patients with specific needs. Besides, nurses with specialization in a particular area are trained to provide advanced care to patients with complex health conditions. Their expertise allows them to provide better patient outcomes. In addition, they often have the opportunity to work in various settings, from hospitals and clinics to schools and communities.

Numerous specialty nursing careers like emergency nursing, critical care nursing, community health nursing, and psychiatric nursing are available. These all require additional education and training. These career paths also offer higher salaries and increased opportunities for career advancement.

Choosing a specialty in nursing is an important decision that can impact your entire career. By picking a specialty that aligns with your passion and skills, you can provide exceptional patient care while building a fulfilling and rewarding career in nursing. It’s important to consider your interests, strengths, and job outlook when deciding which specialty to pursue.

How to Choose a Specialty?

Do you find yourself drawn to certain patient populations or types of care? Consider your strengths and weaknesses as a nurse and how they may apply to different specialties.

Job outlook and demand are important factors to consider when choosing a specialty. Texas has a high demand for nurses in many areas, including critical care and geriatrics. Educational and certification requirements also play a role in choosing a specialty. Some specialties may require additional education and training beyond a bachelor’s degree in nursing, such as becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist. 

If you find it difficult to pursue your dreams by going to the campus in person, you can opt to enroll in one of the Lamar University online nursing programs. These programs offer advanced practice nursing tracks to help you achieve your career goals while balancing your personal and professional responsibilities. 

  1. Specializations in Acute Care

Specializations in Acute Care require a high level of skill and expertise, as these nurses are responsible for providing care to critically ill or injured patients. Emergency nurses are trained to respond quickly and efficiently to medical emergencies, triage patients, and provide life-saving interventions. Critical care nurses work in intensive care units, managing and monitoring patients with serious illnesses or injuries. 

Cardiovascular nurses specialize in caring for patients with heart conditions, providing treatments and education to promote heart health. 

Neurology nurses assist in caring for patients with brain and nervous system disorders, working closely with physicians to provide optimal treatment plans. 

Oncology nurses work with cancer patients, providing support and administering chemotherapy and other treatments. 

These specialties require a high level of education and training, with some requiring additional certifications beyond a nursing degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. As the demand for acute care nurses grows, those specializing in these areas will be in high demand and play a critical role in providing quality patient care.

2. Specializations in Mental Health

Specializations in Mental Health provide nurses with the opportunity to work with patients who have a variety of mental health disorders. Psychiatric nursing is a specialty that focuses on providing care for patients with mental health disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Nurses in this field must have excellent communication skills and a deep understanding of mental health disorders.

Substance abuse nursing, on the other hand, focuses on helping patients overcome addiction to drugs or alcohol. Nurses in this field need to be knowledgeable about the effects of drugs and alcohol on the body and the latest treatments for addiction.

3. Specializations in Pediatrics

Specializing in Pediatrics is a rewarding career path for nurses who love working with children. There are two primary specialties within pediatrics: neonatal nursing and pediatric nursing. Neonatal nurses care for newborns requiring intensive medical attention, often in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). These nurses must be skilled in monitoring vital signs, administering medications, and caring for critically ill infants. 

On the other hand, pediatric nurses provide care to children from infancy to adolescence, often working in hospital settings or pediatric clinics. They must be knowledgeable in the developmental stages of children and can provide age-appropriate care. Nurses work closely with parents and families in both specialties, providing education and support during difficult and emotional times. For those passionate about caring for children, specializing in pediatrics can be a fulfilling and impactful career choice.

4. Specializations in Women’s Health

Specializations in Women’s Health, specifically Obstetric and Gynecologic nursing, are crucial for promoting the health and well-being of women at all stages of life. Obstetric nurses provide care and support to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, ensuring a safe and positive birthing experience. They also provide education on prenatal care, childbirth preparation, and postpartum recovery. 

Gynecologic nurses, on the other hand, specialize in women’s reproductive health and provide care related to issues such as menstrual irregularities, sexually transmitted infections, and menopause. They perform routine screenings, such as Pap tests, and provide education on contraception and family planning. 

Both specialties require a high level of expertise and knowledge and the ability to provide compassionate and empathetic care. 

5. Specializations in Gerontology

Geriatric nursing is a specialty that focuses on the health and well-being of elderly patients. Gerontological nurses have the unique opportunity to care for a population often marginalized and overlooked, providing comprehensive and holistic care to promote their physical, emotional, and social health. They work in various settings, including long-term care facilities, hospitals, and community-based organizations. They often collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop individualized patient care plans. Geriatric nursing requires clinical skills, empathy, compassion, and patience to communicate effectively with patients and their families. With this specialization, you can pursue a rewarding career path if you are passionate about serving the elderly and making a positive impact on their lives.


Choosing a specialty that aligns with your interests and strengths is crucial to your success as a nurse. You will enjoy your work more, and your patients will benefit from your expertise and passion. Specialty nursing has a significant impact on patient care and outcomes. Becoming an expert in a specific area can provide better quality care, improve patient satisfaction, and save lives. Whether you choose acute care, non-acute care, mental health, pediatrics, women’s health, gerontology, or advanced practice nursing, finding a specialty that aligns with your goals and personality is essential. So take the time to assess your skills and interests, consider job outlook and demand, and pursue the necessary education and certification to achieve your career goals as a specialty nurse.