Nurses play a key role in all healthcare settings, like clinics, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and more. They are crucial members of the healthcare industry, and healthcare facilities can’t function without them.
The US is facing nurse shortages in different states. Therefore, healthcare facilities are offering competitive salaries and other benefits to hire and retain experienced and competent nurses.
The primary job duties of all nurses are similar to each other. However, specialized duties can differ based on the specialization you pursue. For example, all nurses know the basics of providing medical care, but pediatric nurses are specialized in providing medical care to children — from infancy to teenage. Similarly, cardiac nurses provide assistance to surgeons during cardiac examinations or surgeries.
Nursing can be a lucrative career that offers job stability, a competitive salary, and plenty of professional growth opportunities. Many nurses with a bachelor’s in nursing can apply for entry-level jobs. However, a master’s is required for more specialized job roles – to quickly grow in your career.
You can pursue a master’s in nursing in your preferred specialization. Several colleges across America offer online courses and degrees.
An online degree can be an ideal option to gain more knowledge, upskill, and stand out in the job market. If you plan to work full-time or part-time while pursuing your master’s degree, an online degree can be the perfect option for you. Several universities offer various online MSN FNP courses at an affordable tuition fee. You can assess the job outlook of different specializations before pursuing them, some of which are discussed below.
1. Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners provide care to long-term patients requiring continuous medical attention. They assess the ailments of their patients and design a comprehensive treatment plan. They use their knowledge and skills to help patients manage their health.
Family nurse practitioners may work in a private clinic or open their own practice. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of nurse practitioners will increase by 31% in the next ten years. Therefore, family nursing is a promising specialty with steady career growth.
The main duties of a family nurse practitioner include:
- Focusing on disease prevention
- Diagnosing diseases
- Ordering lab tests
- Conducting regular patient check-ups
- Prescribing medicine, therapy, and other treatments
- Providing assistance in minor surgeries
2. Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric nurses are registered nurses and specialize in providing medical care to children from birth to their late teenage years. They work with pediatricians and other hospital staff to provide optimal care. They form a friendly bond with regular patients, which helps kids feel comfortable before treatment.
The job outlook for pediatric nurses is excellent and is predicted to grow by 26% in the coming years. Therefore, it is a promising specialty with plenty of growth opportunities. The primary duties of pediatric nurses include:
- Keeping the record of the height and weight of each patient
- Recording the vital signs of the children
- Providing care to chronically ill patients
- Empowering parents to provide optimal care to their children
- Preparing children for surgery and looking after them afterward
3. Forensic Nurse
Forensic nurses play an essential role in forensic investigations. They work closely with law enforcement agencies, doctors, and lab technicians. They prepare evidence reports for crime victims and collect evidence from the crime scene and the dead bodies.
The job outlook for forensic nurses is promising with steady growth. Forensic nurses can earn a six-figure salary based on their qualifications and work experience. More forensic nurses are required in the coming years to meet the public health demand.
The main responsibilities of a forensic nurse include:
- Treating victims of a crime
- Delivering expert testimony in legal procedures
- Reporting potential crimes to law enforcement agencies
- Protecting the privacy of victims
- Sending out evidence to appropriate labs
4. Public Health Nurse
Public health nurses perform the crucial task of educating the public about the latest health threats and how to avoid them. They organize awareness campaigns and educational programs to help remote communities and teach them about the prevention of diseases and different treatment options.
The employment opportunities for public health nurses are expected to grow by 19%. Public health nurses can be employed in community hospitals and other healthcare settings. The main duties of public health nurses include:
- Evaluating health threats in a community
- Educating the public about the provision of primary care to family members and other individuals
- Working with government officials to develop public policy
5. Emergency Room Nurse
An ER nurse performs crucial tasks with other medical professionals in an emergency room. Emergency room nurses work in high-pressure scenarios and look after critical patients. Whenever a new patient arrives, the first concern of the ER nurse is to stabilize the patient and communicate the diagnosis to the doctors.
The expected job growth of ER nurses is 16%, which means plenty of job openings, a competitive salary, and other benefits. The primary duties of an emergency room nurse include:
- Setting broken bones
- Performing intubations
- Administering medications
- Maintaining patient records
- Transferring stable patients out of the emergency room
6. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
CRNAs are advanced registered nurses, and their primary role is administering anesthesia and other medicine to patients, specifically during surgery. They also monitor and look after the patient before and after anesthesia administration.
CRNAs are in high demand across the US, and this nursing specialization is expected to grow by 45% in the next ten years. Therefore, if you plan to pursue this specialization, now is the time.
The main duties of a nurse anesthetist include:
- Monitoring the response of a patient to anesthesia
- Identifying risks like allergies and overdose before administration
- Carefully injecting the appropriate dosage
- Educating patients before administering and after recovering from anesthesia
The Wrap Up
Nurses play an essential role in all healthcare settings. They assist other medical professionals in performing crucial medical procedures. A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required for entry-level jobs. However, a master’s degree is required to work in specialized roles.
Nurses are in high demand across the US. The job outlook for almost all nursing specialties is excellent. You can become a family nurse practitioner, public health nurse, emergency room nurse, certified registered nurse anesthetist, forensic nurse, or pediatric nurse based on your interest. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the career outlook of some nursing specialties.