Exploring and Transitioning to Nurse Specialist Jobs

nurse specialist jobs

It doesn’t take long after becoming a nurse to realize the incredible opportunities available to you as one of the most sought-after members of the American healthcare workforce. Once you have gained some experience, the options of where to work and what specialty to dive into are more than abundant.

Specialties like critical care and procedural nursing offer an opportunity to narrow your focus, take part in advanced training, and find more autonomy in the profession. Specialization in nursing can also include the pursuit of advanced nursing degrees that prepare nurses for licensure as advanced practice nurses.

It’s important to put some thought into any specialized career move and pick a course of study that suits your interests and plays to your strengths. If you’re thinking about exploring nurse specialist jobs and making the jump to something new, you’re going to want to make the most of your investment.

The Synergy of Nursing Specialties

Every aspect of healthcare is perpetually evolving, pushing the limits of what medicine can offer in an effort to optimize health and wellness while successfully fighting a variety of diseases.

Running parallel to this evolution are advances in nursing. To keep pace, nursing knowledge, skills, and interventions have become specialized to certain patient populations to create synergy and promote better outcomes.  

Nurses should always strive for better interactions and patient experiences throughout their careers, but true specialization requires much more than just improving your bedside manner. Here are a few of the many specialized nursing opportunities that are both highly valued and require additional training and education. 

Critical Care

Depending on the facility, patients in critical care may need to be placed in a specialized critical care unit. Nurses in these units require individualized skill sets, and include areas like the surgical intensive care unit (SICU), trauma intensive care unit (TICU), cardiothoracic intensive care unit (CTICU), and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Each of these different types of ICUs comes with its own unique attributes. Everything from the providers managing the patients, to specialized procedures, to the devices helping sustain life for these patients requires training above and beyond general nursing practice. 

Procedural Nursing

As with critical care nursing, nursing in procedural areas requires unique knowledge and skills. These include special services like interventional radiology, cardiac catheterization, and  electrophysiology, and offer opportunities to refine your nursing skills to support a very specific and complex set of procedures and interventions.

Patients in these areas often have needs overlapping with critical care. Nurses trained in critical care can find themselves working in procedural settings, and may require intimate knowledge of the equipment and processes so that they function flawlessly in a high-intensity environment.

Case Management

Not all nursing specialties involve direct patient care. As nurses grow in their profession they often gain insight into the many needs patients have beyond the scope of physical care. As a result, some choose to transition to a specialized role in case management.

Nurses working in case management truly operationalize a holistic view of patient care, and work to establish a plan beyond the here and now. Case management professionals help coordinate admission, long-term care facility services, follow-up appointments, and the logistics surrounding medical supplies and medications.

Graduate Nursing Degrees

While exploring nurse specialist jobs through hands-on experience can certainly advance a career, some nurses choose to pursue a more formal approach through postgraduate education. Obtaining a master’s degree or doctorate can open the door to highly-valued lines of nursing care. 

Nursing Education

Not every nursing education role requires a graduate degree, but it certainly helps. Whether considering a role in academia or something more along the lines of nursing professional development in the clinical setting, a graduate degree focused on nursing education is an excellent foundation. 

Learning about curriculum development, adult learning theory, and concepts related to skills acquisition and competency all support your ability to pay it forward as a nurse. Helping the next generation come into the profession and grow professionally can empower you to improve overall standards of care, and touch the lives of a much wider group of patients through the students you train. 

Advanced Practice Nursing

Advanced practice nursing is an umbrella term, identifying nurses with advanced clinical degrees and licensure that allows them to occupy highly-specialized roles. In alignment with their specific state of licensure, APRNs can assess, diagnose, and prescribe treatment for patients in a variety of settings.

  • Nurse practitioners are licensed professionals specializing in patient assessment, diagnosis, and disease management of acute and chronic conditions through the provision of initial and ongoing care. The role of the nurse practitioner can be further divided into specialties focusing on family care, pediatrics, neonatal care, mental health, geriatrics, and women’s health.
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists are also trained in assessing and diagnosing for the purpose of acute and chronic disease management, and can often find roles outside of the direct provider-patient relationship. The CNS is known to fill roles in nursing leadership, education, research, and public health.
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNAs, are trained and licensed to offer a spectrum of anesthesia-related challenges. CRNAs often support care in a variety of clinical settings inside and outside of the hospital.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives specialize in the holistic care of women from adolescence through their post-menopausal years. While providing preventative and primary women’s health as well as obstetrical and gynecological care in a variety of settings, nurse-midwives incorporate and appreciate the natural physiology of the woman’s body into traditional healthcare modalities.

Start Exploring Nurse Specialist Jobs That Could Be Right for You

At some point you were probably thinking, is it worth becoming a nurse? Now that you’re working in the field, you’re probably wondering what’s next!

The possibilities in nursing are virtually endless, and whether you’re thinking about specializing at the bedside or heading back to school for that advanced degree, we promise there is a specialty that’s right for you.

Growing professionally and transitioning into one of many nurse specialist jobs definitely requires the proper training and knowledge. It takes an appreciation for the importance of continuing education and the willingness to put in the effort to learn more. When it comes to advancing your career through study, you’re in luck! Premiere offers a range of high-quality continuing education courses for nurses that can help you discover the specialization that ignites your passion. With our Unlimited Nursing CEU Subscription, you’ll be able to explore all the possibilities a career in nursing can offer you, and get a jump start on making it happen. 

All content by Premiere is created by leading experts and specialists in their fields, and will keep you up to date on all the latest trends throughout your career no matter what nursing specialist jobs are intriguing you today. 

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