5 Up-and-Coming Nursing Specialties
• Neonatal Nurse
• Certified Dialysis Nurse
• Nurse Midwife
• Legal Nurse Consultant
• Nurse Practitioner
Nursing is a growing field that also includes many rapidly-growing nursing specialties. The increasing demand to provide better healthcare for patients has also put a demand for qualified healthcare providers, and nurses are at the top of the list. Choosing a nursing specialty can be a difficult decision with so many available. Some choose a specialty based on income and job growth while others base their choice on their career aspirations and where they hope to work. To make the choice a little easier, here is a list of five growing nursing specialties.
Related resource: 15 Most Affordable Best Online RN to BSN Nursing Degree Programs
1. Neonatal Nurse
A neonatal nurse is a registered nurse who works with infants born with medical conditions that require extra care, such as birth defects, cardiac issues or other genetic disorders. They usually work with newborns but may also care for babies until they leave the hospital or even up to the age of two in certain cases. Neonatal nurses typically work in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a hospital and work closely with other healthcare professionals. Neonatal nurses must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and specialized training or experience working with neonates.
2. Certified Dialysis Nurse
Dialysis nurses work with patients requiring dialysis, including peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis as well as those who have had kidney transplants. To become a certified dialysis nurse, the candidate must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and must complete several dialysis-related courses, such as pharmacology and nephrology. To obtain the Certified Dialysis Nurse credential, the RN must have at least 2,000 hours of experience working with dialysis and nephrology patients in the previous two years, 15 hours of nephrology continuing education and must pass a certification exam. Nurse Journal reports that certified dialysis nursing is one of the fastest-growing nursing specialties.
An individual who has an interest in delivering babies and providing postnatal care to babies and new mothers find working as a midwife a good fit. Nurse-midwives work with the mother before, during and after delivery. A nurse-midwife may have a bachelor’s degree in nursing followed by a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery. The master’s degree is typically earned after obtaining several years of experience working as an RN. Nurse-midwives work in clinics, hospitals or may have their own practice. Many midwives still make house calls to patients.
4. Legal Nurse Consultant
Legal nurse consultants are medical professionals who have experience working as registered nurses and are also qualified to work as legal consultants on medical cases. Some legal nurse consultants have previously worked as licensed nurses, and others still work as RNs. They have to be knowledgeable of medical terminology so they can translate during court cases. They often work as liaisons between medical professionals and legal professions. Their expertise in both areas make them expert witnesses in court cases, such as malpractice suits. Legal nurse consultants must have a nursing license and some legal training.
5. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioner has become a very popular and growing nursing specialty. As healthcare providers strive to provide better healthcare to more patients, they’re relying more and more on nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who work under the supervision of doctors and provide healthcare to patients. They work in clinics, hospitals and outpatient clinics. Nurse practitioners must have a master’s degree and several years of nursing experience. They must also obtain licensure and certification by passing a test administered through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Working as a registered nurse can be challenging, lucrative and extremely rewarding. There will also be a need for nurses and nursing specialists. As the medical industry continues to look for better treatments and cures for diseases, the need for specialized nurses will soar. Choosing a growing nursing specialty with good job potential and one that interests a nurse can only add more benefits to the nurse’s career.