31 Best Specialty Career Choices For Nurses

These 31 nursing careers were selected due to their impressive salary, work setting, and high demand, if you’re searching for a career in nursing, this list may help you discover the route that’s right for you. *All salary data is sourced from Indeed.com

1. Certified Dialysis Nurse

One of the fastest growing specialties, a certified dialysis nurse assists individuals who have severe problems with their kidneys.

How to Become One

To become a certified dialysis nurse, you will need 2000 hours of experience in caring for nephrology and dialysis patients over a period of two years. Fifteen hours of continuing education in nephrology, an RN license, and the capability to pass a certification test.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$63,500 a year.

2. Legal Nurse Consultant

A certified legal nurse consultant uses their expertise to consult on medical lawsuits, offering information about the healthcare system.

How to Become One

To become a legal nurse consultant, you will need a registered nurse license, but a BSN is not always required.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$62,100 a year.

3. Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife delivers babies, as well as providing healthcare before, during and after the birth for both the mother and the child. They can conduct gynecological exams, prenatal and postnatal care, as well as family-planning information.

How to Become One

To become a nurse midwife, you will need a Master of Science in nursing, and a midwife-specialty program could help.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 31% by 2022.

Salary

$79,000 a year.

4. Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist helps to provide patients with anesthesia when they are being prepared for surgery, and can assist in caring for individuals during their time in the operating room.

How to Become One

A nurse anesthetist needs to gain two years of experience as a nurse with their BSN before enrolling in a MSN in nurse anesthesia program. A doctoral degree may also be required.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 22% by 2022.

Salary

$154,300 a year.

5. Nurse Case Manager

A nurse care manager monitors the progress of patients, suggests alternative treatments and evaluates their care.

How to Become One

Some RN-MSN programs offer a case-management option.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$68,032 a year.

6. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators combine a passion for teaching with clinical expertise to design, evaluate, and implement education programs for nurses, teaching at schools, universities and colleges.

How to Become One

A nurse educator will need a doctoral or master’s degree in nursing.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 19% by 2022.

Salary

$65,000 a year.

 

7. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty care, often working collaboratively with a doctor, although some states allow NPs their own clinics.

How to Become One

An RN license with at least an MSN degree.

Job Growth Trends

By 2022, this field should grow by 25%.

Salary

$94,000 a year.

8. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers create reports based on analysis and research gathered within the nursing field. They aim to improve medical and healthcare services.

How to Become One

Although a registered nurse with a BSN could get this job, those with an MSN or higher have a better chance obtaining the position.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$90,000 a year.

9. Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurses provide data on healthcare to doctors, nurses, patients, and other healthcare providers, as well as providing training on updated applications.

How to Become One

At least a BSN, though many employers require an MSN in health informatics, quality management or healthcare management.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$83,000 a year.

10. Endocrinology Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses specializing in endocrinology help children suffering from diseases and disorders affecting the endocrine system, educating them, and their parents about sexual development and growth issues.

How to Become One

An RN license, two years of experience, and internships at pediatric-endocrinology locations.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$81,000 a year.

11. Travel Nurse

Travel nurses provide healthcare services to medical facilities and hospitals that have a short term need.

How to Become One

An RN license, two years of nursing experience in one or more facilities, and a BSN.

Job Growth Trends

By 2022, the demand should grow by 20%.

Salary

$70,000 + benefits and a housing allowance.

12. Chief Nursing Officer

Chief nursing officers provide strategic planning help, administrative leadership, and senior management expertise within various healthcare organizations.

How to Become One

Chief nursing officers must have an RN license and complete graduate programs in nursing.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

Between $90,000 and $134,000 a year.

13. Nursing Administrator

Nursing administrators provide management support and specialized human resource within medical facilities. They also recruit, train and hire staff, handling various business aspects within healthcare organizations.

How to Become One

Nursing experience combined with graduate level nursing degree.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

Between $79,000 and $99,000 a year.

14. Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses work in the intensive care unit of hospitals, and often work in a team to provide the best possible care.

How to Become One

A critical care nurse needs a BSN, plus additional training and continuous education in order to stay relevant in the field of critical care. They should have at least 2 years’ experience in critical care.

Job Growth Trends

16% by 2022.

Salary

$61,000 a year.

15. Diabetes Nurse

Diabetes nurses work with those who have diabetes, providing patient education, including fitness and nutrition information.

How to Become One

Become an RN then work in a facility specializing in diabetes. You will need a master of science in nursing and 500 hours working in a diabetic clinic.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 39% by 2022.

Salary

$75,000 a year.

16. Family Nurse Practitioner

A family nurse practitioner takes care of the majority of a person’s aches and pains throughout their lives. They examine patients, diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments.

How to Become One

You will need a BSN and MSN in nursing and pass the RN examination.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$94,407 a year.

17. Health Policy Nurse

Health policy nurses work with patients on a social level to create policies that will hopefully promote a healthier population, analyzing laws and suggesting new policies where necessary.

How to Become One

RN license, plus a BSN and MSN in nursing. You will need to perform a 10-week residency with an appropriate facility.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$95,000 a year.

18. Medical Surgical Nurse

Medical surgical nurses perform numerous jobs, including caring for and monitoring adult patients, working with medications and assisting in surgeries.

How to Become One

RN license, two years of experience, plus 2000 hours working in a surgical nursing facility. You must then pass a credential exam.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 30% by 2022.

Salary

$75,000 a year.

19. Nurse Advocate

A nurse advocate provides a link between medical professionals, doctors and the patient, explaining and exploring alternative treatment options with the patient and family.

How to Become One

RN license followed by a BSN. After some experience in a hospital, you will need continued education in financial and social matters relating to healthcare.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 19% by 2022.

Salary

$57,000 a year.

20. Nurse Attorney

Since few attorneys have medical knowledge of nurses, nurse attorneys are typically in high demand, and work in various settings, including hospital legal departments and litigation firms.

How to Become One

BSN and RN, followed by three years of education at a law school, after which you will take your bar exam.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 10% by 2020.

Salary

$110,000 a year.

21. Pain Management Nurse

A pain management nurse examines patients and helps to determine the cause of the pain, before consulting with other nurses and doctors to decide upon the correct course of treatment.

How to Become One

BSN and RN license, alongside a great deal of experience. You will need to have worked full time as an RN for two years before taking a certification exam, and have 2000 hours of experience in pain management nursing.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2020.

Salary

$78,000 a year.

22. Perianesthesia Nurse

A perianesthesia nurse works with people who are beginning to come out of anesthesia.

How to Become One

Similarly to a pain management nurse, you will need an RN and BSN, alongside a lot of experience. Your electives in nursing should focus on perianesthesia and anesthesia, and if possible you should work for around 1800 hours in a perianesthesia setting before taking your certification exam.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 48% by 2020.

Salary

$79,000 a year.

23. Psychiatric Nurse

Psychiatric nurses use experience and knowledge in mental health to help their patients deal with mental illnesses, helping them to avoid disability, social isolation and other issues.

How to Become One

A Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college. If you are planning to diagnose or prescribe medications, you will need a master’s degree or higher.

Job Growth Trends

26% by 2020.

Salary

$93,500 a year.

24. Trauma Nurse

Trauma nurses work in emergency rooms and urgent care centers.

How to Become One

RN license, and two years of emergency room experience to apply for a certification.

Job Growth Trends

Over 26% by 2020.

Salary

$66,307 a year.

25. Orthopedic Nurse

Orthopedic nurses offer care for patients suffering from musculoskeletal ailments such as joint replacement and arthritis.

How to Become One

RN license and BSN in nursing.

Job Growth Trends

Up to 26% by 2022.

Salary

$81,000 a year.

26. Neonatal Nurse

A neonatal nurse works with babies that arrive prematurely, typically within intensive care.

How to Become One

At least a BSN, many require an MSN and you should have specialized training or experience dealing with neonate patients.

Job Growth Trends

17% by 2022.

Salary

$65,000 a year.

27. Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses work with children in an intensive care or clinical setting, providing specialized care to young patients.

How to Become One

At least a BSN, although many have a MSN. You should also have specialized experience and training working with children.

Job Growth Trends

19% by 2022.

Salary

$65,000 a year.

28. Geriatric Nurse

Geriatric nurses work with elderly patients within a nursing home or hospital, dealing with the particular challenges that these patients have, such as dementia, arthritis and heart or lung problems.

How to Become One

RN and BSN, plus experience working with elderly patients.

Job Growth Trends

20% by 2022.

Salary

$65,000 a year.

29. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses care for an entire society of people, generally focusing on preventative medicine, educating patients about health issues and how to improve their health

How to Become One

RN and BSN, plus experience as a regular nurse. You may also earn your MSN.

Job Growth Trends

18% by 2022.

Salary

$66,000 a year.

30. Oncology Nurse

An oncology nurse provides specialist care for cancer patients in a clinical care center, home, or hospital, administering chemotherapy and other treatments.

How to Become One

BSN, and experience working as a nurse for several years. You may then earn a certification oncology nursing.

Job Growth Trends

20% by 2022.

Salary

$68,000 a year.

#31. Clinical Nurse

A clinical nurse treats and diagnosis patients with serious health conditions in a hospital or clinic setting.

How to Become One

BSN and MSN, plus specialized clinical nurse training.

Job Growth Trends

20% by 2022.

Salary

$67,000 a year.

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