100+ Types of Nursing Specializations icon

100+ Types of Nursing Specializations

| NurseJournal Staff

100+ Types of Nursing Specializations mini logo

Nurses take on vital jobs in the healthcare industry. Many nurses find their profession fulfilling, stable, and well paying — plus, the industry continues to add new job opportunities every day.

With so many different types of nurses, though, it can be difficult to nail down a specialization that works for you. Nursing fields run the gamut, with nurses focusing on forensics, heart health, obesity, genetics, and even business, to name just a few. Sometimes students know their chosen pathway during their undergraduate degree; others might not know until they gain a bit of experience in the field.

So, what type of nurses are there? This guide lists more than 100 nursing specialties, exploring different types of nursing jobs for anyone planning their future in the field.

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1. Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN)

Advanced practice registered nurses receive advanced training so that they can assess, diagnose and treat patients with acute and chronic illnesses. These nurses work with many different patient populations, specializing as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist.

  • Average Salary: $114,510
  • Degree Required: Master of science in nursing (MSN) or doctor of nursing practice (DNP)
  • Relevant Certifications: Varies — Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, etc.
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want greater responsibility and independence enjoy working as advanced practice nurses.

Learn More About APRNs

2. Ambulatory Care Nursing

Ambulatory care nurses, or outpatient care nurses, provide care to patients in outpatient venues, non acute surgical and diagnostic settings, and telehealth. These nurses function as care coordinators and transition managers, collaborating with patients and healthcare providers to help ensure a continuum of care. They might assist with same-day minor surgeries, or carry out diagnostic tests. Ambulatory care nurses often work in physicians' offices.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: Associate degree in nursing (ADN) or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
  • Relevant Certifications: Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Since the day-to-day schedules for these nurses tend to be more predictable than other healthcare professions, ambulatory care nursing could be a good option for nurses looking for regular work hours.

Learn More About Ambulatory Care Nursing

3. Business in Nursing

Healthcare systems have opportunities for nurses interested in the business side of the field. Nurses who study business can work as nurse administrators or nurse executives, applying their knowledge at the senior management and executive level. Some nurses become entrepreneurs, establishing their own businesses to fill a need in the healthcare industry.

  • Average Salary: $106,670
  • Degree Required: BSN, sometimes an MSN or master of business administration
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses with an interest in business, leadership, or more interdisciplinary roles should look into this field.
4. Bariatric Nurse

The field of bariatrics deals with the prevention and treatment of obesity. Bariatric nurses specialize in this area, working with bariatric doctors and educating patients as they carry out their weight loss plans. Sometimes bariatrics involves weight loss surgeries; in this case bariatric nurses may work closely with surgeons.

  • Average Salary: $75,010 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Bariatric Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Bariatric nurses have a passion for helping people improve their lives. The job also involves both understanding and consideration as patients navigate the difficult issue of obesity.
5. Camp Nursing

Anyone who has attended camp knows accidents are bound to happen. Camp nurses work as the resident healthcare professionals at camps, particularly those far from any hospitals or healthcare facilities. Camp nurses provide first aid, administer medications, and teach campers about health promotion and illness prevention in the wild.

  • Average Salary: $61,970 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Anyone who loves nature and a bit of adventure would enjoy working as a camp nurse.
6. Cardiac Care Nursing

Cardiac nurses specialize in heart health. They may help treat and educate patients with both chronic and acute conditions, working in outpatient or inpatient settings. Many cardiac nurses also care for patients before, during and after cardiac surgery.

  • Average Salary: $66,030 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification, Cardiac Surgery Certification, Cardiac Medicine Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Individuals who want to help people improve their heart health enjoy this role.

Learn More About Cardiac Nursing

7. Cardiac Cath Lab Nursing

Cardiac cath lab nurses work primarily in catheterization labs. They collaborate with doctors and others on the healthcare team in carrying out cardiac procedures. Often their jobs also involve preparing patients for, and educating patients about, the cardiac catheterization procedure and how to reduce the risk of heart disease in their daily lives.

  • Average Salary: $77,950 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Cardiac Vascular Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This speciality might appeal to any nurse who wants to be involved in this widespread issue.

Learn More About Cardiac Nursing

8. Case Management Nursing

Case management nurses help coordinate effective and efficient care for individual patients in a variety of settings. They plan the implementation of resources for patients in strategic ways over time with the goal of cost containment. Case management nurses often advocate for patients and families.

  • Average Salary: $73,520 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: American Case Management Certification, Case Management Administrator Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who are interested in creating efficiencies and want to advocate for and build continuing relationships with patients may enjoy this role.

Learn More About Case Management Nursing

9. Clinical Nurse Leader

Clinical nurse leaders work in management positions at the clinical level. They coordinate patient care with evidence-based practice. Clinical nurse leaders often work on an interdisciplinary team with nurse practitioners (NPs), physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and clinical nurse specialists to design and implement the best clinical care for patients.

  • Average Salary: $83,870 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: MSN or DNP
  • Relevant Certifications: Clinical Nurse Leader Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Individuals who enjoy leadership positions and want to give back by providing mentorship to other nurses may fit this role well.

Learn More About Clinical Nurse Leaders

10. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists work in advanced nursing roles, providing direct clinical care to patients. They can diagnose patients and create treatment plans. Because of their expertise, these specialists may take on additional roles, like providing clinical consulting services or carrying out research.

  • Average Salary: $91,680 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: MSN or DNP
  • Relevant Certifications: ACCNS - Neonatal, ACCNS - Pediatrics, ACCNS - Adult-Gerontology
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses with clinical expertise, especially those who want to share their knowledge, enjoy this role.

Learn More About Clinical Nurse Specialists

11. Community Health Nursing

Community health nurses take on the essential role of identifying health problems in their communities and offering holistic healthcare to vulnerable or at-risk populations. These patients may not be able to afford healthcare services, or they might struggle with precarious situations. Community nurses often work in community health centers, schools, correctional facilities, public health departments, and even religious organizations.

  • Average Salary: $62,580 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Community Health Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want to make a difference in their community, especially for at-risk or low-income people, thrive in this position.

Learn More About Community Health Nursing

12. Complementary Health Nursing

Sometimes called holistic nurses, complementary health nurses augment their healthcare practice with alternative forms of healthcare, like meditation, therapeutic massage, hypnosis, and other holistic exercises. Complementary nurses work as RNs or NPs, so they carry out these practices in addition to their regular nursing responsibilities.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Holistic Nurse Certification
  • Who This Specialty is For: If you are interested in treating more than just physical symptoms, and taking a mind, body, and spirit approach, then complementary health nursing could be a good pathway for you.

Learn More About Complementary Health Nursing

13. Correctional Facility Nursing

Correctional nurses provide healthcare services to inmates in jails, prisons, juvenile detention centers, and other correctional facilities. They care for chronic and acute conditions, and they are trained on how to deal with situations unique to correctional facilities.

  • Average Salary: $54,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: Some positions require LPN training completion; for certification, some positions require an ADN or a BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Correctional Health Professional-RN
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Correctional facilities sometimes come with difficult circumstances, so correctional nurses must understand how to make critical decisions under pressure.

Learn More Correctional Nursing

14. Critical Care Nursing

Critical care nurses work in emergency settings. They provide care to acutely or critically ill patients, often working in the emergency room, intensive care unit, or burn centers. They provide crucial services, keeping patients alive by monitoring life support systems and tending to serious wounds.

  • Average Salary: $68,730 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Critical Care Registered Nursing-Adult, Critical Care Registered Nursing-Pediatric, Critical Care Registered Nursing-Neonatal
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who work well under pressure and who find fulfillment in saving lives in life-threatening situations would fit this role well.

Learn More About Critical Care Nursing

15. Dermatology Nursing

These nurses work with dermatologists, aiding people with their skin health. Patients with skin cancer, cystic acne, or other skin conditions visit dermatologists; dermatology nurses educate patients about their skin and various treatments. They also provide pre- and post-surgery care for individuals who undergo certain cosmetic surgeries.

  • Average Salary: $45,000-$57,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Dermatology Nurse Certified
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This role could be a good fit for nurses who are passionate about skincare and want to help individuals with more severe skin conditions.
16. Developmental Disability Nursing

Nurses who specialize in developmental disabilities provide care to patients with disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, or Fragile X syndrome. These nursing professionals educate patients and their families about the disorder, and they help patients with skills like speech and movement.

  • Average Salary: $78,500 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses with patience and compassion who want to help some of society's most vulnerable people make good developmental disability nurses.
17. Diabetes Nursing

Diabetes nurses need advanced degrees for this patient-facing role. They aid patients with diabetes, helping them monitor their blood sugar to avoid nerve and organ damage. Education makes up a large part of their role too; they teach patients how to stabilize their blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

  • Average Salary: $66,030 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Board Certified - Advanced Diabetes Management
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This can be a good specialization for nurses who wish to work in more advanced positions, and those who want to help diabetic patients.
18. Dialysis Nursing

Individuals with severe kidney disease turn to dialysis, which replaces the kidneys' function of filtering blood. Dialysis nurses administer the process of hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis for patients who need it. These nurses teach patients about their conditions, monitor the dialysis process, and assess patients before and after treatment.

  • Average Salary: $72,360 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Dialysis Nurse, Certified Nephrology Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who do not mind taking on hands-on roles and working with dialysis machinery do well within the nephrology and dialysis fields.

Learn More About Dialysis Nursing

19. Domestic Violence Nursing

Domestic violence nurses work within the forensic nursing field, specifically aiding survivors of physical abuse in domestic settings. They collect and record information about the patient's history, and physically examine and evaluate patients. They also work with law enforcement and sometimes must testify in court on behalf of patients.

  • Average Salary: $73,700 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Advanced Forensic Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Domestic violence nurses must be extremely good communicators and sensitive to trauma survivors. Nurses who want to help survivors recover make good domestic violence nurses.
20. Emergency Nursing

Emergency nurses work in the ER departments of hospitals, aiding people in critical condition or with life-threatening injuries. They carry out crucial decisions based on triage, stabilize patients, and are central to the plan of care.

  • Average Salary: $69,790 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Emergency Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Quick-thinking individuals who can remain steady under high-pressure situations do well as emergency nurses.

Learn More About Emergency Nursing

21. Ethics in Nursing

All nurses must deal with ethical issues during their day-to-day responsibilities and decision-making. Nurses who are interested in healthcare ethics can work as consultants or educators on the topic, teaching other healthcare professionals about nursing ethics. Nurses could also serve on their healthcare organization's ethics committee or board. Nurse Ethicists are gaining traction as an advanced practice specialty.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who feel passionate about ethics and social justice in healthcare should consider this speciality.

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22. Family Nurse Practitioner

As advanced practice nurses, family nurse practitioners (FNP) meet with patients, diagnosing them and treating them independently. Instead of focusing on one specific demographic, FNPs meet with patients in all stages of life. They typically concentrate on preventative care, and treatment of acute and chronic conditions.

  • Average Salary: $114,510 for all NPs
  • Degree Required: MSN or DNP
  • Relevant Certifications: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners FNP Certification, American Nurses Credentialing Center FNP Board Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want to take on roles with greater responsibility and independence succeed in advanced practice roles like this one. This is also a good job for anyone who enjoys working with patients of all ages.

Learn More About Family Nurse Practitioners

23. Flight/Transport Nursing

Flight and transport nurses work on medical aircrafts, providing emergency healthcare services to patients being transported to hospitals. Some flight nurses work in the military, caring for soldiers injured in combat. Their responsibilities include providing life saving emergency care during transport to a hospital.

  • Average Salary: $72,050 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Flight Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Working as a flight/transport nurse requires decision-making in high-pressure situations, so nurses who can stay level-headed and calm under stress do well in this role.

Learn More About Flight Nursing

24. Forensic Nursing

Forensic nurses work with survivors of violence and other types of abuse. They receive special training to care for these patients in a sensitive manner. Forensic nurses also take on a cross-disciplinary role in the criminal justice system, coordinating with law enforcement and providing testimony in court.

  • Average Salary: $73,700 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN, although some obtain an MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Advanced Forensic Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Forensic nurses work with trauma victims, so they should be able to care for patients in an extremely empathetic manner.

Learn More About Forensic Nursing

25. Gastroenterology Nursing

Gastroenterology nurses provide care to patients with digestive or gastrointestinal illnesses. They might help conditions such as ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease. These nurses care for patients undergoing procedures such as colonoscopies, and they teach patients how to manage their conditions through diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Average Salary: $75,200 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Gastroenterology Registered Nurse Credential
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses interested in helping patients with digestive issues should consider this emphasis area.

Learn More About Gastroenterology Nursing

26. Genetics Nursing

Genetics nurses specialize in helping people who have a greater risk of certain diseases due to their genetic heritage and makeup. Those illnesses and diseases might include Alzheimer's disease, cancer, or heart disease, among others. Genetics nurses sometimes participate in research, performing tests and analyzing hereditary risk factors.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN, although some positions require an MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Advanced Genetics Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This can be a good role for nurses who enjoy research and learning about advanced scientific theories.
27. Geriatric Nursing

Geriatric nurses concentrate on working with older adults, helping to treat their illnesses and maintain their quality of life as they age. They help physicians care for patients with conditions specific to older adults, like Alzheimer's disease, dementia, cancer, osteoporosis, or arthritis.

  • Average Salary: $67,750 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Gerontological Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These nurses must maintain composure and show compassion in providing care to aging adults, especially those with conditions like Alzheimer's or dementia.

Learn More About Geriatric Nursing

28. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

As advanced practice nurses, these NPs independently provide care for older and aging adults. They meet with patients in later stages of life, diagnosing them and creating treatment plans. Gerontological NPs can prescribe medication independently in some states, while other states require these NPs to enter agreements with physicians to write prescriptions.

  • Average Salary: $114,510 for all NPs
  • Degree Required: MSN or DNP
  • Relevant Certifications: Adult-Gerontology Primary Nurse Practitioner
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who enjoy working with aging patients, but who also want greater responsibility and independence, can succeed in this role.

Learn More About Gerontological Nursing

29. Gynecology/Obstetric Nursing

Gynecology or obstetric nurses, also called OB/GYN nurses, work in women's health clinics and hospital departments. They are a central part of the healthcare teams, providing care for women throughout their pregnancy and when they give birth.They also teach patients about childbirth and pregnancy, and they often take on a liaison role between patients and physicians.

  • Average Salary: $61,560 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: National Certification Corporation Credential in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: OB/GYN nurses play an important role in expectant mothers' lives. Nurses interested in guiding mothers and helping them meet their children for the first time will enjoy this position.

Learn More About Gynecology/Obstetric Nursing

30. Health Policy Nursing

Health policy nurses use their expertise to help create healthcare-related legislation. They participate in research and the development of certain bills, and they work as expert advisers to policymakers. These professionals often gain experience working as registered nurses before earning an advanced degree and moving onto a policy role.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN, although many earn an MSN or a DNP
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified in Public Health
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want to use their knowledge to make a difference in healthcare policy should consider this role.

Learn More About Health Policy Nursing

31. Hematology Nursing

Hematology nurses help treat patients with blood diseases and cancers, such as hemophilia or leukemia. They monitor patients' health and record that information; hematology nurses periodically gather data for research purposes too. Some hematology nurses specialize in working with children, while others solely work with adults.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Pediatric Hematology Nurse, Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Who This Specialty is For: This can be a good career pathway for nurses who want to treat patients who may become very ill. Hematology nurses should possess empathy, good communication skills, and a sense of positivity.
32. HIV/AIDS Nursing

HIV/AIDS nurses take care of patients suffering from this disease. A large part of these nursing professionals' jobs involves educating patients and their families about HIV/AIDS, particularly since the disease comes with a stigma and misinformation. They also monitor patients and administer medications.

  • Average Salary: $91,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: HIV/AID Certified Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: HIV/AIDS nurses must be nonjudgmental and compassionate to help people with this immunodeficiency disease.

Learn More About HIV/AIDS Nursing

33. Holistic Nursing

When providing care, holistic nurses take into account a patient's mental and emotional health in addition to their physical health. They often engage in alternative therapies, like meditation and massage. Holistic nurses may offer wellness coaching too, guiding patients with lifestyle changes to help them pursue healthier lives.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Holistic Nurse Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses interested in alternative therapies and treatments, and those who believe in the wellness of mind and spirit, succeed as holistic nurses.

Learn More About Holistic Nursing

34. Home Health Care Nursing

Home health care nurses provide health services to patients in their own home. They work with individuals who may need help with mobility or daily treatments, such as older adults or people with disabilities. Home health nurses also carry out tasks like assessing patients or administering infusions.

  • Average Salary: $64,040 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Home Health Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who find fulfillment in building relationships with patients and prefer nonclinical settings may enjoy this role.

Learn More About Home Health Care Nursing

35. Hospice/Palliative Nursing

Hospice/palliative nurses provide holistic care to patients with severe illness, chronic conditions, or terminal conditions, minimizing pain and keeping patients comfortable. They work under the supervision of physicians and advanced practice registered nurses in hospitals, residential care facilities, and in patients' homes.

  • Average Salary: $67,240 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN, or MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator (CHPCA), Certified Hospice and Palliative Pediatric Nurse (CHPPN), Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This career attracts registered nurses passionate about alleviating suffering due to severe illness, and providing end-of-life care. These nurses must provide compassionate care and emotional support to patients and remain comfortable in crisis situations. They should possess comprehensive training in pain management, good communication skills, and empathy.

Learn More About Hospice Nursing

36. Independent Nurse Contractor

Independent nurse contractors provide a variety of patient services on a contract basis at different healthcare facilities and hospitals. These nurses work on an as-needed, temporary basis in specific practice areas or specialties, or as "per diem" consultants.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Registered nurses who prefer flexible schedules and the ability to travel to new workplace settings may choose to work as self-employed contractors. They may earn higher salaries than nurses working under the direct control of a hiring entity but typically do not receive healthcare or vacation benefits.
37. Infection Control Nursing

These nurses identify, create, and apply best practices for managing infections, maintaining sanitary conditions, and treating and preventing patient infections. They supervise other nurses about how to treat, control, and eliminate infections. Infection control nurses are also responsible for notifying the Centers for Disease Control about infectious threats.

  • Average Salary: $72,150 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certification in Infection Prevention and Control (CIC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Infection control nursing can offer a challenging career to highly-skilled registered nurses who have an interest in research and data analysis and the ability to problem-solve and think innovatively.

Learn More About Infection Control Nursing

38. Informatics Nursing

This emerging field applies nursing training and expertise in computer science and information technology to the management of data and communications in nursing, with an emphasis on increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving the quality of patient care.

  • Average Salary: $84,100 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These specialized registered nurses should have a strong interest and training in data analysis, information technology, and project management. They should also have the interpersonal skills to work with diverse groups and resolve conflicts while developing efficient systems to support the needs of patients and healthcare personnel.

Learn More About Informatics Nursing

39. Infusion Nursing

These registered nurses specialize in the administration of medications and other fluids through an intravenous line, central line, or venous access port. They manage intravenous therapy, maintain arterial catheters, and monitor patients for complications.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Registered Nurse Infusion (CRNI)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Infusion nurses need training and experience in pharmacology, laboratory analysis, and telemetry. This field requires mathematical skills to calculate drug dosing and infusion rates. These nurses should also possess patience and steady eye and hand coordination.
40. International Nursing

Registered nurses with U.S. nursing degrees in all specialties will find ample employment opportunities as international nurses. These nurses typically work on a contractual basis for a few weeks or more in countries across the world.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: International Council of Nurses Certified Global Nurse Consultant (ICN-CGNC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: International nursing attracts nurses who possess an interest in other cultures and a love of travel and helping people. They should be flexible and resilient, and prepared to work in underequipped and overburdened settings, sometimes in war zones or communities devastated by natural disasters, poverty, or pandemics.
41. Labor and Delivery Nursing

An L&D nurse works under the supervision of a physician or nurse midwife, caring for mothers and infants throughout labor, delivery, and the postpartum phase. These registered nurses monitor the mother's vital signs and progress during labor and delivery and provide emotional support.

  • Average Salary: $66,640 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Inpatient Obstetric Nurse (RNC-OB)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: L&D nurses must have the temperament to handle stressful situations, make quick decisions, and express empathy for the mother's medical and psychological needs. They must also possess strong communication skills to work with diverse patient groups and other healthcare specialists.

Learn More About Labor and Delivery Nursing

42. Lactation Consultation

While lactation consultants come from a variety of healthcare backgrounds, the field attracts many registered nurses. Lactation consultants and counselors instruct, advise and support women preparing to breastfeed their newborns and educate new mothers to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding.

  • Average Salary: $53,360 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Advanced Nurse Lactation Consultant (ANLC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses committed to infant heath enter this field after receiving specialized training in hormone and endocrine function and the health benefits of breastmilk. Desirable qualities include empathy, good communication skills, respect, and a nonjudgmental disposition.
43. Legal Nurse Consultant

Legal nurse consultants assist attorneys, medical staff, claims adjusters, and patients, reviewing and researching medical records, preparing testimony, and serving as expert witnesses in medical-related court cases, such as personal injury and malpractice. These consultants find employment in law offices, insurance companies, healthcare facilities, and corporate legal departments.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (LNCC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This specialty requires both nursing training and legal expertise.These consultants must work independently under pressure to meet deadlines and possess the ability to communicate with many types of people.

Learn More About Legal Nurse Consulting

44. Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN or LVN)

LPNs may enter nursing after approximately one year of training, without earning an ADN or BSN degree. They provide several services, including monitoring vital signs, administering medication, and assisting registered nurses and physicians.

  • Average Salary: $47,050
  • Degree Required: Nursing diploma
  • Relevant Certifications: Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Certified Peritoneal Dialysis Nurse (CPDN), Certified Correctional Health Professional (CCHP)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: LPNs should possess strong interpersonal and observational skills.They must pay attention to details, monitor changes in patients' conditions, and exhibit compassion and patience.

Learn More About Licensed Practical Nursing

45. Long-Term Care Nursing

This nursing specialty focuses on the needs of patients who require extended care related to illness and disabilities. Long term care nurses provide assistance to patients across the lifespan, especially the elderly, in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, hospitals, and skilled nursing centers.

  • Average Salary: $65,770 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certification in Long-Term Care (CLTC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This specialty requires comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge about long-term and debilitating illness. These nurses must possess composure, empathy, and a desire to support patients in stressful situations.

Learn More About Long-Term Care Nursing

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46. Managed Care Nursing

Managed care nurses evaluate patients' healthcare conditions, connect them to cost-effective healthcare providers, and counsel them on preventive care. They work with insurance companies, health management organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and government programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

  • Average Salary: $85,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Managed Care Nurse (CMCN)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses in this specialty need a thorough knowledge of managed healthcare providers and an understanding of cost-effective treatment. They must have strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to quality healthcare for diverse populations, including the elderly and low-income patients.
47. Medical-Surgical Nursing

Medical-surgical nurses provide patient care to adults with a variety of complex medical conditions, as well as before and after surgical procedures. Depending on the medical setting, they evaluate patient condition, prioritize patient needs, and are central to the health care team in coordinating patient care. These nurses often pursue specializations in subfields such as orthopedics, wound care, and oncology.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Medical-surgical nurses must think quickly while working in stressful conditions. They must also possess empathy and good judgement to provide appropriate pain management for pre- and post-surgery patients.

Learn More About Surgical Nursing

48. Military and Uniformed Service Nursing

These registered nurses work in all branches of the U.S. armed forces, caring for active-duty personnel, their dependents, and veterans on military bases and other government locations. In deployed areas and during wartime, they provide healthcare to military personnel as needed, including treating life-threatening injuries and preparing patients for surgery.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Military nurses must meet rigorous physical requirements and possess high levels of endurance. These nurses often work in stressful, dangerous, and emergency conditions with little sleep.

Learn More About Military and Uniformed Service Nursing

49. Missionary Nursing

These nurses treat patients and promote well-being in underdeveloped regions of the world, either as volunteers or paid employees of nonprofit organizations such as churches or religious foundations. They provide a variety of patient services and educate the population on preventive care, nutrition, and other health issues.

  • Average Salary: Depends on the nonprofit employer; often voluntary service
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Basic Life Support Certification (BLS)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Missionary nurses integrate their spiritual and faith-based commitment with nursing training. They must be willing to travel and live away from the U.S. for long periods of time, adapting to different cultures and difficult conditions.

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50. Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing

These highly specialized registered nurses provide immediate care for premature and severely ill newborns in the neonatal intensive care units of general hospitals and children's hospitals. They work as part of a team of intensive care doctors, nurses, and technicians with extensive training in neonatal healthcare.

  • Average Salary: $68,850 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certification for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing (RNC-NIC), Critical Care Registered Nurse (Neonatal)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: NICU nurses face challenging and stressful situations daily, attending to the needs of newborns battling life-threatening conditions. Because the workload and number of patients varies considerably, they must be flexible and willing to work in fast-paced and quickly changing environments.

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51. Nephrology Nursing

Nephrology nurses, also called dialysis nurses, treat and educate patients with kidney disease, including hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, or those at risk for developing kidney-related conditions.

  • Average Salary: $72,360 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN), Certified Dialysis Nurse (CDN)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These registered nurses must have the ability to deal with emotionally-charged and stressful situations working with very sick patients. Nephrology nurses employed in acute care units must handle working on call and long shifts.

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52. Neuroscience Nursing

Neuroscience nursing focuses on providing care to patients with injuries to the nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. These nurses treat patients with head and spinal trauma from accidents or illnesses such as meningitis, encephalitis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. They also treat patients suffering from birth defects and strokes.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Registered Neuroscience Nurse (CNRN), Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Neuroscience nurses must have extensive training and experience in nervous system disorders and possess advanced technological skills.
53. Nurse Anesthetist

These highly specialized advanced practice registered nurses possess extensive training administering intravenous, intramuscular, and inhaled anesthesia to patients undergoing intensive and painful surgical procedures. They conduct physical examinations and monitor anesthesia levels during these procedures.

  • Average Salary: $189,190
  • Degree Required: MSN; after 2025, DNP required
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurse anesthetists must possess critical care experience and the ability to remain calm in stressful environments. In addition to handling long work schedules, they must be adept at making independent judgments quickly.

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54. Nurse Attorney

Nurse attorneys, registered nurses who have earned law degrees, hold licenses to practice both nursing and law. Depending on their employment setting, they may represent nurses and other healthcare professionals in court cases dealing with malpractice, personal injury, or insurance claims. They also work in research and education, serving as advocates for public policy regarding legal aspects of healthcare.

  • Average Salary: $148,910
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN, and juris doctorate (JD) law degree
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurse attorneys must spend several years earning RN licensure and a law degree. They should be research-oriented, and willing to devote many hours to continuing education to maintain their nursing and law licenses.

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55. Nurse Educator

Nurse educators provide training for nursing students and offer continuing education and professional development for experienced nurses. They design and teach classes, advise and mentor students, and design curriculum. Besides colleges and universities, these educators work in hospital-affiliated nursing schools, public health centers, and other medical facilities.

  • Average Salary: $84,060
  • Degree Required: MSN, DNP, Ph.D.
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), Certified Academic Clinical Nurse Educator (CNEcl)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Successful nurse educators impart their passion for nursing through their teaching and leadership abilities and their communication skills. These nurses, who must hold a DNP or Ph.D. to work at a college or university, should demonstrate a commitment to scholarship that advances nursing training.

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56. Nurse Legislator

Nurse legislators represent the nursing industry in state and federal government and work in grassroots advocacy initiatives to make changes to existing laws or to lobby on behalf of new legislation to assist the nursing profession.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This career attracts nurses who feel strongly about the future of healthcare and the role of nurses. They must be knowledgeable, possess good communication skills, and the tenacity to initiate contacts, build networks, and successfully lobby for change.
57. Life Care Planning Nursing

Life care planning nurses advocate on behalf of patients with severe injuries, chronic illnesses, and disabilities. They develop integrated plans to determine the kinds of services needed and the costs associated with long-term care, working with patients, family members, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and government agencies.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Nurse Life Care Planner (CNLCP)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These nurses must have empathy for patients with medical conditions requiring long-term care and support. Life care planners should have strong advocacy skills and the tenacity to navigate health insurance and government bureaucracies.
58. Nurse Midwife

A nurse midwife's primary responsibility is to assist women during pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period. They also provide gynecological care and family planning services, including conducting physical exams and diagnosing and treating medical conditions.

  • Average Salary: $115,540
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), Certified Midwives (CMs)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurse midwives possess a strong commitment to healthcare for women and newborns. They must have compassion, good communication skills, and the ability to remain calm in stressful delivery situations.

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59. Nurse Practitioner

Among the most highly skilled nursing roles, the nurse practitioner performs many of the same responsibilities as physicians. They provide primary and specialty care to patients from a variety of backgrounds. They carry out a variety of duties including diagnosing and treating illnesses, conducting and analyzing diagnostic tests, and administering medication.

  • Average Salary: $114,510
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Practitioner (A-GNP), Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • Who This Specialty Is For: NPs enter practice with a desire to provide comprehensive healthcare to patients from all backgrounds. They must pay attention to detail and make decisions independently.

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60. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers design, conduct, and publish research studies that improve healthcare outcomes, using data they create or from existing sources. In addition to nursing training, these specialists must have advanced skills in data collection and scientific research methods. They typically work in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and government agencies.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Association of Clinical Research Professionals Certification (ACRP-CP), Certified Clinical Research certification (CCRP).
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These researchers possess expertise in data collection and analysis, observation, and written communication.

Learn More About Nurse Researchers

61. Nursing Advocacy

Nurse advocates act as liaisons between patients and their healthcare providers, helping patients to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. They assist patients in understanding their diagnosis, treatment options, medical costs, and procedures for insurance claims.

  • Average Salary: $72,391 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nursing advocacy requires knowledge of healthcare law and ethics, communication and negotiation skills, and the cultural competency to work with diverse populations.

Learn More About Nursing Advocacy

62. Nursing Entrepreneur

Nurse entrepreneurs rely on their nursing and business skills to initiate their own business ventures within the healthcare field. They establish businesses in an array of specialized areas, including medical equipment sales, home healthcare, travel nursing agencies, coaching, and consulting services.

  • Average Salary: Depends on the type of business enterprise
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Who This Specialty Is For: In addition to nursing training, these entrepreneurs must have a background in fields like accounting, management, marketing, and finance.They must be creative thinkers, problem solvers, and risk takers.
63. Nursing Executive and Nursing CEO

Nurse executives and CEOs hold senior administrative positions in healthcare organizations. They perform a variety of organizational and managerial functions including hiring and directing nursing staff, collaborating with boards and medical staff, creating and monitoring budgets, and overseeing compliance.

  • Average Salary: $197,840
  • Degree Required: MSN, MBA
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Executive in Nursing Practice (CENP), Board Certified Nurse Executive (NE-BC), Advanced Board Certified Nurse Executive (NEA-BC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Senior-level nurse administrators connect their clinical nursing experience with training in business or healthcare administration. They must develop the necessary interpersonal and leadership skills to work with employees at all organizational levels.

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64. Nursing Manager and Nursing Administration

Nurse managers and administrators work in hospitals, medical clinics and offices, and residential care facilities. Their duties may include hiring and training nursing staff, managing budgets and records, organizing professional development opportunities, and conducting performance reviews.

  • Average Salary: $118,800
  • Degree Required: MSN, MBA
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who manage other nurses and healthcare support staff must have excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills. Many organizations require administrators skilled in technological applications and informatics.

Learn More About Nurse Administrators

65. Nursing Quality Improvement

This nursing field has developed out of the increasing emphasis in healthcare organizations to improve safety and quality patient care. Registered nurses may work as part of quality improvement teams or as quality assurance coordinators and managers, collecting data and creating and implementing policies that improve patient care outcomes.

  • Average Salary: $71,092 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses in this field must be team-players and possess a thorough familiarity with service utilization and case management in healthcare settings.
66. Nursing Writer, Author, or Historian

Nursing executives, educators, and consultants engage in clinical, academic, and general interest writing to produce textbooks, scholarly monographs, historical analyses, and popular media articles about the nursing profession. Nurses who work in the specific field of medical writing may produce training manuals, research reports, clinical trial reviews, and regulatory documents.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Medical Writer Certified (MWC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who work as writers must have comprehensive and specialized nursing knowledge, along with excellent written communication skills.

O-R

67. Occupational Health Nurse

These specialized registered nurses work in a variety of workplace environments addressing health and wellness promotion, developing risk management strategies, and administering employee assistance programs. They may offer counseling and serve as case managers for insurance and workers' compensation claims and disability benefits.

  • Average Salary: $73,980 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Clinical Occupational Health Nurse (COHN), Clinical Occupational Health Nurse Specialist (COHN-S)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This field welcomes nurses who want to improve the safety and health of employees in the workplace. These creative problem-solvers often work with diverse groups in stressful situations to defuse conflicts and disagreements.

Learn More About Occupational Health Nursing

68. Oncology Nursing (Cancer Nursing)

These registered nurses care for cancer patients across the lifespan, monitoring their progress, administering medication and treatments, and providing information and support to patients and family members. They typically work in teams with physicians and nurse practitioners in hospitals, cancer-treatment clinics, and hospice facilities

  • Average Salary: $74,091 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN), Advanced Oncology, Certified Nurse (AOCN), Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: This rewarding but challenging nursing specialty requires compassion and emotional resilience, especially when dealing with terminally-ill patients or children.

Learn More About Oncology Nursing

69. Operating Room Nursing (Perioperative Nursing)

Perioperative or surgical nurses work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurse practitioners assisting with surgical care before, during, and after procedures. They prepare patients for surgery, care for them through recovery, and facilitate communication between the patient and surgeon.

  • Average Salary: $72,862 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN, MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Perioperative Nurse (CNOR), Certified Surgical Services Manager (CSSM)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These highly skilled nurses work in fast-paced and stressful environments where they must possess physical and emotional strength to fulfill patient needs.

Learn More About Operating Room Nursing

70. Ophthalmic Nursing

This nursing specialty focuses on the health of the eye. These registered nurses assist doctors trained in ophthalmology to assess and treat a variety of eye diseases and injuries, including blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Ophthalmic nurses also care for patients before, during and after eye surgery.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certification for Registered Nurses of Ophthalmology (CRNO)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Ophthalmic nurses must acquire specialized knowledge of eye conditions and keep current with the applications to treat them. They should have empathy and strong communication skills to explain procedures and treatment plans.
71. Orthopedic Nursing

Orthopedic nurses care for people suffering from musculoskeletal conditions including arthritis, joint replacements, osteoporosis, and bone fractures. They care for patients after surgical procedures, help them regain strength and mobility when recovering from injuries, and administer and monitor pain medications.

  • Average Salary: $66,774 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN, BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Orthopedic Nurse Certification (ONC)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: These registered nurses recognize the importance of helping patients understand their conditions and find appropriate treatments and pain relief. They must pay attention to detail and exercise patience with patients dealing with painful and debilitating conditions.
72. Otorhinolaryngology Nursing (Head and Neck Nursing)

Otorhinolaryngology nurses examine and care for patients with illnesses, disorders, and physical conditions in the head and neck. They mainly treat the ears, nose, and throat. These ENT nurses see patients of all ages — infants, teens, and adults. Many work in ENT offices but also specialty units at clinics and hospitals.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Otorhinolaryngology Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want to focus on diseases and conditions that affect the head and neck might enjoy this specialty.
73. Overseas, Volunteer, Missionary, or Refugee Nursing

Nurses join international medical associations, religious nonprofits, and humanitarian missions to work in high-need regions — including those overseas. These nurses include RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who come from many backgrounds and specialize in a variety of areas. They may work at international hospitals or clinics, focusing on laboratory work, triage, education, or community healthcare.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who have a passion for humanitarian work, love to travel, and have years of experience in a nursing specialty might prefer this option.
74. Pain Management Nursing

Pain management nurses work with physicians to create treatment plans for patients experiencing chronic or critical pain. They educate patients about traditional pain management and nonpharmacological methods. Pain management has come under increased scrutiny because of the opioid crisis, so nurses also may recommend alternative remedies such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Pain Management Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who are interested in alleviating acute or chronic pain for patients in their care may choose this speciality.

Learn More About Pain Management Nursing

75. Parish Nursing

Parish nurses, also called faith community nurses, provide healthcare that also integrates faith. Parishes, community service centers, and hospitals hire faith community nurses. The American Nurses Association officially recognized this nursing specialty in 1998.

  • Average Salary: $61,970 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Faith Community Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses wanting to provide care beyond the hospital walls in faith-based settings and can balance nursing duties with counseling, educating, and advocating for patients would enjoy this type of work.

Learn More About Parish Nursing

76. Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing

Pediatric endocrinology nurses assist endocrinologists in assessing and monitoring patients under 18 years of age who have endocrine disorders such as diabetes. Their role includes educating children and parents about managing conditions and performing routine bedside duties such as drawing blood and administering medications. These nurses work at hospitals, physicians' offices, and children's healthcare facilities.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Pediatric Nurse, Certified Diabetic Educator
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who like working directly with children and are interested in the body's hormonal systems might wish to join this nursing specialty to advance endocrine care and improve patient outcomes.
77. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric nurse practitioners serve as primary caregivers and educators who provide healthcare services to infants, children, and adolescents. These advanced practice registered nurses also educate families and caregivers about accessing treatment services and care for children with special healthcare needs.

  • Average Salary: $108,500
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurse practitioners who can easily develop a trusting relationship with children and their parents and make them feel comfortable during high-stress times would be an ideal fit for this role.

Learn More About Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

78. Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses serve as advocates for children and adolescents. Their specialized training enables them to care for children and adolescents at hospitals, clinics, and surgical centers. Working with pediatricians and other healthcare professionals, these nurses perform various duties such as routine physical exams. They also comfort and educate children and their families who have healthcare concerns.

  • Average Salary: $62,220 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Pediatric Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses might enjoy this specialty if they love working with children and have the creativity and patience to communicate, support, and comfort children and their families during potentially stressful times.
79. Perianesthesia Nursing (Preanesthesia and Postanesthesia Nursing)

Perianesthesia nurses prepare patients for surgery. They also provide post-surgery care, treating patients feeling sick or drowsy from anesthesia. Perianesthesia nurses monitor patients post-surgery by checking their blood pressure, heart rate, and pain level to prevent adverse side effects.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Post-Anesthesia Nurse, Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who prefer experience in an emergency room or intensive care unit and can easily relate to and comfort patients who may be anxious about surgery would like this specialty.
80. Perinatal Nursing

During the entire pregnancy process, perinatal nurses provide care to pregnant women and their babies. They provide support in the delivery room and postpartum care. Work settings for these nurses include birth centers, physicians' offices, and hospitals.

  • Average Salary: $79,220 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Maternal Newborn Nursing, Inpatient Obstetric Nursing, Perinatal Nursing (for renewals only)
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who have strong interpersonal skills and want to pursue a career helping women during a significant time in their lives might enjoy this field.

Learn More About Perinatal Nursing

81. Plastic Surgery Nursing

Patients undergo plastic surgery for many reasons: breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, burn repairs, and congenital defects. All of these patients see plastic surgery nurses who collaborate with plastic surgeons and others on the healthcare team at outpatient clinics, hospitals, and private medical facilities. Plastic surgery nurses help prepare patients for surgery through education and other treatments.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Plastic Surgical Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses might like this speciality if they want to work hands-on with patients to boost their confidence about their procedures. RNs might also enjoy learning about the latest surgical and noninvasive procedures.

Learn More About Plastic Surgery Nursing

82. Poison Information Specialist

All-hours poison information specialists counsel people who have ingested toxic substances. Poison information specialists work for poison center hotlines. Their job includes collaborating with physicians to inform people about poison treatment and prevention at outpatient centers and hospitals.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Poison Information Specialist
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who can maintain a calm demeanor in a stressful, fast-paced environment and prefer working independently to make quick decisions would enjoy this nursing role.
83. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, and treat people with mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. Working alongside psychiatrists, they create psychopharmacologic plans of care, provide psychotherapy, and conduct screenings. Their work hours may include night shifts at community mental health centers, state psychiatric facilities, or correctional facilities.

  • Average Salary: $120,000
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Board Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who have a passion for advanced mental healthcare and have strong relationship-building skills would enjoy this speciality.

Learn More About Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

84. Psychiatric Nursing

Psychiatric nurses work with psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners to carry out treatment plans and provide emotional support to patients with mild and complex mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. They serve as advocates for patients and their families, helping them access mental health services and other social services resources.

  • Average Salary: $66,840 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Board Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who wish to play an important role in helping people with mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, and behavioral concerns, and enjoy varied work duties, may prefer this option.
85. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses collaborate with other healthcare professionals and community leaders to promote health and wellness across all populations. Their role requires providing healthcare education and advocacy in the community, while also assessing and monitoring health trends such as spikes in Covid-19 infections. Public health nurses have training in health education across diverse groups, enabling them to reach at-risk groups and carry out interventions.

  • Average Salary: $59,660 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Public Health Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses wanting to work in the public sector and can interpret health trends and data to make changes in vulnerable communities might like this nursing field.

Learn More About Public Health Nursing

86. Pulmonary Care Nursing (Respiratory Nursing)

Pulmonary care nurses, also called respiratory nurses, treat patients with respiratory health illnesses such asthma, lung cancer, and chronic bronchitis. They play an integral role in helping patients on ventilators and providing education about managing conditions. Daily duties include doing physical exams, assessing health issues, taking vital signs, and administering treatments.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Critical Care Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses might opt for this speciality if they have an interest in advanced knowledge about the respiratory system and would like to serve as nurse and educator to help individuals and families.
87. Radiology Nursing

Radiology nurses work on small teams with radiologists and radiology technicians to care for patients before, during, and after image-guided biopsies, ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography scans. They provide assessments, administer medications, and follow-up with patients and their bedside nurses. Work settings include diagnostic imaging offices, hospitals, and outpatient care facilities.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Radiology Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who like working with medical equipment and testing might prefer this speciality.
88. Registered Nurse (RN)

Earning an RN license serves as an entry point into nursing. Many RNs pursue specialties after gaining experience performing routine nursing care. An RN's multifaceted duties change day-to-day. A routine day may include communicating and coordinating with other members of the health care team, administering medications, observing and monitoring patients, assessing vital signs, educating patients and families, and admitting and discharging patients.

  • Average Salary: $80,010
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Varies — Critical Care Registered Nursing (Adult), Informatics Nursing Certification, Gerontological Nursing Certification, Oncology Certified Nurse, etc.
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who want to get started as an RN, have excellent bedside manner, and can communicate healthcare plans to patients and their families should consider this role.

Learn More About Registered Nurses

89. Rehabilitation Nursing

Many patients with disabilities, injuries, or chronic diseases must make lifestyle changes. Rehabilitation nurses at inpatient and outpatient facilities help these patients adapt. Because each case brings unique challenges, nurses must tailor plans of care and daily activities to each patient to help them achieve maximum independence. Nurses in a rehab setting often function in supervisor or managerial roles.

  • Average Salary: $69,430 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who can serve as an advocate, supporter, and educator and have the skills to create a holistic approach that meets the patients' and their families' unique needs will like this speciality.

Learn More About Rehabilitation Nursing

90. Reproductive Nursing

Reproductive nurses (also called fertility nurses) treat and counsel patients having trouble conceiving a baby or women experiencing menopause. At fertility clinics and hospitals, they educate individuals and couples about treatment options and administer ultrasounds and blood tests. These nurses also perform administrative tasks.

  • Average Salary: $73,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who have a passion for fertility and reproductive health and can support patients going through potentially challenging circumstances may find this field rewarding.
91. Rheumatology Nursing

Rheumatology nurses care for patients with rheumatic diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. At doctors' offices, hospitals, and outpatient centers, they focus on helping patients ease their discomfort, fatigue, and pain through medications and therapy. This could include administering infusions or teaching patients how to make injections at home.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Rheumatology Nursing Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who have a strong understanding of and interest in pharmacology and can educate patients about medication management should consider this specialty.

S-Z

92. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Sexual assault nurses often work in emergency departments where they assess and care for sexual assault survivors. The job of a sexual assault nurse requires collecting forensic evidence for rape kits, educating and counseling sexual assault survivors, and sometimes testifying in court.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Adult and Adolescent, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Pediatric
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs preferring to work in emergency departments and critical care, who have strong listening skills, and who are sensitive to the needs of trauma survivors might find this job a rewarding experience.
93. School Nursing

Children and teenagers rely on school nurses for physical, emotional, and mental health services. School nurses work with school administrators to provide input and lead discussions within school districts. Each day brings varied responsibilities that may include administering health screenings, managing health records, and making referrals.

  • Average Salary: $48,550 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: MSN
  • Relevant Certifications: National Certified School Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who want to work independently and help children or teens be healthy and safe should consider this option.

Learn More About School Nursing

94. Subacute Nursing

Subacute nurses provide observation and nursing care to patients rehabbing from strokes, cardiac disease, cancer, knee fractures, and brain injuries. Instead of an extended hospital stay, these patients heal in subacute care facilities mostly on a short-term basis until they can maximize their independence and transfer to a lower-care facility.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Post-Acute Care Registered Nurse, Critical Care Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Those who want to serve an integral role in helping to stabilize patients, appreciate forming lasting relationships, and enjoy the rewards of seeing patients meet goals might opt for this career path.
95. Substance Abuse Nursing

Substance abuse nurses provide medical and emotional support to people with substance addictions. Work settings primarily include outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, detox centers, prisons, and hospitals. They help people find social services and support groups such as narcotics anonymous.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Addictions Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who are passionate about helping people and their families achieve sober living or who want to eventually become a mental health counselor might prefer this specialty.
96. Supplemental/Agency Nursing

Supplemental, or agency nurses, work as freelancers. The nursing shortage has created a constant demand for agency nurses. Understaffed hospitals and health centers use staffing agencies to hire supplemental nurses for temporary assignments.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: N/A
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who desire a flexible nursing schedule and want greater control of where they work would like this option. This nursing job also allows RNs to get experience in many specialties.
97. Surgical Nursing

Surgical nurses support patients during the entire operating process. They prepare patients for surgery, work in the operating room, and monitor patients in recovery. They work on teams with surgeons, surgical technicians, and anesthesiologists. During surgery they may pass tools to a surgeon, sterilize equipment, or serve as a circulating nurse.

  • Average Salary: $58,890 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who wish to gain technological and problem-solving skills, have a strong sense of organization, and thrive in a team-oriented environment may find this career fulfilling.

Learn More About Surgical Nursing

98. Telemetry Nursing

Telemetry nurses work in the telemetry units of hospitals and clinical facilities where patients require continuous electrocardiogram monitoring. These nurses commonly care for patients recovering from cardiac conditions, and they also work closely with cardiologists during procedures.

  • Average Salary: $66,000 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Cardiographic Technician, Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who enjoy fast-paced environments, can quickly learn to use the latest technology in a telemetry unit, and have an interest in studying cardiac conditions would like this role.
99. Telephone Triage Nursing

Patients can get advice and assessments over the phone from telephone triage nurses. Telephone triage nurses review patients' medical histories and direct them to seek appropriate medical care. They also serve as patient advocates.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Ambulatory Care Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: RNs who have excellent customer service skills might prefer this opportunity. Nurses should be comfortable making patient assessments over the phone without the luxury of hands-on examinations.
100. Toxicology Nursing

Toxicology nurses work in emergency rooms and intensive care units. Others work for poison center hotlines. They treat patients with venomous bites from animals, overdoses, or sick patients who have purposefully or mistakenly ingested toxic materials.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Poison Information Specialist
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses should enjoy working in high-stress settings, be able to stay calm in urgent situations, and have an interest in toxicology.
101. Transcultural Nursing

Established in 1955, transcultural nursing provides culturally sensitive care to patients. They serve as a communication link among patients, families, and other healthcare providers. Transcultural nurses understand how a person's ethnicity, religion, and race may influence their experiences in accessing and receiving healthcare. They work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, and community health centers.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certification in Transcultural Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who have a passion for learning about different cultures and religions and can easily relate to different communities would find this field rewarding.
102. Transplant Nursing

Transplant nurses, also called transplant coordinators, play an important role in the process of organ and tissue donation. They prepare the donors and recipients for surgery and monitor patients in recovery. Transplant nurses also educate patients and families about leading a healthy lifestyle. Job responsibilities include informing patients about the risks of receiving an organ transplant.

  • Average Salary: $78,850 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who have compassion for patients waiting for organ donations and for families of deceased organ donors might prefer this career track. RNs should be able to navigate stressful situations with sensitivity and professionalism.
103. Trauma Nursing

Trauma nurses work in hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units where critically ill or wounded patients need life-saving care. They perform life support skills such as CPR and administer intravenous fluids to stabilize patients. Trauma nurses often prepare patients for emergency surgery and collaborate with surgeons.

  • Average Salary: $66,920 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Emergency Nurse, Trauma Certified Registered Nurse, Certified Flight Registered Nurse
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who thrive in intense and complicated conditions and can work effectively and efficiently to save lives in emergency situations may find this role an ideal fit. Nurses should easily communicate with patients as well as physicians and other members of the trauma team in urgent settings.

Learn More About Trauma Nursing

104. Travel Nursing

Becoming a travel nurse offers the opportunity to fill vacant positions at hospitals and clinics around the United States — and the world. Nursing staffing agencies place travel nurses in these temporary positions where they carry out RN duties. For their service, travel nurses receive above average salaries and housing benefits that include agency-provided housing or tax-free housing stipends.

  • Average Salary: $80,010 (for all RNs)
  • Degree Required: ADN or BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Critical Care Registered Nurse, Certified Emergency Nurse, IV and EKG Certification
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who love travel should consider this career option. RNs can expand their experience by learning processes and procedures at different hospitals, and they have the freedom to choose where they work.

Learn More About Travel Nursing

105. Triage Nursing

Triage nurses commonly work in emergency rooms. Their job requires quickly evaluating patients, prioritizing patient care, and performing emergency treatment when needed. Triage nurses often serve as a patient's first point of contact.

  • Average Salary: $61,060 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Ambulatory Care Nursing
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who can keep calm and provide nursing care in a chaotic emergency setting and wish to potentially perform life-saving procedures might enjoy this speciality.
106. Urologic Nursing

Urology nurses treat patients with urinary infections, kidney stones, and cancer. Urologic nurses work with doctors to perform exams and determine the best treatment method for patients. They often work in private physicians' offices and urology clinics.

  • Average Salary: $72,890 (as of May 2021)
  • Degree Required: BSN
  • Relevant Certifications: Certified Urology Associate (for LPNs), Certified Urology Registered Nurse, Certified Urology Nurse Practitioner
  • Who This Specialty Is For: Nurses who wish to form close relationships with patients as they support and educate them about urology conditions and treatments would like this role.

Learn More About Urologic Nursing

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Reviewed by:

Brandy Gleason, MSN, MHA, BC-NC, is a nursing professional with nearly 20 years of varied nursing experience. Gleason currently teaches as an assistant professor of nursing within a prelicensure nursing program and coaches graduate students. Her passion and area of research centers around coaching nurses and nursing students to build resilience and avoid burnout.

Gleason is a paid member of our Healthcare Review Partner Network. Learn more about our review partners here.

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