Nursing can be a prolific and prosperous career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook says job opportunities in nursing are expected to continue to grow at a rate faster than the average throughout all other professions. Couple that with nursing shortages, and qualified nurses will have the proverbial pick of the litter when seeking jobs.
Both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses can choose to work in a variety of specialties within the nursing profession. Just about every discipline within the health care industry has a need for qualified nurses. Here is a look at just a few of the many subspecialties of nursing.
• Ambulatory care: These nurses provide treatment to people on an outpatient basis. This is a comprehensive practice that often provides assistance with improving health or helping others seek care for health-related problems.
• Emergency care: Trauma or emergency nurses work on the front lines at hospitals or medical centers. The majority are RNs who serve very important functions under high-stress conditions. Life-saving procedures, triage, setting up rooms for medical procedures, and performing intubation are all in a day’s work for emergency care nurses.
• Forensic care: Forensic nurses apply nursing and the application of health to support law enforcement practices.
• Obstetrical care: Nurses who work in an obstetrical capacity handle patients who are seeking to become pregnant, already are pregnant or have recently delivered (or lost) children. It can be a demanding field, but one that is quite rewarding as well.
• Oncology care: Oncology nurses work in the field of cancer prevention and care. Oncology professionals often work under emotionally taxing situations and have to be both professional and compassionate.
• Ostomy care: Nurses in this discipline focus on providing wound care, which is one of the oldest disciplines in nursing.
• Pediatric care: Nurses who work in pediatric functions are typically employed in private pediatric practices. Nurses check vital signs, administer vaccinations, offer information on child health and development, and work as the right-hand person to the physician on staff.
• Surgical care: Surgical nurses, also known as theater nurses or scrub nurses, assist with patient care before, during and after surgeries. Most require extra training to this end, and there are subspecialties to this field.