If you’re working as a Registered Nurse or plan to become one, you may have a dream of one day working within a specialized area. You may want to work with a specific age group, or tend to patients with a specific diagnosis. Beyond this desire, working in a specialized position as an RN can lead to greater levels of work satisfaction, higher pay rates, and higher demand in the workforce.
Below, we will look into the top five specialty options for RN’s with a BSN degree. We will mention projected career growth, average salary, and certification options for each specialization. We will also discuss the challenges and rewards that come along with each position.
1. Pediatric Nurse
Projected Career Growth: 19%
Average Salary: $72,000
Certification Options: Pediatric Nurse Certification through the Pediatrics National Certification Board
If you’ve always loved children, you may find yourself leaning toward a career in Pediatric Nursing. As a Pediatric Nurse, you will provide general care for children from birth to their teen years. You’ll perform regular physical exams and listen to your patient’s needs. You may diagnose conditions and provide treatment options as well.
Pediatric Nursing comes with the challenge of treating a large patient base. Of course, newborns and teens are nowhere near alike. You will also often treat patients who are not yet able to tell you what is bothering them. You’ll have parents in your care who need reassurance and guidance as they raise their child. You’ll also see children go through things that simply do not seem fair. If you feel that you are up to these challenges, you can find great reward in a career as a pediatric nurse.
To become a Pediatric Nurse, you will first need to attain your BSN degree. After getting your BSN, you can begin your career as an RN to gain experience, apply for jobs with children directly, or get your Pediatric Nurse Certification through the Pediatrics National Certification Board.
2. Geriatric Nurse
Projected Career Growth: 31% Average Salary: $63,000 Certification Options: N/A
You may feel inclined to work with elderly patients, as opposed to children. Geriatric Nurses provide general care to patients in the later stages of life. They have extensive knowledge in both general conditions and Geriatric conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
This career can again be both rewarding and challenging. It is an area that is currently lacking in care, so the salary and career growth are both measuring high. Geriatric Nurses often form deep connections with their patients, and are able to provide supportive care to those who may not receive as often as others in everyday life. If you find yourself often enjoying the company of elderly acquaintances, a career in Geriatric Nursing may be right for you.
To become a Geriatric Nurse, you will need to first hold a BSN degree. You can then apply directly to Geriatric careers as you do not need a specific certification to work in this position.
3. Critical Care Nurse
Projected Career Growth: 26%
Average Salary: $67,000
Certification Options: Certified Emergency Nursing Certificate
Critical Care Nurses work on Critical and Intensive Care floors, as well as in emergency rooms and trauma centers. They have a difficult job, as they see the worst of conditions on a daily basis, and they see lives end due to these challenges. They also need to respect patient rights in terms of treatment, even if the decisions of those being treated fall against their personal beliefs.
However, Critical Care Nurses find high reward in the chance to help save lives every time they work. If you’re quick thinking, calm, and compassionate, you may thrive in a Critical Care Nurse Career.
To become a Critical Care Nurse, you must first possess a BSN degree. You can then work as an RN to gain experience, apply directly to Critical Care positions, or earn a Certified Emergency Nursing Certificate to further your education and land a career in this field.
4. Oncology Nurse
Projected Career Growth: 19%
Average Salary: $65,000
Certification Options: Oncology Nurse Certificate
An Oncology Nurse works with patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. They monitor patients, prescribe medications, and share information on treatment and remission. Oncology Nurses may find challenge while growing relationships with patients who have grave diagnoses. They also, however, find reward in successful treatment.
If you have a passion for helping those with cancer, you may find Oncology to be a rewarding career. Once you have your BSN degree, you can apply directly to Oncology Nurse positions or earn your Oncology Nurse Certificate.
5. Perioperative Nurse
Projected Career Growth: 19%
Average Salary: $69,000
Certification Options: Association of Perioperative Nurses Certification and passing of the Certified Nurse Operating Room Certification Exam
A Perioperative Nurse works in both pre-surgical and post-surgical care areas. They may also be referred to as a Surgical Nurse or an OR Nurse. Before surgery, they may help to educate or prep a patient. They may comfort patients in this challenging time as well. They may also set up surgical rooms with all necessary supplies and perform minor tasks to assist surgeons during the operation. After surgery, they tend to patients to ensure they are recovering as expected.
If you are detail-oriented, enjoy comforting patients, and find interest in the surgical field, this specialty may be a good fit for you. To become a Perioperative Nurse, you must first hold a BSN degree. You can then apply directly to positions, earn certification through the Association of Perioperative Nurses, or take the Certified Nurse Operating Room Certification Exam.
No matter which nursing field you choose to enter, it is sure to be a rewarding career. Before you decide where your working journey will take you, spend some time looking into your options. Examine your passions and imagine your ideal workplace. Look into the salary and
career growth outlooks of each of your top options. When you take the time to research where you’re going, you’ll surely love the place you end up.