Nursing is a hugely rewarding career with plenty of opportunities to develop specialisms and areas of expertise. Whether you’re interested in working with children, the elderly, those with mental health issues, or something else entirely, there’s a nursing specialism for you.

Nurses provide direct care to patients, often working long hours to ensure they receive the best possible care. In recent years, there has been an increased demand for nurses with specialized skills and knowledge. There are a number of reasons for this trend, including the aging population, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the growing need for home health care. This allows nursesto gain the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Nursing is one of the most important roles in the healthcare industry, with great potential. If you are considering a career in nursing, now is the perfect time to explore the many specialties in high demand. In particular, nurse practitioners (NPs) play a vital role in the health care system, and their services are in high demand. With the right education and training, you can become an NP and make a difference in the lives of your patients. 

If you love to extract the big picture, pursuing nurse practitioner specialties from Rockhurst University will give you the tools you need for an exciting career. The programs are designed to prepare you for a career in primary care, acute care, or specialty care as you gain the knowledge and skills you need to provide high-quality, patient-centered care. You’ll also develop the clinical judgment, critical thinking, and teamwork skills essential for success in today’s healthcare environment. The programs include several NP specialties, each with a unique emphasis. Whether your focus is on family practice, adult-gerontology, women’s health, neonatal care, or pediatrics, you will find a program to help you reach your clinical goals.

Types of nursing careers and specialties

Nursing is a field that offers a wide variety of career choices. You can specialize in a particular area of interest, or you can work in a variety of settings. Each offers its own set of challenges and rewards. Some nurses choose to specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or oncology. Others may work in a specific setting, such as a hospital, clinic, or nursing home. Whichever path you choose, a career in nursing can be both personally and professionally rewarding. Let’s explore these nursing specialties in more detail.

Family nurse practitioner

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) work with patients in their homes or clinics. This career is rooted in multigenerational or long-term patient relationships, which makes FNPs among the most intimately connected and compassionate providers in healthcare. They play a key role in providing preventive health services to individuals, families, and communities. They help patients achieve and maintain optimal health by assessing and treating common illnesses.

FNPs are primary care providers who work within a team-based healthcare setting to create a continuous relationship with their patients. They collectively provide preventive care, health education, and the necessary medication and treatments to manage chronic conditions. In addition, they perform health assessments, conduct physical exams, prescribe medications, and offer counseling to patients.

Registered nurse (RN)

Registered nurses (RNs) are caring, compassionate, and reliable healthcare workers who provide direct patient care in a variety of healthcare settings. RNs work in various roles, including oncology nursing, intensive care units (ICU), skilled nursing facilities (SNF), home health services, and hospitals. They provide direct care for patients and supervise nursing staff to provide patient care. RNs are skilled at assessing the needs of their patients and collaborating with other healthcare professionals to ensure that their patients receive the best possible care.

Pediatric nurse

Pediatric nurses specialize in the health care of infants, children, and adolescents. Their top priority is the physical and emotional well-being of their patients. Today’s world of medicine has made it easier for children to lead longer and healthier lives, so pediatric nurses make a vital contribution to their patients’ overall wellness.

These professionals work in a number of different settings, such as hospitals or clinics with sick children, or they may work in homes nursing children who are ill. They may also work in a pediatric unit.

Pediatric nurses are responsible for treating common childhood illnesses, administeringvaccines and usingimmunizations to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. They will often treat patients with special conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or cleft palate, and those with behavioral disorders.

Psychiatric nurse

Psychiatric nurses help patients with psychiatric conditions achieve the best possible level of health and emotional stability. They provide emotional support to patients and their families. They may also help people with psychiatric conditions lead more productive lives by assisting them with activities of daily living.

In most psychiatric hospitals, nurses will specialize in a specific area, such as behavioral stabilization or socialization, throughout the patient’s stay at the hospital. They work closely with other healthcare professionals like doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and social workers to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient.

Travel nurse

Travel nurses are RNs who travel to different locations to work with patients and their families. They are primarily responsible for providing patient care and coordinating with other healthcare professionals as needed. Their key responsibilities include planning, arranging, and administering care within the patient’s medical facility, as well as taking care of their daily needs.

The job offers flexibility, and many travel nurses enjoy the fact that they have a variety of assignments available throughout the year. Since their work is mainly out of their home base, travel nurses have the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills from one assignment to the next.

Community nurse

Community nurses focus on preventive health and wellness in urban and rural communities. They develop comprehensive care plans for patients to improve their quality of life so they can live healthier livesfree of chronic illness. More recently, this shift has been viewed as an important component of nursing practice concerning health promotion and disease prevention. Now, the community nurse is becoming more of a health educator, providing counseling and health education to patients.


Midwives provide healthcare to women and babies during pregnancy through the birthing process. They also work with babies and young children in areas such as growth monitoring, parenting assistance, and breastfeeding support. Midwives work in several different environments, including hospitals, clinics, primary care practices, public health departments, and private practice.

These professionals assist in childbirth for women who have a prescription from their doctor. [91] They also assist in the medical care of babies and children. As part of children’s care, midwives examine infants for common congenital, chronic, or contagious problems.

Before midwives can practice in their community, they must be certified by a certifying body. There are two major certifying bodies in the United States: The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Both require basic education, work experience, and passingwritten and skills competency exams.

Orthopedic nurse

Orthopedic nurses specialize in working with patients with mobility problems, such as helping people walk more easily or reducing pain from conditions such as arthritis. They work with patients to treat musculoskeletal injuries and diseases ,including bones, muscles, and ligaments. They will also help people manage the symptoms of injury and disease by administering medications to treat pain or inflammation.

Additionally, they help patients recover from surgery, rehabilitate from injuries, and manage chronic conditions. Their top priority is the patient’s overall health and well-being throughout recovery. They work in a number of different settings, including hospitals or clinics with injured people, or they may work at home nursing patients who are ill. They may also work in an orthopedic unit

Oncology nurse

Oncology nurses are specially trained in palliative care and cancer treatment. They work with patients who have cancer or other diseases, such as heart and lung disease. Their top priority is to foster the physical, psychological, and emotional health of the patient.

They provide patients with short-term support during the treatment process, as well as long-term support after the patient has received their diagnosis. They also help patients deal with various side effects from their treatments, such as nausea or fatigue. Nurses who want to specialize in oncology nursing must first earn an ADN or BSN degree. Then, they can choose to take courses in cancer biology, oncology, palliative care, pain management, and other subjects.

Nursing administrator

Nursing administrators are responsible for the overall running of the healthcare facility and are similar to chief executive officers in other industries. They develop and administer policies, procedures, and standards for nursing care, advocate on behalf of nurses, discipline, or counsel nurses, and develop programs for increasing nursing care quality and improving patient satisfaction. Nursing administrators determine which nurses will be assigned to primary care sites, inpatient settings, and specialty facilities.

Mental health nurse

Mental health nurses care for the emotional and mental health of patients. They provide various short-term counseling services, such as therapy and psychotherapy, to help patients cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. They also provide long-term therapy to help patients overcome their disorders.

Under the direction of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, mental health nurses work with patients to help them recognize their feelings and manage their thoughts or behaviors. They are also responsible for communicating with family members and caretakers, and recording and updating the patient’s medical chart.

Nurse educator

Nurse educators provide guidance and instruction to students in clinical settings, either as direct care workers or as assistants. They also educate new nurses and assist others in instructing students. Nurse educators are responsible for researching, outlining, and analyzing policies, regulations, and procedures related to the education of their nursing students. They must also stay updated on current trends innursing practice.

Aside from teaching nurses about the principles and practices of nursing and how to use them, nurse educators also assist nurse managers in developing new programs, policies, regulations, and guidelines for the nursing unit or hospital.

Geriatric nurse

Geriatric nurses specialize in providing care and treatment to elderly patients with physical or mental disabilities. Their time is mainly spent in medical and long-term care facilities. They provide ongoing assessments of the patient’s health while teaching patients and their families how to cope with illnesses and disabilities. They also help patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain. Additionally, they teach patients about medications or ways to improve their nutrition so they can heal faster while working with family members to support the patient’s well-being at home.

ER Nurse

Emergency nurses specialize in the management of patients who are experiencing an acute medical condition. They treat patients with life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, respiratory illnesses, injuries or obvious injuries, and other health emergencies. They also provide emergency care to patients who are experiencing these conditions and having problems breathing or keeping their airways open.

When dealing with these patients, emergency nurses must be ready to administer life-saving treatment. They must also identify emergencies that may require advanced life-saving skills. Additionally, they need to keep a close watch on the patient’s vital signs and continue to monitor them until they are stable.

Emergency nurses are also responsible for managing patient records, administering, or assisting with medications, and coordinating discharge plans. They must also monitor the patient’s heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood, and blood pressure.

Surgical nurse

Also known as perioperative nurses, surgical nurses are responsible for the care of patients undergoing any kind of surgery. They perform all the necessary preparations for the patient’s surgery, including removing patient’sclothing, putting on sterile gowns, and putting on gloves and masks. They also monitor vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory rate during this time.

Perioperative nurses must stay up to date on current health and safety policies and standards. They must also follow the surgeon’s instructions in order to ensure that the patient recovers smoothly after their operation.

Physical therapy nurse

Physical therapists are registered nurses who work with patients with orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis or joint pain. They work closely with physical therapists to explain how the condition affects the patient’s mobility and develop an individualized rehabilitation program for each patient.

They also work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers to determine the best course of treatment for each patient, such as physical therapy or medication. Physical therapist nurses can treat a wide range of conditions, including knee arthritis or lymphedema. They can also treat patients who have recently undergone surgery to repair an orthopedic injury or condition to help them recover from the surgery and restore their mobility.

Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)

Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses licensed to diagnose patients, monitor theirconditions and progress, and prescribe medications and treatments to improve their health. They work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians, to ensure the patient follows their treatment plan. These professionals have advanced knowledge of a patient’s illness or condition, resulting in an understanding of how it must be managed and treated.

Additionally, they possess excellent problem-solving skills and communication skills. This allows them to work closely with other healthcare providers, allowing them to provide the best care possible for their patients. They can specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as home health or mental health.

Critical care nurse

Critical care nurses care for patients with life-threatening conditions, including the effects of car accidents and other medical emergencies. They work closely with the physician to immediately stabilize the patient and start administering medical care. Critical care nurses also educate patients on their health conditions, giving them details regarding specific medications they take, how food affects their bodies, and ways to manage any complications that may arise.

Get started with the nursing career and find an ideal specialty

A nursing career is a great option for professionals who have a high sense of empathy and compassion for others. It is also a good choice for those with excellent communication skills and lots of patience. However, choosing the right nursing specialty can be easier said than done, especially when there are so many options.

The registered nursing profession is continually evolving, and the number of roles registered nurses can fill in different settings is expanding. Registered nurses specializingin nursing care can work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, as CRNAs (certified registered nurse anesthetists), or in primary care settings such as family practice or OB/GYN. Whatever your nursing career path or goal is, you need to enroll in a program that will highlight your strengths and identify areas of improvement.

 [91]A prescription for childbirth? Is that correct?