Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Speciality
At any stage of your career, choosing a nursing speciality can be a great opportunity for a rewarding career. There are many benefits linked to becoming a specialist. Enhanced career satisfaction, increased salary potential and greater job security are just some of them.
As expert recruiters for healthcare and nursing roles, we can confidently confirm that there is a very high demand for specialist nurse practitioners. How do you choose the right one for you? Very few nurses begin their journeys knowing exactly which sector of nursing they’d like to go into. So what should you first consider to help you decide which speciality is perfect for you?
Your personality and interests
When it comes to nursing specialities, each one has a different pace and working environment, so choose one that matches your own personality and interests. You will be spending a lot of time in your role so you need to be working in a place in which you’re comfortable.
Start by considering what your personal strengths are. Perhaps you thrive on being challenged and are brilliant at handling unexpected situations. If this is true, an emergency ward could be the place for you. If you’re more methodical and detail-orientated, a clinical research role may suit your interests better. There are many different nursing speciality roles available that will allow you to combine your personality with your career.
Reflect on your rotations
Think back to when you were completing your nursing placements. You will have worked in a variety of different wards during your nursing rotations in order to give you experience in different nursing sectors, so think about which roles you enjoyed and which roles you found difficult.
Do you enjoy working closely with patients or would you rather work away from direct patient care? Not all nurses work within a patient orientated environment, with many working in research focused areas instead. Thinking about what you enjoyed the most while you were studying to can prove to be very useful in helping you decide.
Think About Setting
Contrary to popular belief, not all nurses work in a hospital setting and you shouldn’t restrict your career choices to traditional streams if this is not something that interests you. You’ll find that a lot of nurses work in a number of non-hospital settings including schools, correctional facilities, research laboratories and more. When trying to decide what you’d like to specialise in, it’s also good to think about where you would like to work. Try not to limit yourself and search something more in sync with your interests.
If you do choose to work in a traditional hospital based nursing role however, you should still take setting into consideration. For example, there are huge differences between the accident and emergency ward and the intensive care unit. In terms of environment, work pace and the kinds of interaction, you’ll have with patients and other healthcare staff. Remember, research is key!
Education and qualification requirements
The majority of nursing specialities require specific skills, training and qualifications before you can step into them. Nurses wanting to go into specialist roles will almost certainly need a master’s degree to begin with. It’s therefore important to think about whether further education is something that you’re interested in pursuing at all.
When you choose a speciality, you should expect to spend a good amount of time building your skills, studying for exams and furthering your professional education. Once you earn your certifications, your job role may require you to meet annual requirements in order to maintain your status. Although very rewarding in the long term, becoming a specialist nurse calls for a big commitment to your career and this is certainly something to contemplate prior to making your decision.
Levels of job pressure
While it’s true that every nursing role is high-pressure in one way or another, more often than not, a lot of specialist positions are extremely demanding and come with much higher levels of stress.
Specialist roles such as chief nursing officer for example can be very rewarding however, especially for someone who thrives within a challenging environment. It’s a good idea to first research the role you’re looking into to help you with your decision.
Job pressure is definitely something you should think about carefully here, how much stress are you able to manage? Would you able to be on call 24/7 as a surgical nurse? Can you handle unexpected situations in an emergency unit? These are all factors to reflect upon when deciding which career path you’d like to end up taking.
Location, location, location
As we mentioned previously, there is currently a very high demand for nurses with specialisations in the job market. These roles can often be location specific, so you may want to research the specialisations in your area.
Our online job database has specialist nursing role listings available across the whole of the UK. Why not take a little time to browse some vacancies that interest you? Study the locations that are in highest demand to get an idea of the specialisation you’d like to pursue.
We understand that picking a speciality can be a very difficult decision for you to make. As you’ll be spending long hours at work, it’s important to spend time thinking about your options. Fortunately, with healthcare constantly advancing, there are a variety of speciality roles available.
Check out more of our blog posts here:
If you’re looking to take the next step in your nursing career, visit JobMedic.co.uk and start searching for your perfect role today!