Becoming a nurse was an easy choice for you, but now it’s time to decide on a specialty, and you’re not sure what you want. The possibilities are nearly endless, from working in a hospital emergency room or labor and delivery unit to serving as a nurse researcher or nurse educator.

This is an important decision to make, so take your time. Use this guide to help you decide what type of nursing work will leave you most fulfilled.

5 Considerations When Choosing Your Nurse Specialty


Work Environment

Some nursing specialties offer a vastly different experience than others. For example, if you’re looking for the kind of job that will constantly give you an adrenaline rush, while always making you feel challenged, working in an emergency room or trauma center might be a good fit. Conversely, if you enjoy a more laid-back pace, a specialty like geriatric nursing — where you would work in a retirement home — could be the right choice.

Level of Patient Engagement

Contrary to popular belief, being a nurse doesn’t necessarily involve working directly with patients. If you’re a people person, you might thrive as a pediatrics nurse or a family nurse practitioner. However, if you prefer a less hands-on role, a specialty like a nurse researcher or forensics nurse could be your ideal fit.

Work Schedule

Being a nurse can involve putting in non-traditional work hours. This largely depends on the type of facility where you work, as those open round-the-clock need to be staffed on a 24/7 basis. Therefore, if you don’t mind working nights, weekends, and holidays, a hospital setting could be a good choice. Conversely, if you prefer standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours, you might be happier working in a doctor’s office or as a nurse educator.

Specific Interests and Passion

Think about what inspired you to become a nurse in the first place. Maybe you wanted to help deliver babies or be part of a research team that finds ways to improve healthcare services. Focusing on what drives you the most will help you choose a specialty that will make each day at work feel truly rewarding.

Additional Certifications Needed

Some nursing specialties require more education than others. If you have the time and money to pursue additional certifications or degrees, this won’t be an obstacle, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Find out the minimum requirements needed for specialties you’re interested in and use that to decide what’s best for your unique situation.


Ready to find your first nursing job in a new specialty?

Management Registry, Inc. is here to connect you with top employers searching for talent like you. Contact us today to start your search!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)