10 Nursing Specialties You Haven't Considered Before
Few careers in the healthcare industry have taken off as fast as nursing. Becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) means that you’ll also have a lucrative career, as healthcare companies, facilities, and hospitals increasingly go above and beyond to attract qualified talent as demand increases for the foreseeable future.
Registered Nurses are needed in high demand, and with that demand comes a desire for nurses to fulfill a variety of roles. There is a severe nursing shortage in virtually every specialty, with demand only expected to grow over the next decade.
Being a Registered Nurse doesn’t just mean that you care for patients. Every Registered Nurse has the option to specialize or focus their care on something. For those individuals who are interested in becoming a Registered Nurse, there are plenty of nursing specialties that are rising in popularity that you might not have considered before. We will cover ten nursing specialties that are both on the rise and unique for you to consider.
1. Burn Care Nurse
Burn Care Nurses help treat patients that are victims of a variety of burns. Some of those burns might include electrical burns, chemical burns, electrical burns, hot oil burns, or hot water burns. One of the challenges of being a Burn Care Nurse is that patients not only require physical care but also emotional and psychological care.
This means that becoming a Burn Care Nurse is a perfect career for those individuals who are passionate about counseling and providing support to patients in their difficult time.
Burn Care Nurses typically work in a Burn Care Unit, Trauma Center, Emergency Room, and Intensive Care Unit. Burn Care Nurses typically earn between $51,032 to $75,107 per year.
2. Case Management Nurse
The second nursing specialty that you most likely haven’t considered before is becoming a Case Management Nurse. The unique thing about Case Management Nurses is that they help provide guidance and coordinate future care for their patients.
In many scenarios, nurses only interact with their patients from the time they are in the hospital or healthcare facility. Case Management Nurses interact with their patients during their care stay, and work with them on the treatment path outside the hospital as well.
If you’re passionate about getting to know your patients more and want to ensure that they have an effective long-term pathway to ensuring their health moving forward, then you should consider becoming a Case Management Nurse.
Case Management Nurses typically work in rehab clinics, hospitals, healthcare facilities, or as independent consultants. Case Management Nurses typically earn between $53,000 to $90,900 per year.
3. Travel Nurse
Are you passionate about traveling? If so, you should consider specializing as a Travel Nurse. As we mentioned previously, Registered Nurses are needed in a variety of roles and locations - including vacation hotspots or cruises.
Travel nursing not only allows you to provide care for patients who are going on vacation but can also offer you a unique opportunity to travel the globe and provide care for patients through short-term contracts. Perhaps you want to work in California for a 12-week rotation or you want to travel do a different country - you can do that by specializing as a Travel Nurse.
Travel nurses typically earn between $52,000 to $93,000.
4. Dermatology Nurse
Many individuals think that Registered Nurses only work in hospitals. The truth to the matter is that nursing professionals are needed in a variety of roles - including dermatology offices. Dermatology nurses are responsible for helping patients get through some diseases, wounds, or injuries that might affect a patient’s skin.
Caring for a patient’s skin requires specialized treatment, and specialized Dermatology Nurses are needed to provide the care moving forward.
Dermatology nurses typically work in hospital burn wards, various private practices, and in plastic surgeon offices. Dermatology Nurses typically earn $68,500 on average.
5. Transport Nurse
One unique thing about healthcare is that patients might sometime be required to travel from one location to another because their care needs change. One example of this is a patient who requires a specialized surgery, and only doctors from another location can perform the surgery.
In order to safely transport a patient from one location to another, Transport Nurses are needed to help keep the patient stable and be on guard for anything that might go wrong during the transport process.
If you find that you’re comfortable making emergency decisions in a high-stress environment, then you should become a Transport Nurse - as plenty of the decisions you make during transport will determine the life or death of the patient under your care.
Transport Nurses typically work in a variety of settings that include helicopters, airplanes, hospitals, and emergency rooms. Transport Nurses typically earn between $52,000 to $91,000.
6. Diabetes Nurse
In the 21st century, more patients are being diagnosed with some form of diabetes. If you’re interested in one of the healthcare jobs that presents a unique challenge each day - then you should consider becoming a Diabetes Nurse, as each patient represents their own unique challenges.
The number of individuals with diabetes is expected to grow over time, as more than a third of those over the age of 20 have prediabetes symptoms. As more patients are being diagnosed with something they are unfamiliar with, Diabetes Nurses play a critical role in educating and providing care to patients with diabetes.
Diabetes nurses are responsible for educating patients about the problems associated with diabetes and educate them on proper diet procedures. If you are an exceptional communicator and enjoy educating individuals about the importance of taking care of themselves, then you should consider specializing as a Diabetes Nurse.
Diabetes Nurses typically work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and schools. Diabetes Nurses typically earn between $46,000 to $93,000.
7. Health Policy Nurse
Another interesting nursing specialty that many healthcare professionals haven’t considered before is becoming a Health Policy Nurse. In many cases, healthcare professionals believe that they have to actually provide care when they become a Registered Nurse.
Quite simply, that isn’t true. There are a variety of nursing specialties that don’t require you to have hands-on care or treatment with a patient.
As a Health Policy Nurse, you can help write, guide, and influence public policy with the goal of creating a healthier society. If you’re passionate about new legislation that will help guide individuals in how they receive care, and healthcare companies in how they provide care respectively - then you should consider becoming a Health Policy Nurse.
Health Policy Nurses typically work in a variety of locations including research firms, healthcare organizations, and government offices. Health Policy Nurses typically earn $73,000 on average.
8. Independent Nurse Contractor
One unique specialty that many Registered Nurses haven’t considered before is becoming an Independent Nurse Contractor. Many Registered Nurses dislike the idea of having to work in a hospital or healthcare facility for the remainder of their career.
The unique thing about specializing as an Independent Nurse Contractor is the idea that you’re not constrained to working in a hospital or healthcare facility if you don’t want to.
Independent Nurse Contractors have the option of working for themselves with individual patient contracts, or on behalf of larger organizations like hospitals, outpatient clinics and physician offices.
9. Nurse Attorney
Similar to Health Policy Nurses, Nurse Attorneys have the ability to influence public legislation and defend or represent medical professionals in court. One way that Nurse Attorneys help medical professionals in the courtroom is by representing them when they receive any disputes from insurance companies or malpractice suits by their patients.
If you are interested in influencing public policy for the healthcare industry moving forward, a Registered Nurse with a law degree can provide insight for congressional lawmakers who aren’t as knowledgeable about the inner-workings of the healthcare industry and effective caregiving techniques.
Nurse Attorneys typically work in hospitals, law firms, or health insurance companies. Nurse Attorneys typically earn $116,000 on average.
10. Nurse Entrepreneur
If you have a passion for starting your own business and want to do something focused around the healthcare industry, then you should consider specializing as a Nurse Entrepreneur. Nurse Entrepreneurs typically work towards getting their Nursing degree, and minor in Entrepreneurship or another business concentration.
If you’re passionate about creating a new business venture with a revolutionary idea through the creation of a new service or product - then you should consider becoming a Nurse Entrepreneur.
Nurse Entrepreneurs typically work in their own business, as an independent contractor, or in hospitals as a consultant or business advisor.
There are plenty of fantastic nursing specialties that you most likely haven’t considered before. As the healthcare industry continues to tackle the growing demand for nursing professionals in the competitive job marketplace, you should consider unique nursing specialties that offer some career diversity and unique challenges.
Don’t hesitate to consider some of the unique nursing specialty roles that we have listed above when conducting your job search, as you might find that you’re incredibly passionate about the role.
About the Author
Ryan Bucci is a Content Strategist with HospitalCareers. HospitalCareers is the leading recruitment platform for healthcare job seekers with over 28,000+ healthcare jobs, career advice, and career insights.