Five Career Specializations for Nurse Practitioners

Updated on March 17, 2021
Woman in Blue Scrub Suit Wearing White Mask

Image Source 

Nursing has become a multidisciplinary career. You no longer need to be a doctor to occupy a prestigious spot in society. Instead, as a nurse, you can make a pretty satisfying career for yourself. As a nurse practitioner, you can venture down many career paths and find yourself at your career’s peak. These specializations carry their weight of responsibilities and perks once you familiarize yourself with them. Here’s a list of disciplines you can explore and hopefully find your calling:

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

As a woman’s health nurse practitioner, you will provide care to women of different age groups. Your duties include performing physical examinations and making evaluation reports on their health status. It would inform you if they need immediate care and when they should see a gynecologist.

You will also work with pregnant patients and help them care for their health and their growing fetus’s well-being. You may even consult them on infertility and gender-specific issues, such as recommending a pap smear. You may also be necessary for examining sexually assaulted patients. Women suffering from postpartum complications or have other psychological symptoms.

Education. You will need to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After you obtain your BSN, become a registered nurse (RN). When you are a registered nurse, you can go for your specialization. In this case, go for an advanced nursing program that concentrates on women’s primary care, gynecological health, and care for prenatal and postpartum conditions.

Pediatric Nurse

As a pediatric nurse, you will find yourself working with young individuals of society. Your patients may be newborn babies or teenagers. Your role will be pivotal in ensuring these children grow up to be healthy and well-looked after individuals.

You will be responsible for administering their required vaccination and immunization shots, followed by guiding parents on what to expect after a child receives their vaccines. You will also conduct physical evaluations and inform parents on areas of concern or what immediate lifestyle changes they need to make.

Education. Once again, after you secure your BSN, you will look into advanced programs. You may even go for an online master of science in nursing while you specialize in pediatric medicine. Your course work should prepare you for primary care and management of children and understand their psychological needs. You must also know how to communicate with children and learn how to approach them if they are unwilling to seek treatment from you.

Family Nurse Practitioners

You will work with patients from their infancy to elderly patients. You will have a much greater responsibility to shoulder as a more extensive patient body constitutes more diseases. You will need to implement plans and discuss with the patient’s family what a long-term plan looks like and how much care this specific condition would require. You may also treat minor wounds and conduct a diagnosis where necessary. Sometimes patients may see you instead of a physician to get their routine examination.

Education. As a family nurse care practitioner, you will need your BSN. Then it would help if you specialized in family medicine and nursing topics. You need to top-up your credentials with a master’s degree. It would help you work as much as you can under a physician to understand a hospital’s workings before you start sitting in for a checkup.

Acute Care Adult-Gerontology

There are always a large number of critical cases. As a specialized nurse, you can provide the care and treatment these patients need while under observation or in the ICU. You can also facilitate procedures by monitoring their vital signs and informing the attending personnel if you notice a change or feel their condition may deteriorate.

Education. You will need to further your education to a master’s degree. However, this field also requires an extensive amount of experience so you can get better at picking up on a patient’s condition. It would help if you studied clinical knowledge in great detail as it would be a great asset to your skills as you care for patients.

Psychiatric Nurse

In this field, you will be combining psychotherapy and physical assessments to evaluate a patient’s condition. You will need to have a strong understanding of mental health and mental health problems and deal with your patients accordingly. You may be responsible for educating and guiding families on what they can do to make the patient’s condition better and how they should deal with the situation. It will also help if you encourage the patient’s family to look into counseling for themselves. It may be an emotionally taxing situation for everyone; you may even be present during interventions or conducting one. You may find yourself working in mental institutes or rehabilitation centers.

Education. To become a practicing nurse once again, start by pursuing your bachelor’s in nursing. Sit for registration exams and become a registered nurse (RN). You will also need to earn a master of science in nursing (MSN) or become a nursing practice doctor (DNP). Your specialization must include psychology, and it would be better if you volunteer or work under a supervised senior nurse. At the same time, you harness your skills as a practitioner.

Wrap Up

As a nurse practitioner, you can occupy different roles in a hospital setting. You may work as a women’s health nurse and provide them with the comprehensive care they need. As a pediatric nurse, you are specializing in working with children and teenagers. As a family nurse practitioner, you juggle many roles while caring for patients and helping them with their routine checkups. You may even be essential to the ICU as an acute care gerontology nurse. Finally, you may be a psychiatric nurse and help patients with mental conditions that require extensive attention. 

+ posts

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.