Choosing the right Nursing specialty can be a challenging decision, as there are many areas of Nursing to consider. Here are some steps that can help you choose the right specialty:
Assess your interests
Think about the areas of Nursing that interest you the most. Do you enjoy working with children or adults? Do you like working in a fast-paced environment or a more relaxed one? Do you prefer working in a clinical setting or a community-based one? Weighing your choices based on your interests and personality traits will help you narrow down your options.
Research Nursing Specialties
Once you have identified your interests, research the specialties that align best with them. Look for information about the scope of practice, work environment, patient population, salary, and required education and certification. You can also talk to other Nurses who work in these specialties to get a better understanding of what it's really like to work in these areas.
Johnson and Johnson offers A Nursing Specialty Quiz to help guide you in learning more about specific specialties that fit what you're looking for.
Consider Your Strengths
Think about your strengths as a Nurse. Do you excel at critical thinking and problem-solving? Are you skilled at patient education and counseling? Do you have strong leadership skills? Are you able to work well under pressure? Looking at the areas you excel in will help you pick a specialty that suits you.
Think About Career Goals
Consider your long-term career goals and how a particular Nursing specialty can help you achieve them. Do you want to advance into a leadership role? Do you want to work in a specific healthcare setting or with a particular patient population? Understanding your career goals can help you better choose a specialty that aligns with them.
“One of the best things about being a Nurse is your career can change and flex as you grow,” says Ashleigh Woods, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing at Berry College. “Nursing is versatile. Unlike other professions, as a Nurse, you can specialize in ICU medicine, but then after a few years, you can become a specialist in another area.”
Once you have narrowed down your options, try to gain experience in different areas through clinical rotations or job shadowing. Some Nursing schools offer part-time work for interested students which would allow you to make money and gain experience. Hands on experience can help you get a better sense of what it's like to work in these areas and make an informed decision about which specialty is right for you.
Ultimately, choosing the right specialty is a personal decision that depends on your interests, strengths, career goals, and experience. Take the time to explore your options and gather information before making a decision, and don't be afraid to seek guidance from experienced Nurses and healthcare professionals.