10 Most Popular Specialized Nursing Fields
April 2022

10 Most Popular Specialized Nursing Fields

10 Most Popular Specialized Nursing Fields

Specialized Nursing Fields

The most popular specialized nursing fields offer career advancement to nurses, as well as, a higher salary! Over 2.5 million nurses are practicing nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), making nursing the largest workforce within the U.S. healthcare industry. And even that number might not be enough. The BLS estimates there will be a continued demand for more qualified nurses as the health care field is becoming more complex with specialized fields expanding and the large population of retiring nurses leaving the workplace. If you’re considering a career in nursing, take a look at our most recent ranking of the best online RN to BSN programs.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice nurses. They provide more than 32 million anesthetics for surgical, obstetrical and trauma care each year in the United States. They administer every type of anesthetic, work in every type of practice setting and provide care for every type of operation or procedure, from open-heart surgery to pain management programs. As a leading Acute and Chronic pain management charleston sc, QC Kinetix focuses on providing safe, reliable, and affordable treatments for a wide range of acute and chronic pain conditions. To know more about drug medications. CRNAs work in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. An advanced practice registered nurse has a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. Their salary reflects this independence and is around $144,000 to $165,000.

Average salary: $84,000

2. Nurse Researcher

Nurse researchers are scientists who study various aspects of health, illness, and health care. By designing and implementing scientific studies, they look for ways to improve health, healthcare services, and healthcare outcomes. Should you choose to specialize here, part of your job description would be identifying research questions, designing and conducting scientific studies, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting their findings. Many researchers teach in academic or clinical settings and often write articles and research reports for nursing, medical, and other professional journals and publications. Often, you will begin your research career in positions such as research assistant, clinical data coordinator, and clinical research monitor.

Average salary: About $95,000

3. Psychiatric Nurse

As one of the highest paying nursing specialties ($95,000 a year on average), psychiatric nurse practitioners provide consultation and care to patients suffering from mental health and psychiatric disorders. In short, they treat patients diagnosed with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Also, they train in behavioral therapy. Thus, they teach patients and their loved ones how to deal with challenges that go along with psychiatric disorders. As a psychiatric nurse, you could specialize in working with children or older people, or in a specific area such as eating disorders. Mental health nurses often work in multidisciplinary teams, liaising with psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapy such as midtown east physical therapy, GPs, social workers, and other health professionals.

Average salary: $84,000

What is a Psychiatric Nurse?

4. Certified Nurse Midwife

A certified nurse-midwife is the primary care provider for expectant women who are healthy enough to sustain childbirth without complications or high risk. The nurse provides them physical and emotional support before, during, and after childbirth. As a midwife, nurses can work from a health care facility or within patients’ homes or another specified location. Midwives offer genealogical examinations, prenatal care, labor and delivery assistance, and neonatal care. The American College of Nurse-Midwives predicts an increase in demand for certified nurse-midwives. Soon, one in ten babies will be delivered by them in the U.S.

Average salary: $84,000

5. Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse

The nurses within this field care for young children (infant to teenager) suffering from endocrine diseases and disorders, including adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary problems. As a Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse, you would work closely with pediatricians to help develop your patients’ treatment plan and care. Since one of the most common diseases in pediatric endocrinology is juvenile diabetes, you will also play an important role in teaching children and their parents about the effects of diabetes, and helping them make healthy lifestyle choices.

Average salary: $81,000

6. Orthopedic Nurse

An orthopedic nurse helps provide care for patients who suffer from musculoskeletal ailments including arthritis, diabetes, and joint replacement issues. These nurses also provide patient education and help prepare treatment plans. Your specialized skills would include traction, neurovascular status monitoring, continuous passive motion therapy, casting, and care of patients with external fixation.

Average salary: $81,000

7. Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses. They provide care to patients throughout their lifespan, from premature newborns to the elderly. NPs, as they are called, certainly earn their place on the list of highest paying nursing specialties, as they are increasingly serving as primary and specialty care providers in under-acknowledged areas of health care. They are qualified to provide the most basic care and preventive health services to patients, and in many states, nurse practitioners can prescribe medications. They perform comprehensive and focused physical examinations; diagnose and treat common acute illnesses and injuries; provide immunizations; manage high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and other chronic health problems; order and interpret diagnostic tests such as X-rays and EKGs, as well as laboratory tests; prescribe medications and therapies; perform procedures, and educate and counsel patients and their families regarding healthy lifestyles and health care options. Family nurse practitioner is the most common specialization. Pediatric nurses, critical care nurses, or public health nurses are also common nursing degree specializations.

Average Salary: $79,000

Guide to Nurse Practitioner Prescribing Laws By State

8. Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are Advanced Practice Nurses with either a master’s or doctoral degree in a specialized area of nursing practice. Their area of clinical expertise may be in a population like pediatrics, geriatrics, or also women’s health. It can also be in a setting like critical care or the ER. Or, they can specialize in a disease or medical subspecialties like diabetes and also oncology. Some will focus on a type of care like psychiatric or rehabilitation. While others focus on a type of health problem, like wounds or stress. Besides the conventional nursing responsibilities which focus upon helping patients to prevent or resolve illness, a CNS’s scope of practice includes diagnosing and treating diseases, injuries, and disabilities within their field of expertise. Clinical Nurse Specialists provide direct patient care, serve as expert consultants for nursing staff, and are also active in improving health care delivery systems.

Average salary: $76,000

9. Gerontological Practitioner

Gerontological Nurse Practitioners (GNPs) are Registered Nurses who are primary and specialty health care providers under a physician. They may also be called a geriatric nurse practitioner. They hold advanced degrees specializing in geriatrics. Much like a geriatrician, GMPs work with elderly patients, diagnosing illness, conducting exams, and also prescribing medication. They diagnose and manage their patients’ often long-term and debilitating conditions and also provide regular assessments. Similar to all geriatric nurses, GNPs must approach nursing holistically and also pay special attention to maintaining a comforting bedside manner for their elderly patients. As a GNP, you can work at nursing homes, with home healthcare services, and in hospice facilities, or run your own private practice.

Average salary: $75,000

10. Neonatal Nurses

Neonatal nursing is a sub-specialty of nursing that works with newborn infants. These babies are born with a variety of problems ranging from prematurity, birth defects, infection, cardiac malformations, and also surgical problems. The neonatal period is the first month of life. However, these newborns are often sick for months. Neonatal nursing generally encompasses those infants who experience problems shortly after birth, but it also encompasses care for infants who experience long-term problems related to their prematurity or illness after birth. However, a few neonatal nurses may care for infants up to about 2 years of age. Most neonatal nurses care for infants from the time of birth until discharge from the hospital.

Average salary: $74,000

Your Nursing Specialties and Career Path

Certainly, all nursing career choices are rewarding and fulfilling emotionally, but with so many specialties and career path options, it can be difficult for nurses to choose one. From community health centers to hospitals to private practice, the nursing career path has many branches. If compensation and job security are at the top of your list of deciding factors, then one of the specializations may be a good fit for you. The most popular nursing specializations focus on annual salary and also industry demand. Because they paid the most, these nursing roles also require the most education and training compared to some other types of nurses.


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