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5 Most Popular Nursing Specialties in 2024

5 Most Popular Nursing Specialties in 2024

By Editorial Team | Updated On June 4, 2024

The medical industry has evolved greatly over the years, with many innovations being made when it comes to treatments, the way the sector functions, duties, etc. The nursing division of this field has adapted accordingly. There are many different types of nursing jobs out there, requiring a varied set of hard and soft skills to operate in. Nursing aspirants need to be much better qualified to land a good job and have a career in this field.

There are many different types of nurses out there in the medical field. However, some are more in demand than others which also influences a nurses salary. The demand for their services changes depending upon numerous factors that change occasionally.

Some common nursing specialties are necessary and remain perennially in demand, while some emerge with time due to certain trends or the rise of temporary issues. Epidemics are one such common scenario that is capable of influencing demands for certain roles in the medical job market. Lets take a look at whats hot when it comes to nursing jobs in 2024!

Top Paying Nursing Specialties In Demand During 2024

Every year, changes occur in the job market, and the nursing profession is not excluded from this phenomenon. In the recent past, the COVID-19 pandemic saw major developments in the medical industry globally. Now that the world has largely moved on from the pandemic, it has slowly reverted to normal. The dynamics of demand within the medical field are also changing as a result.

1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

How Much Do They Make?: $215,937 per annum. (Source: GlassDoor)

What They Do?:

They must help prepare patients before they are operated on by performing tasks like preoperative teaching and physical assessment before administering the anesthesia. Maintaining anesthesia throughout an operation is also part of their duty, along with managing their recovery from it. Analyzing risk factors such as allergies to anesthesia or other unfavorable conditions for surgery is crucial in this role too.

How To Become?:

First, candidates need to get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree so they can write the NCLEX-RN exam. Once they pass this exam, they have to obtain a license to practice as a Registered Nurse in their chosen state. An important point to note is that most nurse anesthetist programs require a certain amount of work experience in acute care settings.

The Intensive Care Unit or Emergency Room are among a few examples that meet this criteria. After this, they need to complete a relevant master’s or doctorate. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are common options among candidates. Finally, aspirants need to get certified by the NBCRNA which generally involves a written examination.

2. Certified Nurse Midwife

How Much Do They Make?: $120,162 per annum. (Source: GlassDoor)

What They Do?:

Nurse midwives are responsible for assisting women through the process of delivery and labor, along with educating new parents on how to deal with their parental responsibilities. They provide care for infants in the early stages after birth, which is typically the first 28 days post-delivery. Conducting Prenatal and Postnatal examinations is part of their duties as well, along with providing emotional support to mothers.

How To Become?:

The first step is either getting a Bachelor Of Science In Nursing (BSN) degree or an Associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN) and then becoming a Registered Nurse by clearing the NCLEX-RN exam before applying for a license in the state you wish to practice in. Most candidates opt to acquire some working experience as a Registered Nurse before pursuing the necessary further education going ahead.

Next, they must complete at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or, if they are ambitious, a Doctorate from an ACME-accredited program. Finally, aspirants will have to clear an official exam conducted by the AMCB.

3. Travel Nurse

How Much Do They Make? $103,828 per annum. (Source: GlassDoor)

What They Do?:

They usually travel to various locations to perform their duties, rather than having a fixed workplace like most nurses. Executing basic functions like wound inspections, changing dressings, providing nutrition advice, etc. are part of their duties, along with conducting certain tests, administering medications, and writing reports. The job requires candidates with a fair bit of mental resolve, as it can be unsettling due to the high amount of travel.

How To Become?:

Typically, to work as a Travel Nurse a candidate must be a licensed Registered Nurse with a certain amount of clinical experience under their belt. Hence, this is usually not a job you can get right out of college or as a fresher in the medical industry. To become a Registered Nurse one needs to complete an Associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN) or get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree before they can write the NCLEX-RN exam, which they need to clear. Once that is done, they need a license to practice in the state of their choice.

4. Mental Health Nurse

How Much They Make?: $101,873 per annum. (Source: GlassDoor)

What They Do?:

It is inevitable that the job will require good communication abilities, as you have to counsel and understand patients' issues while advising their families on how they can cope. They have to administer medication if needed and monitor their progress regularly. Writing and updating patient records is another one of their responsibilities. Empathy is a key attribute required to excel in this role. These nurses are also referred to as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP).

How To Become?:

A two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually the minimum candidates need to enter this field but they can opt for a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The latter is the more popular option. After this step, they need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain their RN license. Next, you need a relevant master’s or a doctorate. These programs may involve clinical training as well. Finally, candidates must clear an exam administered by the ANCC and apply for a license within the state where they intend to work.

5. ER Nurse

How Much Do They Make?: $88,906 per annum. (Source: GlassDoor)

What They Do?:

ER nurses need to be alert and ready to respond to any medical emergency that arises. They need to be able to make quick assessments regarding the needs of patients along with performing functions like drawing blood, cleaning wounds, etc. Assisting with insurance paperwork may also be part of their duties. Individuals employed in such roles need to be good at handling pressure, as they may encounter many high-stress situations in their line of work.

How To Become?:

Aspirants must start by completing either an Associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to be eligible to attempt the NCLEX-RN exam, which they have to clear. After this, they have to apply for a Registered Nurse license in their chosen state.

The next step for most candidates is to get some experience in the medical industry, as some boards in this profession require candidates to have a certain amount of work experience before they can get certified. Getting certified can help them elevate their careers and can be the next and final step in this process.

Should You Transition To A High-Paying Role?

Many individuals have completed lower-level nursing qualifications because they wanted to enter the job market at an earlier stage and gain experience. However, many of them later realize that they should continue their education to get a higher-paying job, which is more in demand during their current times.

A lot of candidates in such a position decide to play it safe and stick to their current job, feeling it is too much of an effort to try and pursue higher qualifications. They also do not want to stop their flow of income, which may arise due to years spent in school. Some of them may be married and have families they need to support and look after.

However, this is not always the case, as many individuals continue to pursue further education to advance in their careers. If the stoppage in cash flow is an issue, candidates can get a part-time job while pursuing their higher qualifications to manage their basic expenses.

Individuals with families wanting to pursue further education. They can opt for a correspondence degree or even try distance learning to obtain relevant certifications and add new skills to improve their resume. They can also opt for certifications that are shorter in duration to reduce time spent away from families.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Nurses Have Specialties?

Yes, they do. The medical field has many subdivisions, and most of them require nurses, so naturally, there will be many different types of nursing specialties in this industry.

2. What Nursing Specialty Should I Do?

Picking the right role for you among the different types of nursing specialties can be a challenge. It is important to figure out your priorities. Do you want to enter the job market quickly and start earning? In this case, being an LVN or, at most, an RN-related specialty may be the right choice for you. What if you are willing to spend years in class to acquire the necessary qualifications? If so, you can try to take up an APRN-related specialty. Other factors worth considering are finances, family, etc. Also, remember to consider your interests and what skills you have to contribute to the workplace.

3. What Nursing Specialty Pays The Most?

Going by the figures in the current job market, the role of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is the highest-paying nursing specialty. It requires a fair bit of education but has a good scope for a career.

4. Which Nurse Practitioner Specialty Is In The Highest Demand?

In the present day, roles like Family Nurse Practitioner, Gerontology Primary Care, Gerontology Acute Care, Mental Health Nurse, etc. are some positions that are popular in the job market.

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