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What Are Some Nursing Specialties?

Career News June 30, 2014

Have you ever considered becoming a nurse? If so, and you’re still not quite sure what avenue to pursue, be comforted by the fact that there are many options out there.

There are a variety of nursing specialties, each with a competitive range of earning potential. The various nursing specialties include, but are not limited to, the operating room, peri- and pre-operative areas, emergency departments, clinics, home health, medical surgical units, and intensive care units.

Each of these said departments have within them a range of sub specialties. Nursing can be practiced in almost any area of medicine and in some fields that would not seemingly be directly related to medicine at all.

Your Nursing Specialty Can Affect Pay

Each of the various nursing specialties have their pros and cons. Hours of work, patient population, physical and mental work load, setting, scenery—they vary in so many different ways. Potential for advancement and pay scale are also a factor that plays into each of these fields. The Bureau of Labor Statics reported that in 2012, the average annual salary for registered nurses was $65,470. This is the average for registered nurses.

Further breakdown into the various nursing specialties shows that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) earn on average $135,000 annually. The CRNA role does require an additional twenty-eight months of training; however, it is over double the pay per year.

The remaining three highest paying nursing specialties that can be entered into with one to three years of additional training are a Nursing Researcher, which earns an average annual of $95,000; Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, also earning an average annual $95,000; and Certified Nurse Midwife, earning an average annual $84,000. This is fairly comparable pay related to the years of training, particularly in an economy such as the one that exists today. If there is no additional schooling completed, nursing still has comparable pay and an ever-increasing earning potential.

Nursing Specialty Dictates the Highest Paid in the Profession

Of the nursing specialties where solely a registered nursing license is required for practice, orthopedic nursing is the highest paying. The average annual earnings for this nursing specialty is $81,000. This field does require on the job training, and the jobs available in the field are limited, but it is a great consideration for those with an interest in orthopedics and those looking for the highest paying nursing specialty in the field.

Below orthopedics in the pay scale of nursing specialties is neonatal nursing. This field comes in at a close second with an annual salary of $74,000. Again, the jobs available in this area are limited, and onsite training and a character compatible with the field are required.

The outlook for earning potential for nursing as a whole is nineteen percent. This potential is higher than the average for employment as a whole. In looking at the opportunities present and the ability to change specialties, with a little effort, throughout a lifetime nursing as a career is a wise decision for potential students, both young and old.

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