If you are a nurse, and have decided to go back to school to further your education, it may be a good time to think about specializing in an area that interests you. This is a huge decision to make, and a lot of thought and care should be given before choosing a specialty. In order to qualify in a specialty field, you must be a critical care nurse for at least one year. This year also allows you to become comfortable, confident and be familiar with the daily routine of being a nurse, hone your skills and gain valuable experience. Talking to other nurses who specialize in a field may help you decide.
Choosing a specialty takes time and a lot of thought. What interests you? Do you like working with the elderly? Are you interested in the aging process? Maybe you would like to become a geriatric/geronotology nurse practitioner. These nurses specialize in elderly patients who have chronic and debilitating diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Dementia and severe arthritis, for instance. They also can advise family members and refer them to support groups and outpatient therapy sessions to learn to cope with their elderly loved one. Nurses, who work with the elderly, typically are employed in long-term-care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. You must be an RN in good standing, and have been a critical care nurse for a year before going back to school.
Maybe you are intrigued with the science of anesthesia. You could become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. This type of nurse works closely with Anesthesiologists, Surgeons, Podiatrists and Dentists and is able to give anesthesia during routine procedures either in a doctor's office, or in the OR. In order to be qualified to study this field, you must have a current RN license, and have been a critical care nurse for at least 24-36 months before applying for school.
If its children you love, well there are a multitude of specialties in this area. Maybe you are interested in becoming a pediatric nurse. If you are interested in orthopedics, or the correction of deformities of bones and muscle, maybe you should consider becoming a pediatric orthopedic nurse. You must be a critical care nurse for 24-36 months before applying to school for this specialty
When deciding to become a specialty nurse, it's important to know that if you decide to apply for a nursing job outside the scope of your specialty, that it may take some time and convincing of potential employers that you kept up the skills you were taught in school. Sometimes, you may be required to go back and take some refresher courses in general nursing to gain employment outside your specialty.
Most nurses choose their occupation because of a love of science, or the need to help people, for the challenge, or because it's their calling. Having patience, determination and diligence will take you far in your career, and advancing your education will only help you to thrive in your newly chosen specialty!