Which Nursing Specialties Are Currently in Demand?

As the nationwide nursing shortage continues and a vast number of nurses in the baby boomer generation reach retirement age, there are numerous nursing specialties currently in demand for fresh talent. It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is booming with job prospects, especially as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of registered nurses will skyrocket by 19% to create 526,800 new positions before 2022. Of course, this high demand for nurses means that students graduating from accredited Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs in Nursing will find solid job stability. Below we’ve highlighted three of the top specialty areas calling for more qualified nursing graduates like you.

Nurse Anesthetists

Under the supervision of surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and podiatrists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are responsible for administering anesthetic medications to patients undergoing various surgical procedures. CRNAs are advanced practice nurses specialized in providing pre- and post-operative care related to the delivery of anesthesia in surgical hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and medical practices. To work in this field, nurses must go beyond a bachelor’s degree in nursing by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (CANAEP). Not only is this specialty area booming with job growth by 19%, it is also the highest paid profession for nurses with an average yearly salary of $160,000.
Please also see: What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

Critical Care Nursing

Boasting high demand expected to increase by 26% over the next decade, critical care nursing is a specialty area for registered nurses working in intensive care units. Critical care nurses work with a team of healthcare professionals to make sure the sickest patients with the most acute health problems receive quality care. Many critical care nurses specialize even further in treating particular conditions, such as cardiology, neurology, or oncology. Though additional schooling beyond their initial RN program is not required, many critical care nurses pursue certification through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) to showcase their medical knowledge in handling life-or-death emergencies.

Dialysis Nursing

Due to the fact that the obesity epidemic has made diabetes one of the fastest growing diseases in the United States, dialysis nursing is expected to grow by as much as 39% before 2022. Dialysis nurses assist patients whose kidneys are not working properly and who need to utilize dialysis machines to eliminate waste products from their bodies. Dialysis nurses also commonly educate patients on healthy lifestyle changes and work closely with endocrinologists to customize quality patient care. After becoming an RN, you’ll need at least 500 hours working in a dialysis clinic or a master’s degree before applying for certification as a Certified Dialysis Nurse through the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).

In addition to these fast-growing nursing specialties, there is expected to be favorable job outlooks for individuals seeking to become Certified Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists, family nurse practitioners, health policy nurses, nursing informaticians, medical-surgical nurses, nurse advocates, nurse educators, nurse administrators, and psychiatric nurses. In all, there will be job growth across more than 100 different nursing specialties to provide graduates numerous opportunities to find an interest perfectly aligned with their skills. Now that you know some of the nursing specialties currently in demand, you can make the important decision of choosing which is the best fit for you.