Which Nursing Specialties Are Expected to See the Most Job Growth?

As you look into a career in nursing, you may be interested in finding out which nursing specialties are expected to see the most job growth in the next several years. The good news for anyone entering the profession is that growth across the field of nursing is generally strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 16% (much faster than average) growth for registered nurses within the decade of 2014-2024. Within the overall field, however, there are some specialties whose growth will be even higher than that average.

Advanced Practice Nurses

It may come as no surprise that nursing jobs that require higher education are in demand, especially as the need for nurses who can handle primary care increases. While the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is becoming the accepted standard degree for RNs, many nurses go beyond the bachelor’s to a master’s degree or doctorate. These nurses are called advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). According to Nurse Journal, among APRNs, some of the jobs most in demand are that of Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Clinical Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. CMNs are expected to see a 31% increase between now and 2022, with Clinical Nurses seeing a 20% increase in jobs and Nurse Practitioners looking at a job increase of around 25%. It is obviously a good time to consider getting an advanced degree in nursing.

Other RN Specialties

Not all nursing jobs seeing strong growth require an advanced degree, however. Some of the other jobs that are in demand, and which are predicted to have excellent growth in the coming years, include neonatal, critical care, dialysis, pain management, geriatric, and oncology nursing. Some of these jobs are in demand as certain health issues are on the rise and becoming more prominent in health care. For instance, the aging baby boomer population ensures that there will be very strong growth in work for geriatric nurses who care for elderly patients in hospital and nursing home settings. Since many patients are living longer than they used to, it’s also clear to see why pain management nursing and nursing in critical care are becoming increasingly important.

Other trends on the rise in nursing include travel nursing, nursing research, and nursing informatics. This last is a specialty area that is still in development, so growth in this area may not yet be as strong as in some others, but the demand should definitely increase as technology use continues to increase in nursing. Nurse informaticists collect and analyze medical data in various kinds of health care facilities (for more information on this field, please see: What is Nursing Informatics?). Jobs in nursing research may grow as much as 26% in coming years, with researchers who understand nursing helping to analyze the best and most effective ways to treat patients.

Whether you are a registered nurse or an advanced practice registered nurse, the good news is that the nursing field is awash with important work that will continue to be important for a long time to come. Given the strong job growth across a variety of nursing specialties at different educational levels, this could be an excellent time to consider either getting into nursing or further advancing your nursing career with a higher level of education.