nurse specializationOnce you become comfortable with the day-to-day practice of nursing, you may decide (like many nurses) that the next step is to get your specialization.

Nurses who are specialized usually get a higher salary and more employment opportunities. For example

  • Registered nurses earn between $65-68,000
  • Nurse midwives earn between $92-96,000
  • Nurse practitioners earn between $95-103,000
  • Nurse anesthetists earn between $96-157,000

Bottom line is that those niches that demand additional training, certification and experience AND are in short supply almost always earn more money and have greater opportunities for growth. But how do you know go about getting certified? Well, like most things, it takes time, research and a little bit of soul-searching. To obtain a specialization means that that you will have to dedicate extra time, education and on-the-job training.  There will probably be a test or two (see, you never get are finished taking test!). So do not make the decision lightly.  Some questions to consider include:

  • What type of people do you prefer to work with?
  • Do you enjoy a high-pressure environment or not?
  • What are your long-term career goals?
  • What kind of hours do you want to work? How much flexibility do you need?
  • What areas of medicine are a good fit for your personality?
  • Do you have the time and resources to go through all of the requirements needed to become specialized AND will it truly help your career?

Once you have asked (and answered) these three questions, take these next three steps:

Determine your Interest Level in a Variety of Areas
Experts state that, while in nursing school, you should complete at least one rotation in a specialized area to give you an idea as to whether or not the specialty is right for you. This is your time to try out new areas of medicine and see what really clicks.

Research
Once you’re interested in learning more about a specialty, go to the website of the certification board for that specialty and find out what you would need to do to get certified. There can be significant differences from board to board.

Two sources for learning about nursing specialties include:

Teachers and administrators from your nursing program or your workplace are great resources as well.

Start the Process
Once (or if) you settle on a specialization, contact the certification board and start the process. To find the appropriate certification board, do a simple google search (“nurse certification board” or “nurse specialties board”).

Once you are ready to look for a new job with your newly minted specialization, contact Snelling. We have the national recruiting footprint and the local market know-how to get you out there, interviewing and finding your next best-fit job.  So contact us today!

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