There are many different areas of nursing you can choose from. There is something for everyone. And if down the road, you become bored or maybe you just need a change or a challenge…..nursing has it. The pay may vary from one area to another. Let’s look at the latest figures for average pay for the different areas of nursing. These are for RN’s.This pay is the average in the U.S. Your area may differ, California is going to be significantly higher and a more rural area of the country may be a bit less.
- Home Health: $ 78,000
- Emergency Room: $ 83,000
- Case Manager $ 73,000
- NICU (neonatal ICU) $ 87,000
- Operating Room $ 81,000
- Hospice $ 78,000
- Medical/ Surgical $ 77,000
- (The majority of hospital RN’s fall into this category)
- Travel Nurse $ 72,000 + benefits: may include housing & travel
- ICU $ 88,000
- Clinical Manager $ 83,000
- Clinic $ 61,000
There are many areas of nursing other than those listed. Add to the list all of these for consideration:
- Labor and Delivery
- Cancer Care
- Community Nurse
- School Nurse
- Long Term Care
- Parish Nursing
- Assisted Care Nurse
- Neurological specialist
- Women’s Health
- Pharmacy Representative
- Medical Equipment Representative
- Health Educator
- Diabetes Specialist
- Out Patient Surgery
- Staff Development, in-service
- Dermatology Clinic (Open your own dermatology clinic, very popular right now, and very profitable)
- Legal Consultant
- Immunization Clinics
- Teacher: of CNA’s LPN’s, MA’s, Phlebotomy and RN’s
- Worldwide Mission work
- Behavioral/Mental health
- Addiction Recovery Nurse
- Neuroscience nurse
- Out Patient Procedure Nurse
- Geriatric /Watch the video on the need for this type of nurse: http://nursing.psu.edu/hartford/educators_caring.html
- Occupational Health
- Rehabilitation Nurse
- Public Health
- Genetics Nurse
- Administration/ management
- HIV/AIDS nurse
- Intellectual and developmental disabilities nurse
- Telemetry medical
- Burn Care
- Mother/Baby Care
- Cardiac Rehab
- Prison nurses
- Trauma nurse/ Air flight/ ambulance
- Infection control nurse
- Informatics nurse
- Forensic nurse
- SANE nurse (sexual assault nurse)
- Holistic/ Alternative therapies i.e.: acupuncture, massage, aroma therapy etc.
- Infusion nurse (IV therapy only) in hospital or home care
- Wound/ ostomy care nurse
- Transplant nurse
- Special Procedures
- Armed Forces/ Reserves
- Business (many companies have found that it is easier to teach and train nurses about business, than to teach business people about health care).
The list is long: for every medical specialty there is a career in nursing that goes along with it. There is a book available to purchase titled “101 jobs in nursing!” You do not have to make a decision now, but go in to nursing school with your eyes wide open to the possibilities. Your choice of area to work in may influence your request for a certain clinical rotation while in school.
Decide to go to school a few extra years and obtain a master’s degree: then…really look at the numbers.
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) $140,000 /watch this video on nurse anesthetist
Nurse Practitioner $ 92,000 Watch the video on shortage of General Practitioner MD’s and the need for nurse practitioners
Nurse midwife $ 97,000
These nurses work as advanced practice nurses who work independently or in collaboration with physicians and focus on providing primary care services in many areas and may specialize.
Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia during surgery and other procedures. Nurse Practitioners may specialize in the areas of family practice, adult or women’s health, pediatrics, acute care, emergency medicine, and mental health. They may prescribe medications. Nurse midwife provides prenatal care and assists with the delivery of the baby.
About 60-80% of RN jobs are in the hospital with 82% of new grad nurses reporting working in acute care (hospital) environments. That percentage is forecasted to be reduced as more and more procedures and care are moved to outpatient clinics/ services and surgery centers. Jobs will switch to these locations. RN’s constitute the largest healthcare occupation with over 2.6 million jobs.
Many of the positions in the community environment require Baccalaureate degree’s vs. Associates degree’s but, this is often waived when RN’s are in short supply. Make sure there is plenty of support if you decide to take more of an autonomous independent position in the community as a new nurse.
Explore your likes and dislikes. What clinical rotation did you enjoy the most? Where did you feel most comfortable? Do you like to work independently? Do you like action and unpredictability or do you prefer more of a steady environment. How much freedom do you want in your position? Consider both your personality and your strengths before choosing.
Create goals for yourself. You may have a short term goal that will lead to your long term goal…..like….you may want a solid medical surgical background before you move to an independent position in the community.
Ask yourself questions like these to help determine where you may want to specialize:
- Are you an adrenaline junkie?: If you love high adventure sports, then consider ER, flight nurse, trauma. Especially if you handle emergency situations well.
- Do you like babies and birth?: Can’t wait to hold one…consider mother / baby areas to work.
- Have family members or yourself who have certain conditions and you would like to help others like you or them?: consider diabetes educator, oncology work, whatever the experience there is a specialty to match.
- Enjoy public speaking?: consider public health, or nurse educator in a school or at a hospital.
- Love the mind and your psych class?: Consider mental health. Help those with emotional, addiction and mental disorders.
- Love technology?: consider high tech diagnostic procedure specialties.
- Enjoy the aged?: geriatric nursing is always in need.
- Want to travel?: join a traveling agency, see the world
- Enjoy being independent?: consider home care.
- Natural born leader?: pick areas where there are leadership opportunities
- Like structure?: military might be an option.
- Outstanding with children?: pediatrics may be your spot.
- Want to help the world?: peace-corp., mission work may be for you.
And remember, you can always change. What fun!
An unlimited opportunity for career development and change!
You will NEVER be bored in nursing with so many options and directions to go.