How Education Works on Nursing Specialty Choice

Updated on September 29, 2021

The pandemic has exposed an urgent necessity for medical professionals. Aside from Covid-19, the experts forecast the job market pull for healthcare personnel to stay strong and continue growing steadily. Taking into consideration such aspects as the development of medical equipment, an aging patient population growth, nurses retiring from practice, and the recent healthcare initiatives, a nursing path seems to become the right choice. 

Before defining the most suitable work environment and typing ‘resume writer near me’, delve into what it takes to become a nurse to find your position. This guide is helpful to outline available educational and career options for those who decided on this noble profession.

Choosing Your Way towards Nursing

Healthcare implies many directions of nursing. Many areas provide you with the opportunity to start from an entry-level job and work your way to administrative leadership. A relish for certain interactions with either equipment or patients requires a corresponding level of education to get hired there. You may consider the following opportunities:

  • biometrics;
  • care coordination;
  • community-based care;
  • critical care;
  • disease management;
  • federal healthcare;
  • geriatrics;
  • genetics;
  • informatics;
  • military nursing;
  • paramedic care;
  • pediatrics;
  • perinatal/neonatal care;
  • prevention;
  • primary care;
  • psychiatric care;
  • public health research;
  • radiology;
  • transplantation;
  • vaccine research;
  • wellness.

 Step #1. Get the Primary Education. 

You can acquire a professional education with the accredited programs. A diploma, degree, and license are obligatory for practicing. Each state provides several educational options to get a nursing specialty, no matter what area you are looking to get in. You may consider taking part in:

Accelerated programs

  • Designed for: certified nursing assistants (CNA) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN);
  • Provide entry-level roles; 
  • Learning curve: 1 month up to 1.5 years;
    Institution: a community college, or vocational school;
  • Certification: a nursing diploma (ND).

Associate to bachelor’s RN programs

  • Designedfor: registered nurses (RN);
  • Provide entry-level roles; 
  • Learning curve: 2 years;
  • Institution: a community college;
  • Certification: an associate degree in nursing (ADN); a registered nurse’s diploma.

Bachelor’s programs

  • Designedfor:registered nurses (RN);
  • Provide advanced nursing opportunities;
  • Learning curve: 4 years;
  • Institution: a college or university;
  • Certification: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. 

Accelerated BSN or “second-degree” programs

  • Designed for: owners of bachelor’s degree in other fields;
  • Provide advanced nursing opportunities;
  • Learning curve: 2 years;
  • Institution: a college or university;
  • Certification: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. 

Postgraduate programs

  • Designedfor: the advanced practice of RNs (APRN);
  • Provide advanced nursing opportunities;
  • Learning curve: 2 years;
  • Institution: a college or university;
  • Certification: Master’s, Bachelor’s, or Doctoral (DNP, ND, Ph.D., DNSc) degrees, or go directly from your BSN to a DNP.

 Step #2. Get a License.

Professional education is a link in the chain of earning nursing credentials. The graduates are to demonstrate the full range of their competency, knowledge, and skill set that will be crucial for the safety of patients in the future. That is the reason for the exams to become a core part of getting permission to practice. 

The typical components of the nursing licensure process

  • Verification of or eligibility for graduation from an approved prelicensure education program;
  • Verification of successful completion of National Council Licensure Examination; 
  • A criminal background check (optional).

To tell the truth, you’ll find some work as a nursing assistant without a license in some states and at some facilities at a while. But you have to forget about your rep of the Certified Nursing Assistant. The unlicensed nursing assistant role pays little and offers no room for growth. Besides, all reputed medical facilities hire solely licensed CNAs.

Step #3. Add to Your Value. 

A targeted area specifies the type of nursing degree to accomplish. To join the workforce at the earliest possible time it’s better to start with an entry-level RN position. It will take you the minimum time to complete associate degree programs. But you should remember that employers tend to hire candidates with higher nursing qualifications. 

Some employers are ready to provide compensation for your tuition. The easiest way to get an advanced degree is to earn it online while working at an entry-level. Mind, that you’ll get supposed to complete all clinical requirements in a medical setting of the community. 

Ways to increase the professional value of nursing

To increase your professional value within the field you can do the following: 

  • Learn one more language: the patient population is multinational, so US hospitals need staff who speak several languages. 
  • Get certified: Your expertise in a specific field should be approved by professional certification and recertification again and again.
  • Become flexible: Never pass up the opportunity to change your place of work. Different positions and employers give different experiences and connections that can add much to your value.

New ways of treatment and advancements in technology are the main aspects to get updated with. Constant learning and professional development allow remaining an effective team member with a better salary and perspectives. Educational courses to retake every even year, new certifications to earn, and ongoing practice keep you going beyond bedside care and can be rewarding in the long run! 

About the Author

Gillian Grunewald

Gillian is a talented writer with a strong research approach in the career field. Has over 12 years of experience in resume, LinkedIn profile writing and editing. Education Master of Fine Arts, Writing Eastern Washington University.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.