Is 2021 the Year You Specialize?
What’s the next step in your career? This is a question every travel nurse needs to ask themselves. For many, the answer involves following a specialty track. Maybe you aspire to become a cardiac nurse? An emergency room (ER) nurse? A family nurse practitioner (FNP)?
Whatever career track interests you, 2021 is the opportune time to pursue it. There’s rising demand for specialized nurses, and that demand is unlikely to slow down in the coming years. Investing in your education today could pay dividends for your travel nursing career in the years to come.
Demand for specialized nurses is rising
The demand for nurses has been on the rise over the past several years. More specifically, there has been a rising demand for specialized nurses. Hospital demand is growing in a few key areas, and facilities need nurses with specialized skills and experience to provide excellent patient care. As those practices grow and expand, the industry needs medical professionals with a deep understanding and experience in those areas to lead the charge.
Travel nurses are uniquely positioned to help meet these needs. Generally, when there’s a shortage of qualified nursing professionals in a given area, there’s also an underlying need for nurses in a few particular specialties. Being specialized allows travel nurses to meet those needs on a whim by taking assignments where demand is the highest.
Expect a few nursing specialties to see increasing demand in the coming years:
- Critical care: Critical care nurses work in intensive care or trauma units with patients in critical condition and who require a high level of care. These nurses need a lot of experience and confidence.
- Dialysis nursing: Dialysis nurses care for patients with kidney dysfunction who must use dialysis machines. Kidney failure rates, especially in older populations, have produced higher demand.
- Emergency care: Emergency nurses work in a hospital’s emergency room, caring for patients with a range of ailments in a high-pressure environment. This includes triage nurses.
- Perioperative nursing: Perioperative nurses care for patients before, during, and after surgery. Due to the rise in outpatient surgeries, more perioperative nurses are needed.
Specialization has many benefits
As industry demand rises for specialized nurses, more benefits have been brought to the table. Nurses with certifications in a particular specialty are more likely to earn higher pay because of their advanced knowledge. Additionally, specialized travel nurses are likely to get preferential placement based on their abilities. If the geographic areas or facilities you’re interested in have a need for professionals in your specialty, you’re more likely to be chosen over an unspecialized nurse.
Beyond placement benefits, specializing allows you to dive deeper into your chosen profession. You’ll gain the skills and experience necessary to make a difference in an area of nursing that means the most to you. Specializing also helps you build more experience, which makes you a better nurse overall.
Looking ahead, choosing a clinical specialty will grow even more important as the medical field becomes more advanced and segmented. By furthering your knowledge through specialization early on, you can ensure you understand the leading practices of your field, take advantage of upcoming opportunities, and deliver the highest quality patient care.