Explore 10 Types of Nursing Specialties

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More types of nursing specialties are available to you when you hold a BSN. Some of the BSN careers that you should consider with help from Notre Dame of Maryland University ABSN include flight nurse, travel nurse, home health nurse, and labor and delivery nurse.

nurse speaking with patient in room

Earning your degree through Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can open the door to myriad nursing career options. In fact, job demand for BSN-prepared nurses is higher than ever as health care employers prefer to hire BSN-educated nurses. Why?

In part, because of the benefits that higher educational requirements can bring. A growing body of research shows that having more baccalaureate nurses on staff may lead to improved patient outcomes. Additionally, nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the country and is slated to remain so for much of the next decade with 203,200 new nurses projected to enter the field each year between 2021 and 2031.

BSN letters on top of stack of books sitting next to a piggy bank

Learn more about why you should consider getting a BSN with these 7 reasons why a BSN in nursing is important.

Considering these projections, many health care providers no longer think of BSNs as a bonus, but rather as a requirement — and in some cases, a prerequisite for entry-level registered nurse positions as well.

Across the United States, BSN-educated nurses are in exceptionally high demand, which means it’s an excellent time to discover what nursing jobs might interest you. We’re here to help you get started.

As far as career path goes, the choice is yours! With a BSN, you are in control of your nursing journey. You can work in a typical hospital setting as an RN or take a more unconventional nursing career path. No matter your lifestyle, there’s a nursing career suited to you.

A BSN grants you a wide variety of nursing career options and allows you to use your unique talents and interests as an advantage on the job. To give you a better idea of different types of nurses and the scope of where a BSN can take you, here are ten exciting nursing careers to consider:

1. Flight Nurse

Flight nurses, sometimes also called transport nurses, are registered nurses who work with paramedics and physicians to transport patients in critical condition to trauma centers via helicopter or airplane.

These nurses focus on emergency critical care, either from the scene of an accident or while bringing patients to a different hospital. Their goal is to keep the patient stable until the nurses and physicians at the hospital can provide more intensive treatment.

2. Travel Nurse

A travel nurse works short-term assignments as a contract employee for health care staffing agencies. They can work in a variety of different positions in different locations around the country.

The staffing company will usually supply housing and offer other perks. A travel nurse might fill a shortage at a hospital, come in to help for flu season, or fill a hospital’s specialty needs. As a bonus, assignments usually last 12–13 weeks, giving plenty of time for sightseeing, hiking and exploring the area. Because of the expertise it takes to enter into a new clinical setting and immediately make an impact, it is often required that travel nurses have a certain amount of experience working as a licensed RN before applying. We recommend that you do not pursue a travel nursing career path until gaining more experience after gaining licensure.

3. Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses step in to care for patients in their own homes when they or their families are unable to do so. Home health nurses often perform duties they would otherwise do in a hospital and report to a facility that gives them a physician’s orders for the patient.

nurse sitting with patient

The common responsibilities within this role might include assisting the patient with any medications, personal hygiene tasks, or even simply helping to maintain a comfortable living space for their patient.

4. Legal Nurse Consultant

Legal nurse consultants lend their expertise to attorneys to deliver insights on cases regarding medical issues. These nurses are very knowledgeable and experienced in their field and can communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.

These nurses may work on medical malpractice cases, insurance fraud cases, personal injury cases, workers’ compensation cases, and even criminal cases.

5. Plastic Surgery Nurse

Preparing the operating room, monitoring patients and educating patients on what to expect before, during and after a procedure are just a few things plastic surgery nurses do.

These RNs also assist in cosmetic surgeries and help patients achieve their desired results. They support physicians throughout to help keep the patient stable and safe during the entire process. They provide instructions and help for post-operative care as well.

NDMU nursing student standing in hallway

Take the next step towards becoming a registered nurse with a BSN degree.

6. Toxicology Nurse

Toxicology nurses will encounter patients suffering from accidental (and intentional) ingestion, venomous bites and allergies. These registered nurses can work under pressure and are able to identify the symptoms of different kinds of poison and drugs.

Toxicology nurses can work in call centers and hospitals, often needing to act quickly to help patients. They have studied the field of toxicology extensively so that they can identify and respond to their patients as fast as possible.

7. Transplant Nurse

Transplant nurses guide patients through their entire experience, from monitoring organ transplant surgeries to overseeing patient progress.

These registered nurses also establish treatment plans for the patient and give them a comprehensive rundown of what to expect from the procedure. Surgeons and physicians depend heavily on these nurses during the process and treatment.

8. School Nurse

school nurse helping child patient with band-aid

School nurses work in primary and secondary schools to ensure the health of their students. They treat minor health issues in students as they arise and advise parents and faculty as to further treatment options.

School nurses also help distribute medication to students during the day, ensuring correct dosages and that medication is taken properly when parents are not there to help oversee.

9. Nurse Educator

The field of nursing education is always looking for experienced, knowledgeable nurses to help teach the next generation of nursing professionals.

Nurse educators work in nursing schools to teach students, oversee labs, and help advise students during their clinicals and career pursuits. This career path requires a specialized graduate degree.

10. Labor and Delivery Nurse

Work in the labor delivery ward is very rewarding since these nurses bring new life into the world every day. Labor and delivery nurses support mothers and their children during labor and childbirth.

They care to the infant immediately following the birth as well as emotional support to the mother, encouraging and comforting them.

What Nursing Specialty is Right for Me?

Choosing a specialty to pursue can be difficult, especially when there are so many options available to you. The most important factors to consider are your own lifestyle preferences and your temperament. As you have discovered, each specialty varies in what they require, so as yourself a few questions beforehand:

  • What pace do I want to work at?
  • What level of stress do I best work under?
  • Do I want to work in a low or high-stakes environment?

Jobs such as school nursing and legal nurse consulting tend to be less stressful and have much lower stakes compared to other specialties such as flight nursing. However, many find high-stakes jobs highly rewarding because they have the chance to save lives every day. Weigh the pros and cons of each option and if they work well with your personality.

NDMU nursing student standing in hallway

Don’t forget to use your clinical rotations as a resource. You will be working with a variety of nurses in different facilities and specialties. Ask them questions and learn more about what motivates them or makes the job difficult. Jump in whenever you can to maximize your experience. This will help you decide which nursing paths excite you and which are not a good fit.

Earn Your BSN in as Few as 15 Months

The Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Notre Dame of Maryland University opens your nursing career options, making the possibilities almost endless.

Registered nurses are in high demand, and now more than ever, employers are seeking out nurses who hold their BSN. As a BSN-educated nurse, you’ll not only meet new people every day, you may even experience extra perks like traveling and career advancement opportunities. In short, your nursing career options with a BSN are much more expansive than without.

If you don’t want to wait to pursue an exciting career in nursing, our program could be for you.
Through the Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program, you will complete 56 credit hours over four full-time semesters, so you’ll need to bring lots of commitment, motivation and organization to the table to succeed.

While it is a rigorous path, committing to earning your BSN through our accelerated program is a bold move that can have a huge payoff.

Are You Ready to Jumpstart Your Career in Nursing?

Now that you are more familiar with the different types of nursing specialties available to BSN-educated nurses, are you ready to transform your non-nursing bachelor’s degree into a BSN? It all starts with a phone conversation with one of our admissions counselors, who can help you determine if you’ll be a good fit for our ABSN program. Complete the form to get started today!