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Top 8 Most Challenging (and High Paying) Specialties in Nursing

By Zaf Udin 06/16/2011 Google+

As a nurse, you are normally expected to make a difference in the lives of sick and injured people by taking care of them and regularly monitoring their vital signs using the basic medical instruments like blood pressure device, thermometer, and stethoscopes. It is also included in your responsibility to give emotional support not just to the patients but to their families as well. When you are a nurse, you don’t have a fixed work scheduled especially if you are in a hospital setting. There are days wherein you may be scheduled to work in the day shift (7am-3pm), evening shift (3pm-11pm), or night shift (11pm-7am). So if you thrive in an environment with lots of challenges and enjoy helping others, then nursing could be right for you. There are as much as 70 specialties in nursing according to Mr. Wikipedia, our web-based encyclopedia. And if you want the most challenging careers in nursing field, here are the top eight.

Forensic Nursing

Do you have a big interest on mystery novels and true-crime dramas like “CSI”, “The Forensic Files”, or “Bones”? If yes, then why don’t you consider working as forensic nurse? What makes forensic nursing an absolutely exciting career is that you have to combine all the expertise of a nurse, a police detective, and a criminal lawyer. Therefore, aside from the typical medical instruments of a nurse, you will also need to familiarize some of the tools being used by police detective during investigation.

Critical Care Nursing

Taking care of a critically ill or unstable patient is really challenging, isn’t it? If you think you do well in an environment wherein intense and vigilant nursing care is of utmost importance, then you can take a specialty in critical care nursing. A critical care nurse job deals specifically with immediate human responses to actual or potential life-threatening health situations.

Neurological Nursing

Working as a neurosurgical nurse is not only rewarding and interesting. It is also one of the most challenging nursing careers. A person in a nice scrubs uniform and has specialty in neurosurgical nursing is expected to handle patients suffering from brain or spinal injuries, which could lead to severe disability or death. Other responsibilities of a neurosurgical nurse include preparing the sterile medical instruments and handling them to the surgeon during operative procedure. If you are looking for some thrills in your duty, then this is probably the type of nursing job you need.

Palliative Care Nursing

This is another exciting career in the nursing field. Palliative care or hospice nursing focuses more on relieving the pain and suffering of a terminally ill patient. A nurse who works in a palliative care department is challenge on how he or she can improve the quality rather than quantity of life for both the patients and their families. If you want to be a palliative care or hospice nurse, make sure you can help make the remaining days of the patient comfortable as possible at the same time sustain and rehabilitate the individual’s family.

Pediatric Nursing

Is it your love for children that drives you to take a nursing degree? If yes, then you can have specialization in pediatric nursing. Dealing or providing care to infants, young children, and adolescents is one of the most challenging jobs a nurse could experience. Why? It is simply because many of these kids do have phobias when visiting a hospital or seeing a healthcare professional wearing a lab coat and carrying stethoscopes. So the challenge now if you decided to be a pediatric nurse is how you can help this type of patients overcome their fear or anxiety during physical exams, getting their vital signs, and when administering the medicine prescribed by their doctors.

Psychiatric Nurse

Becoming a nurse in mental health settings is another challenging profession. With psychiatric nursing, you are expected to handle people of all ages who are diagnosed with mental illness or distress. These patients in mental hospital have a big tendency to be in the state of hysteria. So the challenge for you now is how to deal with hysterical patients when rendering care management. Another important thing that a psychiatric or mental health nurse has to deal with in this kind of work setting is to maintain his or her mental well-being or sanity at normal level.

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Pulmonary Care Nurse

Pulmonary care or respiratory nursing is another challenging career wherein nurses are tasked to take care of the patients who are suffering from diseases that affect the lungs like lung cancer, asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, tuberculosis as well as patient weaned from ventilators. A pulmonary care nurse, despite the different immunity shots he or she received prior to duty, is still at a higher risk of developing respiratory-related disorders. Hence, a nurse with specialty in respiratory or pulmonary care will be challenged on how to efficiently perform the task at the same time protect him- or herself from disease-causing pathogens exhaled by the patient and then transmitted through the air.

Geriatric Nurse

If you have a desire or you enjoy talking and taking care of aged individuals; geriatric nursing could be an exciting career for you. Being a geriatric nurse is not only rewarding and exciting but also a challenging job. This nursing specialty will certainly measure your patience especially when you meet mean old ladies and men with degenerative mental conditions or those who can no longer think independently particularly when it comes to their health management. Another thing that will surely be measured to a geriatric nurse is his or her nursing expertise since aged individuals will most likely endure death.