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Nursing Specialty

Employers/Work Setting


Other Requirements/Certifications

Salary (average annually)

Occupational Health Nurse

Businesses, such as factories, mills, corporate offices,
department stores, shopping malls, hospitals, and other large

RN with AD, Diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

State licensing requirement

Any one of these certifications:

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN).

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist (COHN-S).

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse/Case Manager (COHN/CM).

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurses-Specialist/Case Manager

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse/Safety Manager

  • Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist/Safety
    Manager (COHN-S/SM).

From the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN) 

$59,088 - $79,352

Home Health Nurse

Home Health Care Nurses work primarily for home health care
agencies. They can work in Hospital settings as consultants and
educators, assisted living centers, nursing homes, along with
travelling to patients homes

RN with AD, Diploma, or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center
(ANCC) or the American Nurses Association (ANA).


Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are assigned to cover a specific
geographical area. They travel to patients' homes, schools,
community centers, and other healthcare facilities within this
area. Public health nurses can work in public health
departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory care clinics.

RN with Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) & one year of
clinical public health, corrections facility, or mental health
nursing experience.

- a diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing plus additional
experience may be considered in lieu of the B.S.

BSN or
MSN degree and to qualify for a certification must have a
minimum of 2 years relevant work experience and a current RN

Entry level $41-65,000 while an experience PHN averages $72,000


Legal Nurse Consultant

Many Legal Nurse Consultants work for attorneys and lawyers,
filling in the gaps in the legal professions medical knowledge.
Others work for Insurance companies, healthcare facilities,
Government agencies and private corporations. Legal Nurse
Consultants can work for either the defense or prosecution in a
court proceeding.


RN with Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

To qualify for a American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification:

A minimum of five years as an RN.

gained 2,000 hours of legal nurse consulting experience within
the last three years

Other certifications available:

Certified Legal Nurse Consultant (CLNC) is accredited by the
National Alliance of Certified Legal Nurse Consultants (NACLNC).

Legal Nurse Consultant Certification (LNCC) is accredited by
the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board (ALNCCB)

Legal Nurse Consulting Certified Specialist (LNC-CSp) is
accredited by the American College of Legal Nurse Consulting

$62,000 to $80,000 annually

Genetic Clinical Nurse

Genetics Nurses can work in many settings from

university/academic healthcare centers, outpatient clinics,

Cancer centers, Prenatal centers, Pediatric centers, to Schools,
Universities and Research facilities,

public and private research facilities


RN with AD, diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Genetics Clinical Nurse (GCN) Credentialing Reqts:

Proof of RN License in good standing.

5 years experience as a clinical genetic nurse with greater than
50% genetic practice component.

Log of 50 cases within five years of the application.

4 Written Case Studies reflecting ISONG standards.

Graduation from an accredited Baccalaureate program in Nursing.

45 contact hours of genetic content within 3 calendar years of
application through academic courses or continuing education.

$43,410 - $92,240 annually

Correctional Nurse / Prison Nurse

Correctional systems/prisons, staffing agencies, juvenile
offender facilities

RN with AD, diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

or LPN

To become a Certified Correctional Health Professional:

Registered Nurse (RN) in good standing with State Nursing Board
Needs to be an Associate, Bachelor of Science, Master of Science
in Nursing, or a three (3) year Nursing Diploma

$42,000 - $49,000 salary range

School Nurse

School boards, public health departments, private schools

RN with AD, Diploma, or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN)
with qualification in Pediatric Nursing(preferred)  or a
Master's of Science in Nursing with qualification in Pediatric
Nursing (MSN) (depends upon state-by-state standards)

State certification

To qualify for the National Certified School Nurse (NCSN)

Currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in the United States. 

clinical practice requirements of a minimum of 1,000 hours
during the past three years

$33,970 to $69,670

Travel Nurse

Travel Nursing Agencies

RN with AD, diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

minimum of five years of steady clinical experience

base salary of $50,000 annually-not including stipends and

Relocation fees are included

Referral and job completion bonuses are regular fare

Nurse Informatics Specialist


Healthcare facilities, computer hardware/software companies,
healthcare consulting firms, educational institutions,
regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical and research facilities

Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

To qualify for Certification as a nurse informatics specialist
by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Current, active RN license

practiced the equivalent of two years full time as a registered

baccalaureate or higher degree in nursing or a baccalaureate
degree in a relevant field

30 hours of continuing education in informatics within the last
three years

Meet one of the following practice hour requirements:

> Have practiced a minimum of 2,000 hours in informatics nursing
within the last three years

> Have practiced a minimum of 1,000 hours in informatics nursing
in the last three years and

completed a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic credit in
informatics courses that

are a part of a graduate-level informatics nursing program

> Have completed a graduate program in nursing informatics
containing a minimum of 200 hours

of faculty-supervised practicum in informatics



Ambulatory Care Nurse


Can be employed by ambulatory providers such as surgicenters,
primary care offices, HMOs, clinics, special procedure and
mobile health units, colleges, universities, home health
agencies, day care centers, homeless shelters, the military,
retirement communities. Can work in ambulances, Day Surgery
Units, Ambulatory Care Surgeries, Physicians Offices, Community
Centers, Schools, Workplaces, and Home Care and in Clinics.

Some Ambulatory Care Nurses work for health insurance companies
and the government providing health care advice via telephone or
the internet.


RN with AD, diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

To qualify for Ambulatory Care Nursing Certification:

two years full time as a registered nurse

minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice in ambulatory care
and/or telehealth nursing within the last three years

completed 30 hours of continuing education in ambulatory care
and/or telehealth nursing within the last three years


LVN ambulatory care nurses $39,000, ambulatory nurse
$56,000, nurse clinical nurse $60,000, and RN ambulatory nurse

Specific positions as ambulatory care nurses that offer very
lucrative salaries are associate chief nurse $87,000 and nurse
anesthetists $130,000.


Telephone Triage Nurse


doctor's offices or other health clinics, particularly those
that are part of a larger health management organization, 

RN with AD, diploma, or Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

To qualify for a National Certification in Telephone Nursing

Five years of clinical experience


$53,238 - $64,193annually

Nurse Researcher

-researchers usually work at laboratories and universities
conducting or assisting in scientific

research and evaluation

-lecturers and professors of nursing at academic institutions

Pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations,
teaching and university hospitals, educational institutions,
temporary technical placement agencies

BS may be required. Some positions may require MS or higher.
Advanced nursing research usually requires PhD


$70,000 to $95,000 annually

Military Nurse

US Government - US Navy, US Air Force, US Army, contract
agencies for civilian employment

RN with AD, or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN)

and/or Master's degree in Nursing


U.S. Army Reserves will accept an Associate Degree RN but you
must obtain a BSN by the time you go up to the promotion board
for Captain.

US citizen, must be within 21-42 years of age for active duty,

and pass a security clearance

$2555.70 to a maximum of $10488.90 per month depending on years
of service and pay grade.

Nurse housing allowance was a minimum of $600 to a maximum of

Basic Allowance for Subsistence or BAS - $202 a month

Additional Allowances are made depending on the circumstances
such as Family Separation Allowance, Hazardous Duty Pay,
Specialty Pay,

Career Bonuses, Sea Pay, Submarine Pay, Aviation or Flight Pay

Flight / Transport Nurse

Trauma centers and other acute care facilities, public and
private transport companies and the military

RN with Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN)

State licensing requirement

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Basic Trauma Life Support
(BTLS), Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS), and Pre Hospital Life
Support (PHLS)

Emergency Medical Technician-Basic or Emergency Medical
Technician-Paramedic certifications

Certified Flight Registered Nurses (CFRNs) from the American
Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). 

Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) from the Board of Certification
for Emergency Nursing (BCEN)

$60,000 $99,000 per year

Camp Nurse

Summer camps

RN with Bachelors of Science in Nursing or LPN with licensed
practical nurse degree

no separate certification but it is recommended that they get
certification in first aid and CPR


Specialties Working Out of the Hospital Setting

Of the
total number of licensed nurses working almost 60 percent works in the
hospital, while 21 percent work in other settings that includes offices
of physicians, home health care services, nursing facilities and
employment services. The rest works in government agencies, social
assistance agencies, and educational services. Some of the licensed
nurses are finding their way towards alternative employment including
public health, and other care settings like assisted living facilities,
hospices, businesses, schools, and many more.


Percent (%)



Offices of physicians


Home health care services


Nursing facilities


Employment services


Other alternatives


Table of
Employment [1]

of their specialty or work setting, registered nurses have common job
descriptions and responsibilities which are to treat patients, educate
patients, the family as well as the public about the different medical
conditions, and are there to explain to the patients' families the
situation, teach patients and the families how to manage the illness or
injuries, offer advices and provide emotional support for the family.
One misconception is that registered nurses are one and the same. While
it's quite true, the specific work responsibilities will differ from one
RN to another based on their specialties as well as work settings or
patient population served.

majority of licensed nurses works in the hospitals, more and more are
going into alternative career or specialties. There are those who find
they want to add more excitement to their already exciting career and
take a different path than the usual. Nurses are fanning out into a
multitude of jobs, ranging from nurse-run community clinics to long-term
care facilities to corporations. The market is now shifting and this
giving way to alternative careers or specialties. Businesses are now
focusing on preventive care and wellness in the workplace and have
become a big source of jobs. Long-term facilities or nursing care
facilities are growing bigger with the increase number of elderly
people. More and more people want to be taken care of at home or in
hospices rather than the hospitals and would-be nurses should also look
beyond the hospitals to alternate care settings.

Below are
some of the few specialties that do not necessarily work in the hospital
settings or may not work with patients. Some of these specialties may
require additional certifications whose qualifications may or may not
need number of years of clinical experience or relevant work experience
and/or number of hours of continuing education. Primarily, one needs to
have a current and active RN license before one can take a certification
with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or American Nurses
Association (ANA) or the corporation tasked for specific certifications
or credentials.


The TV series Bones and CSI have certainly made forensic really
popular. Unfortunately, many assume that those in forensics are all
medical doctors. There are also forensic nurses who are actually
registered nurses who provide care to the victims of violence. They
assist police investigations by collecting evidences and thus serve
unique and critical roles to the health care and judicial systems with
at least eight (8) specialty areas or career paths including Forensic
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Forensic Nurse Investigator, Forensic
Psychiatric Nurse, Nurse Coroner, Sexual Assault Nurse, Legal Nurse
Consultant, Forensic Gerontology Specialist and Correctional Nursing
Specialist. These specialty areas allow these forensic nurses to work in
different settings including schools, corrections, pediatrics, and the
crime labs. They can certainly travel to different crime scenes,
morgues, prisons, police departments and yes, hospitals.

Occupational Health Nurse

These are the registered nurses who work in different industries such
as manufacturing, construction, mining and environments including
offices, schools, factories, and hospitals to observe the working
conditions and hazards in these workplaces. This is one very diverse
specialty as OHNs can work as clinicians, independent consultants,
educators and corporate directors. Some of their jobs include making
sure that companies/industries comply with government regulations for
workplace safety, designing disease-prevention programs, training and
mentoring co-workers, and advising employees on health and wellness in
the workplace, to name a few.

Health Nurse

This is one of the fastest growing areas of nursing and according to
BLS it is expected to grow by 33percent from 2008 to 2018. This
is because more and more patients would rather receive care in their
homes rather than in the much expensive hospitals. Also, technology has
made it easier to provide complex treatments in the home and so there is
an increasing need for highly skilled health care specialist in the home
setting. They have a variety of patients from the elderly to the
disabled who prefers to be treated at home to those who are recovering
from accidents or who suffer from a serious and/or terminal illness.
They may work with an individual patient on a full-time basis or
multiple patients every day. Usually though they work independently with
the patient's family as the working team from administering medications
at the right time and with the proper dosage, wound care, monitoring of
patients health and needs and many more.

Health Nurse

Public health nurses cares not for an individual but rather provides
healthcare services for the whole community to prevent diseases and
improve overall health.

screenings, preventive care, and health education are just some the
services that public health nurses provide to the community especially
to those without healthcare. The PHNs may work in public health
departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory care clinics. They may
be assigned in a specific geographical area and they may travel to
schools, community shelters, patient's homes and other healthcare
facilities within the specified area.

Legal Nurse Consultant
One of the specialty nurses of forensic nursing is legal nurse
consultants who are highly experienced registered nurses who provide
their services to businesses, attorneys, prosecutors, insurance
companies, healthcare facilities, private corporations and government
agencies. They use their nursing knowledge and qualifications to fill in
the gaps in medical knowledge in the legal profession such as in
reviewing medical records to verify if medical malpractice occurred,
helping lawyers prepare for a deposition, and can sometimes be used as
expert witnesses in court cases.

Genetic Clinical Nurse
A genetic nurse is a licensed registered nurse with special education
and training in genetics. Many common diseases including cancer, heart
disease, diabetes, and Alzheimers are now known to have genetic
component. Genetic nurses provide help to people that are at risk or are
affected by these diseases with genetic component by performing risk
assessment and analyzing the genetic contribution to the disease risk.
They also discuss these and the impact of the risk on healthcare
management to the patients and the families. They may work with patients
but genetic nurses work in other settings that include specialty clinics
where gene-based diagnoses and therapies are offered, prenatal and
reproductive technology centers, cancer centers, primary health care
settings, pediatric clinics, industrial health, school health, research
centers, biotech and insurance industries.

Correctional Nurse/Prison Nurse

Another specialty under forensic nursing is correctional nursing
wherein the specialists provide quality health care to individuals
detained by courts including those in jails, prisons, and other
correctional facilities and institutions. Experienced nurses can work as
correctional/prisons nurses after having been certified. The ability of
the nurse to assess medical issues is critical especially since they are
required to determine if there is a need to relocate the patients for
additional treatment options.

School Nurse

By the name itself we know that school nurses are licensed
professional nurses who work in schools and are responsible for
providing health care to those attending the schools or colleges. They
are not just there to intervene when students are in need of medical
help but they are important to the daily operation of a school since
there are emergency and non-emergency situations that they need to take
care of. They assess and monitor immunization status of the students,
collaborate with the faculty, parents and students on health and safety
awareness programs and as a whole ensure that there is a healthy school
environment. This specialty should work best for those who want to work
on predictable and regular working hours and in a specific community.

Travel Nurse

Indulge your love for travel and nursing at the same time by becoming
a travel nurse. These licensed registered nurse travel in different
states on a short term assignment to lessen staff shortages due to nurse
staff on vacation, maternity leave, on training, or urgent shortage due
to epidemics or pandemics. The assignment could last up to a year but
majority of the assignments usually last 3 to 4 months. The allure of
travel and high salary, with bonuses and stipends such as housing,
relocation, travel allowance and insurance reimbursement to name a few,
as well as the opportunity of gaining knowledge and expertise in the
different fields of healthcare wherever you go is certainly a dream come
true for some people.

Informatics Specialist

Nursing has certainly evolved over time and just like all the other
industries and sectors, it has also crossed over the lines of technology
in nursing informatics. No longer limited to providing care to patients
in need nurses, like the nurse informatics specialists, also use
technology to provide improved delivery of healthcare services. In nurse
informatics the science of nursing is merged with information science
and computer technology to ensure improved communication and
documentation and totally making nurse practices even better. For those
who love nursing and technology, nurse informatics may just be the thing
to go into.

Ambulatory Care Nurse

For those registered nurses who thrive in unpredictability, this may
be the specialty for you. Ambulatory care nurses provide preventive care
and pain management for widely diverse illnesses and injuries with
patients who are on outpatient or episodic basis. They usually come in
contact with the patient for less than 24 hours and they may not have
prior knowledge of the patients' medical history and background. These
specialized nurses requires specialized skills such as including IV
therapy, teaching, phlebotomy, interpersonal communication, triage, ECG,
and autonomy.

Telephone Triage Nurse

services are not health advice lines that offer
answers to general healthcare questions. Triage services, where
telephone triage nurses work, are offered by healthcare facilities in
association with a physician's office. They take calls when patients try
to contact their physicians or other health care providers after office
hours. They do not diagnose patients over the phone but is there to
assess the severity of the caller's complaints or the patient's symptoms
and directs the caller to the appropriate emergency services if
necessary. For telephone triage nurse it is important to have impeccable
listening skills because they will just be listening to the complaints
and assessing the health concerns without face-to-face interaction or
the advantage of visual inspection.

Nurse Researchers
Considered one of the highest paying specialties, nurse researchers
are scientists who design and implement scientific studies in order to
look for ways to improve healthcare services and outcomes, improve
quality of life of chronically ill patients, better ways to provide care
and comfort to patients at the end of life and many more. They study the
different aspects of health, illness, and healthcare and may work in
diverse healthcare settings such as universities, laboratories, research
organizations or may be hired by private companies and non-profit
organizations that focus on healthcare issues. Nurse researchers already
get high salaries but those with advanced degrees can supplement their
income by teaching, consultancy and writing books and professional
speaking engagements.

Military Nurse
Serving the country and still be a nurse can be done in military
nursing. All one has to do is choose which branch of the military
service army, navy, air force. These nurses provide nursing care and
practice both in peace and war-time settings. Since these registered
nurses enter active duty as an officer, they are often given broader
range of responsibility and scope of practice than civilian practice
nurses are. Also, because the US military can be found nationally as
well as internationally, it is expected that registered nurses in active
duty may be placed in a wide variety of work environments around the
world including field hospitals, military hospitals overseas, on a ship
or vessel. It may also happen that as part of the military program as a
nurse you will be called to provide help to other communities in need
around the world.

Flight / Transport Nurse

These are licensed professional nurses who give medical and emergency
care to patients as well as injured individuals at scenes of accidents
and who play a role in transporting these patients via ambulance,
helicopter or airplane to the nearest medical facility. They may also
transport via commercial airplanes those less critical patients. They
evaluate the in-flight needs for medications, supplies and equipment as
well as serve as liaisons between support personal, flight paramedics,
aircrew members, and medical personnel. In case of an absence of a
doctor, they may also provide emergency treatment during a flight. Being
able to think and act fast under pressure is important because there are
times this is what the job will demand.

Camp Nurse

A camp nurse provides medical and healthcare services to camps and
retreat attendants of all ages. It can be a summer camp or groups of
terminally ill patients on a retreat. The expertise needed for camp
nurses is highly skilled since they have variety of patients from
healthy to ill patients of all ages, young and old.

specialties work in a wide variety of settings but clinical experience
has always been a basis in being successful in these exciting
specialties. Take a look at these specialties and take courses and work
on towards your goal.

Nursing Career



Nursing Specialties







Nursing Specialty Certification/Credentialing

American Nurses Credentialing Center http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Certification.aspx

AboutNursing.com http://www.aboutnursing.com/certifications/

NurseZone http://www.nursezone.com/Edu-Prof-Development/certification.aspx

The National Certification Corporation http://www.nccwebsite.org/Certification

The Genetic Nursing Credentialing Commission http://www.geneticnurse.org/

Nursing Specialty Associations

American Forensic Nurses http://www.amrn.com/

International Association of Forensic Nurses http://www.iafn.org/

American Association of Occupational Health Nurses https://www.aaohn.org/

Home Health Nurses Association http://www.hhna.org/

American Public Health Associatio http://www.apha.org/

American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants http://www.aalnc.org/

International & American Association for Legal Nurse Consultants http://www.iaalni.org/

International http://www.isong.org/

American Correctional Health Services Association http://www.achsa.org/

National Association of School Nurses http://www.nasn.org/

American Travel Health Nurses Association http://www.athna.org/

ANIA-CARING - Nursing Informatics Organization http://www.ania-caring.org/

American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing http://www.aaacn.org/