Nurses are essential in the delivery of healthcare. Their profession doesn’t just revolve around providing care and assisting patients but also promoting health in the public sector by preventing disease awareness. They are always at the frontline of healthcare and public-health change. No other healthcare practitioner plays such a large and diverse role.
Nurses perform excellently, as they are adept at recognizing the emotional, physical, mental, and cultural experiences patients face during health and sickness. They do much more than look after patients. One of their most important roles is to offer solace to families and help them cope with the suffering of their loved ones.
The nursing profession is diverse, with credentials available in clinical, management, and educational areas. If you are in the initial stages of entering this field, the most prominent question to boggle your mind is to decide your field of specialization. Here, we have listed the top most in-demand professions in nursing that will help you make the right career choice. So without further ado, let’s explore these in detail.
Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
An Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, or AGNP, is a nurse practitioner who provides comprehensive healthcare to individuals aged 12 and above. Their role centers on assisting patients in maintaining long-term health by advocating and implementing preventive strategies.
To take on this role, a regular NP would require completing an AGACNP master’s degree. This degree entails specialized knowledge of treating adults, adolescents, and the elderly with acute, chronic, and complex health conditions. To further excel in this field, one needs a doctoral degree, which will equip them with advanced knowledge for improving local, state, and national health care.
An AGNP will diagnose and treat illnesses, provide preventative care, conduct routine check-ups, do health-risk assessments, or give immunizations. Their responsibilities also include the management of chronic conditions. Those who work in acute care facilities usually coordinate with physicians and other clinicians to care for hospitalized patients. However, some institutions require NPs in that field to have critical care nurse practitioner certifications.
AGNPs work in various healthcare settings. These include long-term care centers, hospitals, prisons, urgent care centers, and primary care practices. There are so many opportunities for people to pursue a career in nursing nowadays. One can even start their journey from the comfort of their homes by opting for an online degree.
These APRNs give anesthetic and pain medication during surgical operations and recovery, monitor patients’ vital signs, make modifications, and deliver anesthesia and pain medication. They deal with patients of all ages throughout routine and emergency surgical procedures. Before surgery, they record patient histories and provide information about the types of anesthesia used in the process.
A BSN degree, an RN license, and at least an MSN degree are needed to enter this field. Besides certification, over 3,000 hours of clinical experience are required for them to practice. They must also apply for state-issued APRN licenses with prescribing authority.
A perioperative nurse cares for patients having surgery. Working in conjunction with an anesthesiologist and surgeon, they are responsible for the safety, planning, and monitoring of patients undergoing surgery. There are three main categories of postoperative nursing, each requiring a unique set of skills, knowledge, and experience.
Nurses assigned to operating rooms have increased responsibilities since surgery is more modern and complex than before. In surgical facilities, perioperative nurses play a significant role. They must make snap judgments and handle complex challenges in a short amount of time.
Patients, family members, doctors, and surgeons regularly meet with perioperative nurses to discuss upcoming procedures and recovery. Doctors evaluating patients for surgery also benefit from the assistance of perioperative nurses. These nurses can be assigned the roles of RNFA too.
Before transferring to perioperative nursing, registered nurses often get a few years of experience. Those who work in critical care and emergency medicine are suited to perioperative nursing since they are exposed to high-stress environments and must make quick decisions. Orthopedic, dental, cosmetic, general, urology, oncology, cardiac, and neurosurgery are among the specialties of perioperative nurses.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
These nurses assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental illnesses. People with mood disorders, phobias, depression, or dementia and those battling substance misuse or other addictions might benefit from the services of psychiatric mental health nurses. They are responsible for crisis intervention, mental health assessment and evaluation, and patient aid, in addition to giving medicine and counseling.
To work as a mental health nurse, one must have an MSN and a valid RN license. One of the two options for aspiring nurse practitioners (NPs) who want to pursue a graduate degree is RN-to-MSN programs for RNs with associate degrees. The second is the direct-entry MSN programs for non-nursing bachelor’s degree holders.
Graduates of an NP school with a psychiatric mental health population seeking state licensure must receive the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
A clinical nurse specialist (CNS) is another nurse’s advanced practice role. Their duties involve applying expertise to a particular patient population (e.g., adult acute care). CNSs advise medical staff on evidence-based practice to ensure the best possible outcome for patients.
Clinical nurse specialists are one-person shows with five primary responsibilities: clinical practice, research, teaching, consulting, and management. Because health care doesn’t follow a single set of rules, a CNS is essential to the managed care movement. These nurses aim to coordinate money-saving treatments and resources while still offering optimal health results. They also function as a patient advocate.
Among other things, CNS programs prepare individuals to be educators. Additionally, these nurses are well-versed in evidence-based practice, which allows them to work in research.
While a postgraduate degree is a minimum requirement for a clinical nurse specialist, a master’s degree will give you an edge.
Nursing is a rewarding profession with so many options. The ones mentioned above are just a few among many. If taking care of others and helping them makes you feel whole, you should certainly embark on this tough but very rewarding path to help humanity.