What to consider when looking for the right nursing specialty

What to consider when looking for the right nursing specialty

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When someone asks, “What do you love about your job?” What comes to mind? Some nurses find satisfaction in meeting new people and making different connections every day.


Others enjoy developing long-term relationships with patients, seeing them on a semi-regular basis.


Also, consider your strengths and what you enjoy about the profession. There is a variety of different nursing specialties to choose from that allow you to use your strengths in different settings.


How to choose a nursing specialty?


It’s now time to narrow down your options. It may seem overwhelming because there are so many specialties to choose from. However, don’t worry we’ll help you through the process. Below are a few things to consider when choosing your nursing specialty.


What are the education requirements of your nursing specialty?


Some nursing positions require more than a bachelor’s degree. Certain specialized fields require an advanced nursing degree or certification.


Previously, high-paying specialties, like Critical Care, did not require extra training. However, now it is becoming more necessary to have extensive experience when entering these positions.


This is particularly true for managerial or research-based roles. Nurses need specialized education to work in roles such as:


  • case management
  • nursing education
  • informatics


What is the best personality fit?


There is no specific type of personality best suited for nursing. Different personalities may seek out different specialties to best fit their interests.


When choosing what nursing specialty to work in, make sure that it matches your personality and draws out the best in you.


Additionally, nurses should always show compassion for patients and their families. This is especially important for those who deliver difficult news. Be sure, when entering an emotionally challenging environment such as oncology or hospice care, to think about whether you are able to offer warm and caring interactions in those difficult moments.


Note: Incredible Health has a nursing specialty quiz that helps you find your ideal specialty. It’s free, it’s quick, and it provides you with some great advice on what your talents might be.


How do you like your workday invested?


Do you enjoy working with a team to solve time-sensitive patient problems? Or do you like the quiet of working night shift with minimal engagement with other staff members? Certain specializations spend more time in clinical settings than their counterparts and require team engagement when problem-solving. For example, in surgery or obstetrics, the constant presence of doctors, specialists, or other nurses working together is required.


Some specialties allow nurses to work solely on their own. For example, home health and community nurses spend all day with patients while research or informatics nurses typically work separately on their projects.


Is there a preferred age group you enjoy working with?


Different age groups may also dictate the kind of specialization you choose. While many nurses enjoy working with all age groups and backgrounds, others prefer caring for newborns.


Moreover, you want to explore different age-based niches and learn not only about their unique challenges but also how they present opportunities that help you succeed. One example would be a nurse’s ability to effectively communicate with patients in certain fields is an important factor to consider.


Some nurses find it easier to talk to children. For this reason, they might choose specializing in pediatrics.

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What are your career expectations & salary?


Nursing pay rates are often based on necessity, but they are also influenced by things like location and duties. Your education level and certification also impacts your pay, as many upper-level nursing jobs require special training. If you are looking for the highest paid nursing specialties, check out this article.


Keep in mind if you’re considering a career in the medical field, you want to take the time to check out the opportunities available. Some jobs provide more chances for promotions and leadership positions, whereas other nurse specialties do not.


What environment would you enjoy the most?


Nurses work in many settings, not just hospitals. You can work in private clinics, specialty offices, physicians’ offices, outpatient centers, urgent care facilities, nursing home facilities, surgical centers, universities, or even large corporate offices. Where do you thrive? Where do you see yourself working as a specialized nurse?


What are your desired work hours?


Nursing deals with very specific & complex conditions. Some nurses prefer working a normal 9-5 business day in a doctor’s office setting. Others enjoy the midnight shift in the hospital.


Switching to shift work may not be the best decision if you are unable to work at any time of the day and prefer holidays over regular business days.


If, on the other hand, you prefer a stable schedule and evening hours to be home with family at night and during holidays, you might be more suited to a research or management-related position. Nursing education also provides a solid structure.


Nursing’s a diverse field and, although you think you want to become an RN, there’s the chance nursing isn’t the right fit for you. With some experimentation, it’s possible you’ll find something that suits your strengths more.


11 Types of Nursing Specialties


Here is a list of 11 Nursing Specialties that should give you an idea of which field you wish to pursue the most common of the nursing specialties include:


  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Family Nursing
  • Acute care nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Oncology Nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Intensive care nursing
  • Nursing Administration Gerontological nursing
  • Adult health nursing
  • Cardiovascular Nursing


For a complete list of specialties, some requiring higher education, check out this article.


Of course, when you are ready to start seeking an occupation in your career, Phaxis would be proud to welcome you to our network of trained healthcare professionals.


We have a variety of career paths to choose from with the opportunity to learn from a team of highly talented professionals, trust that Phaxis is the right place for you. Browse our job openings and take the next step in achieving your career goals.


About Phaxis


Founded in 2002, Phaxis is now one of the country’s leading recruitment firms. Specializing in healthcare, information technology, accounting, financial services recruitment, office support, legal, HR, and marketing, Phaxis partners with highly qualified talent and top employers to create rewarding career opportunities that result in long-term success for candidates and employers. Visit us at

Drew Anson

Chief Delivery Officer

Drew Anson is Chief Delivery Officer at Phaxis, a Workforce Solutions Company based in New York.

In this role, Drew leads the delivery and recruiting working closely with the leadership team to define a model that is efficient at supporting the firm’s current needs and is scalable for future growth.

Drew is a seasoned executive with more than 13 years of Services & Recruitment experience. In that time, he has supported numerous Fortune 100/500/1000 organizations across industries by providing global workforce solutions, namely resources and thought leadership for large-scale projects, implementations, and managed services.

Prior to joining Phaxis predecessor firm Park Hudson in 2021, Drew spent three years at engineering technology and talent solutions firm, Collabera, as Director of Sales in North Carolina. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly eight years at Insight Global, most recently as Sales Manager of the Columbus, OH office.

He holds a degree from Central Michigan University in Sales & Marketing.

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