Whether you are a qualified nurse looking for a change or you are newly registered, choosing a nursing speciality can be a challenge that requires careful consideration. There are a number of benefits of choosing a nursing speciality; some that you may find more rewarding than others. For example, some of the advantages linked to becoming a specialist include greater job security, enhanced career satisfaction and potential to an increased salary.
Here at Medical-Locums Group, as healthcare and nursing recruiters, we are aware of the UK job market’s high demand for specialist nurse practitioners. However, very few nurses begin their journeys identifying exactly which sector of nursing they’d like to specialise in. As they progress as nurses, they often change their mind and original thoughts. So, we have created a list of considerations you should bear in mind when choosing from different nursing specialities.
Different Nursing Specialities
Depending on your personality, interests, education/qualifications and the level of job pressure you can cope with, there are a number of different nursing roles available on the UK job market. Here are a few examples of what you may consider specialising in:
- Adult nursing
- Children’s nursing
- Mental health nurse
- Prison nurse
- District nurse
- Neonatal nurse
- Learning disibility nurse
- Surgical Nurse
For more information about these different nursing roles, take a look at the NHS website. Here, you can also find out the entry requirements, training needed and personal characteristics and skills required.
Your Interests and Personality
Each one of these nursing specialities has a different working environment and operates at a different pace. Therefore, it is essential that you choose your speciality based on your personal interests and overall personality. It is imperative that you feel comfortable in your job role and enjoy your day to day responsibilities, allowing you to perform to the best of your abilities.
If you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, then this is a good place to start when choosing your nursing speciality. If you excel in handling unexpected situations well and thrive on being challenged, then a nursing job on an emergency ward could be the place for you.
Reflect on Your Nursing Placements
It is a good idea to think back to your nursing placements where you will have worked in a variety of different wards during nursing rotations. This aim of this was to provide you with that experience in a range of different sectors, allowing you to decide which you most enjoyed and which roles you found the most challenging.
You need to consider how much you enjoy working with your patients, or whether working away from direct patient care would suit you better. If you decide to work in a more research focused area, the direct contact you have with patients will be minimal. Think back to when you were studying to become a registered nurse and figure out what you enjoyed most. This can be extremely beneficial in helping you to decide which area of nursing you’d like to specialise in.
Consider the Setting You Wish to Work In
There is an abundance of nursing jobs that are performed outside of hospitals, so don’t restrict your career to the more traditional streams if its an area you’re not interested in. Schools, nursing homes, correctional facilities, prisons and research laboratories are just a selection of non-hospital settings that require nurses. Try to look for a setting that is in sync with your interests.
Nevertheless, if you do decide that traditional hospital-based nursing is where you’d like to work, there are a number of departments you should consider. For example, the type and pace of work will vary massively between the A&E ward and the intensive care unit. The level of patient and fellow healthcare staff interaction you’ll be involved in will also differentiate hugely between the two departments.
Education and Qualifications
This is something you need to take into consideration in plenty of time. A lot of nursing specialities require a specific skill set, particular training and distinct qualifications. Furthermore, some specialist roles will require a master’s degree. Although this job is rewarding in the long-term, becoming a specialist nurse requires a huge commitment to your career, which is worth contemplating over before making any decisions. For more information on nursing courses at Universities in the UK, take a look at Which? University.
Levels of Job Pressure
Although the majority of nursing roles are high-pressure, there are some that are more than others. More often than not, a lot of specialist roles are particularly demanding and come with higher stress levels. Carefully considering how well you cope with job pressures is vital before you choose your nursing speciality. Be honest with yourself and critically consider how much stress you’ll be able to handle.
If you are someone who thrives in stressful and challenging environments, then a job as a surgical job may be suited to you. You do need to also consider whether an ‘on-call’ lifestyle would be suitable. You also need to contemplate whether you can handle unexpected situations well. If so, then a nursing role within the A&E ward could be ideal for you.
With the high demand for specialised nurses, roles can often be location specific. It may be worth looking in your area for specialised roles if you’re not looking to relocate any time soon. Medical-Locums Group offer a huge variety of nursing vacancies across the UK if you are looking for either temporary or permanent work. It is worth spending some time researching geographically where your particular nursing specialisation is most in demand.
Picking a nursing speciality can be a complex task that will take some meticulous consideration. Fortunately though, with the ever advancing UK’s healthcare system, there is a variety of speciality nursing roles available. From jobs in research to learning disability nursing, there is an extensive range of vacancies guaranteed to suit your lifestyle, qualifications and individual preferences. If you are looking for career advice or in search of a specialised nursing job, then get in touch with us today and take a look at the healthcare jobs we have to offer.