If you’ve been thinking about finding a new nursing job, there is no better time than now. The entire field has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and this is a trend that will only continue. In fact, there are so many in-demand nursing specialties that the possibilities can feel endless.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2019-2029, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth. The employment of all other types of nurses, including LPNs and NPs, is projected to grow much faster than the average.
This high demand for nurses can be attributed to several different factors, including workforce exits and retirements, an aging population, and other evolving patient demographics. Additionally, the demand is being driven by a new normal following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the healthcare market continues rapidly evolving, facilities are re-focusing on their core operations,” says Courtney Martarana, a Senior Staffing Manager who specializes in Nursing at Tandym Health. “While the healthcare industry is forever changed, we’ve entered a new normal. We are now seeing a lot of hiring for in-demand nursing specialties that may have taken a backseat to urgent pandemic-related needs.”
In light of the evolving healthcare landscape, nurses should always be considering their next career move. This could mean exploring new possibilities in your existing specialty or exploring new opportunities in other areas. Regardless, there are plenty of options out there! Here are seven of the most in-demand nursing specialties:
Visits to outpatient practices during the pandemic declined, leaving these clinics to cut back on staff and reallocate resources. The recent rebound in visits has led to nursing needs for recent grads and experienced nurses across many different outpatient settings and specialties, including Internal Medicine, ENT, Pediatrics, and Urgent Care.
Outpatient centers such as these will also be handling COVID-19 testing and vaccination as part of their regular operations going forward. If you want to continue doing that as part of your role and are looking for a setting with more flexibility and predictable hours, clinic nursing may be for you!
With schools resuming in-person learning full-time, there are several opportunities to work in a school setting. Supporting the health of students to improve their well-being and promote academic achievement, school nurses are a critical part of the nation’s education system. You can make this type of community impact all while working a flexible schedule! Full-time, per diem, and part-time opportunities are available.
With hospitals working toward a “new normal,” they are working to address nursing shortages in critical areas. These in-demand nursing specialties include Med Surg, Telemetry, and ICU. Note that these roles require at least one to two years of experience in the specialty area, so these are best for nurses looking to jump back into a hospital role.
Psychiatric nursing is one of the most in-demand nursing specialties, and the need is high in both outpatient and inpatient settings. As a psych nurse, you’d typically work as part of a broader care team that treats conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse. To be successful in this field, you need to have a strong foundation in behavioral sciences as well as good communication skills, empathy, and an openness toward others.
As a developmental disability or special needs nurse, you’d take care of patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities—helping them improve their quality of life. There are several patient populations you could work with, and opportunities are most prevalent at inpatient residential facilities and schools. This type of role typically involves more case management with some clinical aspects. Think a 70/30 ratio of non-clinical vs. clinical responsibilities.
There’s a major shortage of nurses working in long-term care, which makes it one of the most in-demand nursing specialties. While this type of role is often overlooked, caring for residents of a long-term care facility is a noble profession that requires excellent nursing skills. While long-term care residents can include any type of patient population, the need for long-term care nurses will only continue to grow as baby boomers age.
Travel nurses are RNs from various clinical backgrounds who work in short-term roles at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities across the country. They were especially critical during the pandemic when medical facilities struggled to fill the gaps as COVID-19 cases surged. If you have at least one year of clinical nursing experience, traveling gives you the opportunity to advance your career and clinical skillset through assignments at top facilities.
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