There are many different paths to take for nurses, and all of them lead to rewarding jobs with good benefits and frequent feelings of accomplishment. However, stress levels vary greatly, as does income and whether the type of nursing job is in demand or not. Here is a look at some of the most sought-after nursing positions that seem to offer the best mix of everything a typical nursing student is looking for in a career.
For many kids, the school nurse is their first memory of a nurse whom they were in frequent contact with, and many current nursing students say they were inspired by their school nurses to pursue the field of study. They do tend to make less money than most of the other positions on this list, but stress is relatively low, and the variety of work performed keeps school nurses from being bored.
It is a profession where you need to become familiar with your clients, which can be off-putting for some, but the requirements are generally just an RN, and jobs are currently in high demand.
Midwives are nurses who specialize in care revolving around infants. They perform prenatal work with expectant mothers, educate future fathers on how to keep their kids safe, aid with childbirth itself, and care for the infants while they are in the pregnancy ward. With the frequent work with infants, stress is often high for midwives, but so is their paycheck. Some of that will have to go to paying back loans, though, as midwives generally require a master’s degree (MSN).
For individuals who like a bit more of a routine, dialysis nursing is a great path. It’s still exciting, and kidney disease is responsible for deaths each year in the U.S. than prostate cancer or breast cancer, two things that seem to be a bit more in the public eye. Dialysis nursing is life-saving work and generally doesn’t require high-stress performance. These nurses do often see the same patients over and over again who are nearing the end of their lives, so that’s important to take into account.
This up-and-coming field focuses on data science as much as nursing and is in very high demand right now. For any aspiring nurses with a penchant for computers and big data, informatics nursing might be a great fit. Salaries are competitive with the other specializations on this list, and stress levels are relatively low, though mistakes can lead to HIPAA infractions and things of the like, so there is no shortage of importance that comes with a slightly less hands-on nursing field like informatics.
Another field that doesn’t involve much patient interaction is that of the nurse researcher. These individuals generally need at least a master’s degree, and some published works to get a job in this field. An interest in writing certainly makes this job more appealing, too. Nurse researchers conduct studies about how to improve illnesses, treatments, and even processes to make care more efficient, ultimately enabling more patients to be eligible.
If you like children but aren’t interested so much in the childbirth aspect, pediatric nursing may suit you. These nurses conduct both primary care (fixing something) and preventive care with kids, and often form relationships with their patients. Stress levels can vary greatly, but pediatric nurses often report having extremely high levels of self-satisfaction, and salaries are competitive. If you have a will to educate youngsters, many job opportunities exist within pediatric nursing that have a teaching aspect as well.