Nurses are essential healthcare workers that are needed in every clinic or healthcare facility. However, the nursing field is currently facing severe shortage issues. Some causes include: the aging population, the COVID19 pandemic, lack of nursing faculty, high turnover rates, etc.
The nursing shortage is expected to increase over the next few years. According to the BLS, employment opportunities for nurses are projected to grow by 9% from 2020 to 2030. Over the next decade, there are expected to be about 275,000 additional jobs for nurses.
The 6 Nursing Specialties in Hot Demand
As the nursing shortage continues to increase, several nurses are needed to fill gaps in the healthcare system. Registered nurses can easily gain employment in many hospitals or clinics. Let’s discuss certain nursing specialties that appear to be in hot demand right now.
1. Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse that can examine, diagnose, prescribe and treat patients without physician oversight. They may provide primary care services or choose to specialize as a family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, and more.
To become a nurse practitioner, you need to complete at least a master’s degree. An online doctor of nursing practice program can also prepare you for the role. Nurse practitioners may work in healthcare facilities or choose to operate independently. The average annual wage for NPs was $123,780 in May 2021.
2. Operating Room Nurse
An operating room nurse is a registered nurse that cares for patients before, during and after a surgery or medical procedure. Their duties include: keeping the operating room clean and sterilized, gathering all supplies needed for the operation, passing medical instruments to the surgeon and monitoring the patient throughout.
Operating room nurses typically need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and an RN license to practice. These nurses can be employed in hospitals, physician offices or outpatient surgical clinics. Operating room nurses are currently in high demand and they can earn between $70,000 to $80,000 per year.
3. Certified Nurse Midwife
A certified nurse midwife is a type of advanced practice registered nurse that provides prenatal or postnatal care and helps pregnant women to deliver babies. Their duties include: preparing mothers for labor and delivery, caring for new mothers and infants during and after childbirth, and educating new parents on infant care.
A registered nurse who wants to specialize in childbirth and gynecological care can become a certified nurse midwife. The route to becoming a nurse midwife requires a master’s or a doctor of nursing practice degree. Nurse midwives often work in birthing centers, hospitals and private practices. They also earn a median annual income of $115,400.
4. Travel Nurse
A travel nurse is a registered nurse who works for independent staffing agencies. They are often recruited to occupy temporary nursing positions across the United States and in other countries. The demand for travel nurses grew during the COVID19 pandemic as several healthcare facilities needed some assistance.
Since travel nurses sign short-term contracts, they often travel from one location to another. It’s a great option for those who desire some type of adventure. Travel nurses typically need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and an RN license. They can find opportunities by working with travel nurse staffing agencies.
5. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse that provides care to patients who have behavioral or mental health illnesses. They help to treat issues such as anxiety, ADHD, panic attacks, depression, substance abuse, PTSD, trauma, schizophrenia, and more.
To become a psychiatric mental health nurse, you need a master’s degree in nursing or a DNP degree with a specialization in psychiatric nursing. These nurses often work in mental health centers, state psychiatric facilities, correctional facilities, and others. They also earn an average income of $110,000 per year.
6. Nurse Informaticist
A nursing informaticist combines knowledge of computers, information sciences, and nursing to organize and properly analyze medical data within a healthcare facility. Nursing informatics has helped to improve nursing/progress notes, electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized provider order entry (CPOE), etc.
Nursing informatics uses efficient systems and technology to reduce medical errors and improve patient care. To become a nursing informaticist, you need a bachelor’s in nursing and a masters degree in nursing, computer science or information science. Nursing informaticists earned an average salary of $101,340 in May 2021.