The opportunities in the nurse careers are endless. After several years of experience, the nurse is eligible to pursue certification in her specialty of choice. This can often mean more opportunities in the nursing profession, including leadership or management, and also usually means an increase in pay. Opportunities for certification exist in almost every field of nursing, but the requirements vary with each specialty.
After working in a particular specialty for several years, nurses will often pursue certification. Certification shows the public and the employer that the nurse has obtained a higher level of knowledge and expertise in her chosen specialty. These nurses are often chosen as leaders among their peers and are often promoted into management positions.
Opportunities for certification exist in almost every field of the nursing career. Operating room nurses, critical care, emergency room, dialysis, and school nursing are but a few of the available specialties. Each certification requires a great deal of preparation and testing, and almost always requires several years of experience working in the chosen field. Each certification is different, and the nurse should determine what the requirements are for her field if she should choose to pursue certification.
There are many opportunities in the profession of nursing. Certification is available in a wide variety of nursing fields, and most registered nurses are eligible to pursue certification if they so choose. Certification can mean an increased wage and a higher degree of professionalism, as well as recognition in the nursing community and with the public.
Many nurses begin their nurse careers in hospital care, often working in the hospital directly after graduating from nursing school. Most of the care provided to ill patients in the hospital is still provided by the registered nurse. Some nurses choose to stay in a hospital setting throughout their careers, often deciding to pursue certification as a medical-surgical nurse.
Most of the ill patients in the hospital setting are still cared for by medical-surgical nurses. These nurses provide care to many different types of patients with varying illnesses, also providing care to patients that are recovering from previous surgeries. Many rural hospitals utilize medical-surgical nurses to take care of the bulk of the patients that are admitted. The medical-surgical nurse has specialized knowledge of many different types of illnesses.
Medical-surgical nurses can pursue certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or through the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN). Each certification has slightly different requirements for previous experience and education. Both certifications require testing and a fee. ANCC Certification can be helpful to advance your nursing career.
A medical-surgical nurse is also known as the Jack-of-all-Trades in the hospital setting. She must know about a variety of illnesses and how to care for patients with many different types of problems. Many nurses will work in this setting at some point in their nursing careers.
In the course of their nursing careers, cardiac nurses work with both ill and well patients. They may care for patients in the hospital who have just undergone procedures on their hearts. They may also care for patients who have suffered heart attacks or had open-heart surgery. Other cardiac nurses work in outpatient clinics, helping to test patients that are at risk for cardiac illness or patients that are recovering after being hospitalized. Certification is available for the cardiac nurse, and presents an opportunity for the cardiac nurse to become a leader in her specialty.
Cardiac nurses work in many settings across the healthcare field. They may work in the hospital setting with patients that are critically ill, having suffered heart attacks or heart surgery. They may also work in a clinic setting, and are often present for treadmill testing and other cardiac testing functions that take place in the outpatient setting. These nurses are highly skilled and trained to recognize risks and cardiac disease.
Certification is available for cardiac nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and requires several years of experience to qualify. Nurses that choose to pursue certification must take and pass a rigorous test, and pay a fee for certification and ongoing continuing education.
The cardiac nurse tends to patients who are undergoing care for their hearts. This may be in a hospital setting or in an outpatient clinic. These nurses have a great deal of knowledge and experience that they have gained over the course of their nursing careers.
As a part of their nursing career, pediatric nurses work with children in many different settings. They may care for children who are hospitalized, or they may care for well or ill children in a pediatric clinic. These nurses have specialized knowledge of childhood diseases and pediatric medication dosing. They may pursue certification in their field after they have obtained several years of experience.
The pediatric nurse may work with children wherever the child is located. They may work with ill children who have been hospitalized. They also work with children recovering from surgeries while they are in the hospital. They may also work in pediatric clinics, helping to care for children who are both well and sick, often giving medications and vaccinations to these children.
After several years of experience, the pediatric nurse may choose to pursue certification through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB). Nurses must have demonstrated experience and have acquired a great deal of knowledge in pediatric nursing before being eligible for certification. Nurses must also take an examination to demonstrate their knowledge, and also must pay a fee for certification.
Pediatric nurses care for children in many settings, both inside and outside of the hospital. These nurses care for both well and ill children, and have specialized knowledge of how children respond to illness.
ICU, or Intensive Care Unit, nurses work with the most ill patients that are hospitalized. These patients are often very near death, and ICU nurses care for them, providing critical treatment and medication. These nurses must be very focused, and have the ability to recognize symptoms and signs of progressing disease quickly, or it may result in their patient’s death. These nurses often work very independently with the lives of their patients in their hands.
After many years of experience, the ICU nurse may decide to pursue certification in her field. This is generally done through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACCN), and will give the ICU nurse the title CCRN. This certification requires several years of experience in a critical-care setting, and also requires the nurse to have attained a great deal of specialized knowledge. The testing process for the certification can be rigorous, and nurses must also pay a fee for testing and certification, as well as participate in continuing education.
The ICU nurse cares for the most critically ill people in all of society, and is their best chance at recovery. Her specialized knowledge gained throughout her nurse career can help the sickest of all patients on the path to recovery.
Psychiatric nurses work with patients suffering from mental illnesses. During their nursing careers, they may work with hospitalized patients, or patients in recovery from substance abuse or in outpatient clinic settings. These nurses may choose to pursue certification after they have had some experience in their specialty, often after several years.
Psychiatric nurses work in a wide variety of settings with people suffering from all types of mental illnesses. These nurses may work in inpatient settings, either in hospitals or specialized psychiatric hospitals. They may also work in inpatient or outpatient substance-abuse recovery, often helping patients with medication. Psychiatric nurses also sometimes work in outpatient clinics, often as case managers, helping those with mental illnesses to find resources in the community to help them cope with their circumstances. All of these nurses have specialized training in therapeutic communication, allowing them to best communicate with those suffering from mental illnesses.
Psychiatric nurses may pursue certification after they have acquired some experience. They must take and pass a certification test given by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and must also pay a fee for the certification and test. Continuing education is required of these nurses after they have become certified.
Psychiatric nurses work with many different types of mentally-ill patients over the course of their nursing careers. They may work in an inpatient or outpatient setting to utilize their communication skills to help their patients.
Home health nurses work with many different types of patients over the course of their nursing careers. These nurses care for patients in their own homes, often after they have been discharged from the hospital. These nurses may provide wound care, intravenous therapy, or administer medication. Some home health nurses care for people who are on ventilators, requiring them to have extensive knowledge of how this machinery works. After several years of experience, the home health nurse may choose to become certified in her specialty.
Home health nurses work with many types of patients of all ages in their own homes. These nurses travel to the home to care for their patient, bringing their expertise in nursing to the home bedside. These nurses often provide intravenous medication therapy and wound care to their patients. Many nurses also provide care to critically-ill patients that have chosen to remain at home, and may also provide care to patients bound to ventilators.
Certification for home health nurses is provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and requires the nurse to have experience caring for patients in their homes. Nurses must take and pass a certification test, and must also pay a fee for certification.
During their nurse careers, home health nurses are an important part of the healthcare delivery system, and provide care to patients in their homes. These nurses allow patients to be at home to receive care instead of at the hospital.
Hospice nurses work with patients who are near death and their families. People in these nurse careers provide comfort and care for their patients in a very difficult time. Nurses help families to deal with the death of their loved one, and also provide needed medication and comfort measures to patients who are nearing death. These nurses may pursue certification after some experience in the specialty.
Hospice nurses take care of both patients and their families, helping them to deal with the emotional and physical aspects of an impending death. These nurses are specialists in providing comfort and support, and proper medications to make the dying process as comfortable as possible for both the patient and family. These nurses are experts in communication, and also have specialized knowledge of medications that are needed for helping patients with pain and symptom management.
Hospice nurses may pursue certification through the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). These nurses must have some experience in their specialty, and must also pass a certification examination, as well as pay a fee for certification. Ongoing continuing education is also required for continued certification.
Hospice nurses provide comfort and care to patients and their families through some of the most difficult times in life. Through their nursing careers, these nurses provide needed comfort measures, and help families and patients to deal with the emotional issues surrounding the dying process.
Labor and Delivery
Labor and delivery nurses help women during one of the most joyous times of life: childbirth. Through their nursing careers, labor and delivery nurses help women to give birth, and assist with the care of the postpartum woman and her baby. These nurses help women become mothers, often teaching them not only how to deal with the pain of labor, but also how to care for their new child. These nurses may pursue certification within their specialty after they have had some extensive experience.
Labor and delivery nurses may work with women during the childbirth process, and may also help care for ill pregnant women and for women immediately after giving birth. Some labor and delivery nurses also help with surgical deliveries, making them also specialists in operating-room care. All of these nurses have specialized knowledge of the physiology of pregnancy and how to determine if things are progressing properly in the labor process. These nurses help women give birth to healthy babies, often identifying problems before they arise.
Nurses may certify as labor and delivery nurses through the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The testing process is rigorous for this specialty, and several years of experience is required before being eligible for certification.
Labor and delivery nurses help women give birth to healthy babies. Over the course of her nurse career, the labor and delivery nurse will help women in labor and immediately after birth to become mothers.
People in dialysis nursing jobs help patients suffering from kidney failure to lead more healthy lives. During the course of her nursing career, the dialysis nurse may help patients both inside and outside the hospital to acquire life-saving dialysis treatment. These nurses have specialized knowledge of the kidneys and dialysis machinery. They may pursue certification in their field, if they choose, after they have had some experience in the specialty.
Dialysis nurses help patients who have failing kidneys. These patients require dialysis treatment to clean their blood in order to survive. Dialysis nurses have knowledge of not only the kidneys, but also of dialysis equipment and how best to utilize it. They are keenly aware of safety and the procedures for utilizing the machinery, and are watchful for any problems that may arise. These nurses often have several years of other experience before entering into the field of dialysis.
Dialysis nurses may pursue certification through the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), which shows their expertise in the field of dialysis. These nurses must have experience in providing care to dialysis patients, as well as expertise in their field. A fee for testing is required, and dialysis nurses are required to maintain ongoing continuing education to qualify for continued certification.
Dialysis nurses assist with providing care to patients who are no longer able to depend on their own kidney function. These nurses are able to provide life-saving care to their patients, and have specialized knowledge of the proper care and procedures involved in dialysis.
Emergency room nurses work with patients who have been injured, or are newly ill and have just entered the hospital setting. Over the course of their nurse careers, these nurses may work with trauma victims, critically-ill patients, and children and adults with many different types of illnesses and injuries. These nurses have knowledge of many different types of illnesses, and are trained to recognize symptoms of serious illness. These nurses may become certified in emergency nursing after acquiring a great deal of specialized knowledge.
Emergency nurses work with all types of patients, from the very young to the very old and every type of patient in between. They care for patients that who suffered traumas, either from accidents or injuries, as well as for patients who are very ill. Patients often enter the hospital setting through the emergency department, and the emergency room nurse must know about many different illnesses to be able to determine how critical the illness is for the patient.
Emergency room nurses may seek certification through the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) after they have acquired knowledge about their field of specialty. The test is very difficult since the nurse is required to have knowledge of many different diseases and injuries. Certification is maintained by repeated testing and continuing education.
The emergency room nurse will encounter many types of patients during her nursing career. She must be able to assist with the treatment of patients with serious illnesses and trauma, and she must recognize which patients are the most critically ill in order to plan her care.
Neurological nurses work with patients who have suffered strokes or other neurological damage. These nurses usually work in an inpatient setting, but may also work in outpatient clinics during their nurse careers. These nurses care for stroke victims and other patients suffering from neurological problems, and help them recover their health. They have specialized knowledge of the brain and neurological systems. These nurses may become certified in their specialty after they have completed several years of employment in their field.
Neurological nurses work with people who have suffered from strokes, brain damage, or other nerve damage. They commonly work in neurology units in the hospital setting, caring for patients who are recovering from recent events. These nurses must understand how the nervous system works to ensure that they can provide the best care for their patients. They must demonstrate compassion and patience, as most patients suffering from neurological symptoms have both physical and cognitive impairments.
Neurological nurses may decide to pursue certification through the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANA). These nurses must have experience in neurology nursing and must have demonstrated their expertise in their field. They must have acquired a great deal of knowledge of how to care for neurology patients to be able to pass the testing process. A fee is also required for certification, as well as continuing education in the specialty.
Neurological nurses work with patients who have suffered some type of nerve damage, often stroke and trauma victims. These nurses have the specialized knowledge needed to be able to take care of these patients and assist them to recovery.
Oncology nurses work with patients that have been diagnosed with cancer. During her nurse career, the oncology nurse may provide care to cancer patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. These nurses have knowledge of the physiology of many types of cancer and specialized training in providing chemotherapeutic agents to patients. Oncology nurses are often certified as a part of their employment, giving patients the comfort of knowing the nurse has obtained a great deal of expertise.
Oncology nurses may care for cancer patients inside or outside of the hospital. Hospitalized cancer patients are often critically ill, or are recovering from surgery. Most chemotherapy is now given in the outpatient setting, and oncology nurses provide this medication to patients. A great deal of training is required to safely administer chemotherapy drugs, and oncology nurses often have experience in other fields before joining this specialty.
After several years of experience, the oncology nurse may choose to pursue certification. This is often required of oncology nurses as a part of their employment, as it gives patients the comfort of knowing their nurse has attained a high level of expertise in the field. Certification is provided by the Oncology Nursing
Certification Corporation (ONCC) and requires that the nurse has several years of experience, as well as training in administering medication. A fee is required, and nurses are also required to attend continuing education courses in oncology to maintain their certification.
In the course of their nursing careers, oncology nurses provide care for cancer patients. They may work either inside or outside of the hospital, often caring for patients by administering cancer-related drugs. These highly-trained nurses provide care to many types of patients suffering from cancer.
School nurses help take care of children in the school setting. During their nursing careers, these nurses may take care of a number of different types of children. Nurses administer medication and help to care for ill children. They may work in school clinics, often independently, providing care to children from preschool to college. These nurses may pursue certification after they have attained some experience and knowledge in school nursing jobs.
School nurses take care of children in all types of school settings. They may help to administer medication to children who need it, or they may help to take care of children who have complicated medical needs during the school day. They may also take care of children who have become ill while waiting to transfer them to the care of a parent. Some school nurses work in clinics inside schools, providing nursing care and advice to students, usually independently. These nurses must be able to work on their own and must have excellent clinical knowledge of many types of pediatric issues.
School nurses may decide to become certified in school nursing though the National Board of Certification for School Nurses (NBCSN). School nurses must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify for certification, and must also have the experience and knowledge needed to pass the certification examination.Nurses pay a fee for the certification exam, and must participate in continuing education to maintain their certification status.
School nurses take care of children during the school day in many types of school settings. They must have a broad base of knowledge of pediatric issues and problems, and must be able to work on their own. These nurses care for children from preschool age to college, and must be able to identify illness and provide excellent clinical care for their patients.
Operating room nurses work with patients who are undergoing a surgical procedure. As part of their nurse jobs, these nurses may care for patients who are preparing for surgery, recovering from surgery, or undergoing surgery. These nurses have specialized knowledge of the surgical patient, and must understand sterile techniques and the surgical process. These nurses are often certified as a part of their employment.
Operating room nurses work with patients during the time of surgery. They may work with patients before their surgeries, helping them to prepare for the surgery physically and emotionally. Other nurses work with post-surgical patients, helping them to recover from the trauma of surgery and from anesthesia. Other nurses work inside the operating room, sometimes as the assistant to the doctor, and other times running the surgery as a circulating nurse. All of these nurses have highly-specialized training in surgical nursing, allowing them to best help their patients to prepare for and deal with the aftermath of surgery.
Surgical nurses are often certified, usually seeking certification after several years of employment in the field. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) provides certification for several types of surgical nursing, including operating room nurses. These certifications require a great deal of experience and preparation, and are quite difficult. Certification provides the registered nurse with the title of CNOR, and indicates the knowledge and expertise that the nurse has been able to attain.
Operating room nurses work in many areas of surgery in the course of their nursing careers. They may work with surgery patients getting ready for surgery, with patients in the operating room, or with patients recovering from the surgery itself.