Defining a Nursing Specialty or Concentration

One of the most exciting and challenging parts of pursuing a career in nursing is deciding exactly what concentration is best for the student nurse, once he or she begins working in a hospital, clinic or medical facility. Most nurses enter into a campus-based or online nursing program with an idea of where personal skills and interests can match up with the wide range of nursing specialties, but the focus can change throughout the nursing school experience. From classroom instruction to labs and clinicals, the ability for a nursing school student to specialize in certain areas of medicine can be an adventurous time of personal and professional exploration.

Choosing a career path as a Nurse Anesthetist, Certified Nurse Midwife, Forensic Nurse or General Nurse Practitioner, for example, can affect the amount of time a student spends in nursing school, as well as the salary paid once the nurse graduates and is employed. Other considerations when choosing a nursing specialization is the need for a particular kind of nurse within a location, the hours that can be required in that setting, and any further education needed, whether through certification hours or accelerated nursing degrees.

Narrowing down the nursing concentration choices can be accomplished through research of the options available and even through discussions with nurses currently employed in the field. School counselors and mentors can provide insight into the decision, and mentor or shadow programs can effectively introduce the work environment to the student nurse. The specialization a nursing school student pursues can make a huge difference in the fulfillment of the nursing experience, lending to a positive work and personal outlook, helping the nurse and the patients he or she is treating.