8 Types of Nursing Specialties You Should Apply for With a Nursing Degree

Nursing is evolving as a profession and now many nurses are working in acute healthcare setups to assist and treat patients with chronic diseases. You can excel in the nursing profession by availing an advanced degree.

Here are the types of nursing specialties that you should pursue with a nursing degree. It would help you to advance your career and expand your earning potential.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse (PMHN)

Salary: $119,000

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses have advanced practice in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with mental health ailments. By becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse, you can cure patients suffering from depression, phobias, dementia, mood disorders, substance abuse, drug addiction, and many other mental health disorders.

To continue your career with this specialization, you must earn at least an MSN degree with a valid Registered Nurse (RN) license. Other degree options are also available to pursue a career as a psychiatric mental health nurse. For example, you can also enroll in RN to MSN programs if you have an RN with an associate degree. You must obtain the license issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Salary: $114,000

Family Nurse Practitioner is one of the most sought after and popular specializations in nursing accounting for over 65% of the nurse practitioners. These advanced registered nurses treat patients throughout their lifespan. You can offer preventive care to patients from childhood to adulthood in various healthcare facilities after becoming a family nurse practitioner.

Master of Science in Nursing FNP Degree is the direct path that can help you to advance in this specialization. You may also enter through other bridge programs with associate degrees in nursing. After completion of graduate training, you can obtain certifications of family practice from various boards of nurse practitioners.

Nurse Midwife

Salary: $105,030

You can start a rewarding career in nursing after becoming a nurse-midwife. These are registered nurses with advanced practice to deal with pregnancy, childbirth, prenatal and postnatal care. Being a nurse-midwife, you can assist patients throughout the pregnancy till the delivery and postpartum care. A nurse-midwife may also guide and provide other healthcare services for women such as preventive measures about reproductive diseases.

Nurse-midwives can adopt many pathways to pursue this career. You may get an admission in an MSN program or a DNP degree if you already have a BSN and an RN license. Another way to become a nurse midwife is to enter an MSN program especially when you don’t have a prior nursing bachelor. The American Midwifery Certification Board issues the licenses to the registered nurse midwives. You must have this certificate to continue your practice as a nurse-midwife.

Clinical Nurse

Salary: $90,616

Clinical nurses can serve in specialized areas including geriatrics, pediatrics, critical emergency care, mental health, rehabilitation, pain management, diabetes, cardiac diseases. You can become a clinical nurse after entering an MSN degree. However, this specialization does not require any certification for practice. You can excel in this specialization and raise your earning potential by getting certifications from the American Nurses credentialing Center in various specializations that may include oncology, gerontology, cardiovascular diseases.

Nurse Researcher

Salary: $81,500

Nurse Researchers are highly esteemed nursing professionals who conduct scientific studies, and research, analyze data, examine results, and report findings of diseases. They contribute to the healthcare sector by improving treatments and medical procedures. You can pursue this specialization if you want to serve the medical field without directly interacting with patients. Other working options are research centers in hospitals and medical laboratories for you. This specialization usually requires a terminal degree such as a doctoral-level degree. Moreover, additional requirements include certifications from the Society for Clinical Research Associates or the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

Travel Nurse

Salary: $79,791

Travel nurses are registered nurses who ease the burden on the healthcare facilities by serving the patients while traveling from one medical facility to another. If you love to travel and don’t want to perform your duties in a specific location for a long period. You can continue your nursing career with this specialization. It will give you a chance to treat patients of different backgrounds residing in different locations across the country or internationally. You may work independently or associate with any agency for job placement. In general, the contract of a travel nurse lasts for a month or two years. You can either perform the general duties of an RN nurse or opt for specialization in a particular area. To become a travel nurse, you must have a BSN degree or an associate degree with an updated RN license. You don’t need to obtain any certification to practice as a travel nurse. However, the most sought-after certifications that you can obtain for improving your career prospects include Certified Critical Care, Certified Pediatric, and Certified Emergency Nurse credentials.

Informatics Nurse

Salary: $78,672

Informatics nurse is an emerging specialization of nursing that trains nurses for handling healthcare data and communications. This specialization can help you to stand out among all other specializations with the training in a combination of subjects including information technology, computer science, and nursing. You can upscale the healthcare sector by managing the electronic data of patients while upgrading the infrastructure of patient care and service delivery. For continuing a career in this specialization, you must have a BSN degree with an RN license. Specific MSN programs focusing on health informatics are also available. Though, the American Nurses Credentialing Center issues certificates for health informatics nurses to enhance career prospects.

Nurse Educator

Salary: $79,319

Nurse educators are those registered nurses who are interested in the academic field and ready to impart their knowledge to the future generation of nurses. You can work as an instructor in universities or hospital nurse training centers. You have a chance to interact with nursing professionals who are under training and share your professional experience and challenges with them. Other duties may include advising students, conducting research, preparing and upgrading the nursing curriculum, and writing grants.

To become a nurse educator, you must pass the NCLEX-RN test with an MSN degree and gain clinical experience in advanced practice registered nurse areas. However, the trend is changing. At present, nursing schools prefer to recruit nurse educators who have either a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) degree or a Ph.D. in nursing. An additional requirement includes the Certified Nurse Educator certification.


Nursing has a wide-ranging variety of specializations to opt for. You should choose a specialization in nursing after careful consideration of your personal preference, career growth, and financial rewards. In this way, you could gain professional excellence in nursing while serving humanity.

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