Specializing Success: How Additional Training Can Elevate Your Nursing Career

Nurses are an indispensable member of our society. Their work ensures that our family, friends, and loved ones are treated with the utmost care for their conditions. What many people might not know, however, is that there are many different kinds of nurses and nursing. Just as with most other professions, nurses have specializations that with education and training, they can aspire to to elevate their career further.

Many tenured nurses may wonder how to further specialize in their careers. They may desire more hands-on work or more laboratory-based labor. Questions like “What is an FNP?” or “DNP vs PhD?” may be buzzing around their head. Well, for any nurses looking at expanding their skillset and advancing further in their industry, this article is for you.


One of the earliest recorded examples of institutionalized, professional nursing is in 1732 when a heavy elderly population at the local almshouse (a place provided for those unable to provide their housing arrangements) led to a need for attendants to care for them – some of the first official nurses.

Today, nursing is a far more sophisticated profession, with extensive education, training, and experience required, bolstered by a commitment from the nurse to continue their training and education while working through CE (Continuing Education). We also have a myriad of regulatory bodies, as well as laws that keep nurses’ (and indeed all medical professionals’s behavior) ethical and accountable.

While the job of a nurse is infinitely deeper than most people will get to see in their lifetime, the fact is that even with as much as a nurse has to do, they can take on even more responsibility by taking on either a leadership role or by advancing their career into one of any number of advanced disciplines.

woman in white button up shirt and blue stethoscope

An Advanced Career

We would never suggest that being a regular “general nurse” is basic, or even unworthy of recognition and accolade. We believe that being a nurse is one of the hardest, most selfless things a person can do. Dedicating your life to helping others that way is a huge weight, and can only be committed to by the most altruistic, dedicated souls.

After years of experience, it can often feel like it’s time for a change, and that’s when people generally start looking at new career opportunities. As we’ve seen, nurses have no shortage of opportunities for career advancement or specialization. Nurses have some wonderfully specialized career choices, the question then becomes, what do these careers do? How do they differ from regular nursing? Which one is for me?

What Do These Advanced Careers Do?

Honestly, just about everything you can think of. There are nursing careers for those who wish to lead nursing teams in a hospital. For others, there are career pathways that see nurses becoming laboratory professionals, and carrying out research into new methods, medications, and technologies to enhance the quality of care given to patients. Some nurses specialize in family care, caring for children, or caring for psychiatric patients. There is even an entirely separate branch of nursing designated to the care of the elderly

So when we talk about “advanced” nursing careers, it’s much more accurate to say “specialized,” as in all cases of nursing there is one common attribute – a nurse, no matter what realm of nursing science they partake in, is caring for people.

man wearing white dress shirt

How Do They Differ From Regular Nursing?

Most registered nurses do one or all of the aforementioned things in some capacity. The difference comes from the level of expertise and involvement in any particular field. A registered nurse will be able to administer standard care practices that will apply to just about anyone, but it is the specialized nurses that will lead the charge in particular patients.

An old man requires a different style of treatment than a little girl. While a registered nurse can take good care of either patient, should they require ongoing or specialist treatment, it is the geriatric or pediatric nurse who will be making the most involved decisions, as well as designing/implementing ongoing care plans.

Their educational and licensing requirements also differ, and depending on what state you’re in, so will your CE requirements and the scope of support you will be expected to offer patients.

Which One is For Me?

That’s the real question, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what career to go for because, well, this is a website. However, we may be able to help you answer this question yourself.

However, it all comes down to this – what do you like about your work?

If you’re a nurse you’ve likely done some minor work in one specialist capacity or another. Which of these was the most interesting, rewarding, or fun for you? Did that time you helped a dementia patient get dressed fill you with a sense of fulfillment? Did comforting a child as they got their first shots make you feel good about yourself? Do you feel overwhelmed by the constant tide of new people you have to treat and wish you were part of the care staff for a few families?

Analyzing what you enjoy most, or what you feel is lacking, in your current role as an RN (registered nurse) is the best place to start working out your career advancement. Either way, we believe that no matter what specialization you choose, you are providing an invaluable service to humanity, and we hope that you will continue for a long time; and that you find fulfillment wherever your career takes you.

person walking on hallway in blue scrub suit near incubator

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Jun 13, 2024 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Specializing Success: How Additional Training Can Elevate Your Nursing Career

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