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News January 26, 2018

Top 5 Most In-Demand Nursing Specialties in 2018

Not sure what nursing specialty to choose?  Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a change, choosing the right nursing specialty can be difficult. 

Every nursing specialty is unique and has its own set of rewards and challenges. 

Get ahead of the game by understanding what your options are and staying in charge of your nursing career.

Below is a list of the top 5 most in-demand nursing specialties in 2018. 

5 Most In-Demand Nursing Specialties In 2018

1. Nurse anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists are closely involved in pre- and post-op procedures, and they may also provide assistance to surgeons and anesthesiologists in the operating room.

With increasing numbers of procedures being performed in outpatient settings, including clinics and physician's offices, this nursing specialty has a positive job outlook and provides some flexibility.

Plus, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage for this nursing specialty in the United States is a solid $81.47 per hour.

2. Case management and private patient advocacy

Case management and nurse advocacy is a growing specialty in facilities, but RNs may not realize they can take their own show on the road. 

Private patient advocacy, particularly for certain populations (such as geriatrics) is becoming more popular, and you can even seek certification for this specialty from the Patient Advocate Certification Board.

“The healthcare system has become so complex and profit driven, patients can get lost in the shuffle,” says Teri Dreher, who, after 30 years of critical care nursing, founded NShore Patient Advocates in 2011. 

She says the job of private case managers or patient advocates is to mitigate that risk and ensure patients get the best possible care.

3. Geriatrics and home health nursing

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, one in five people in America will be retirement age or older. 

Even now, the healthcare field is experiencing the crunch of an aging population, and choosing a nurse specialty that involves geriatric care (including work in home health, assisted living communities or nursing homes) can mean a long-term, lucrative career.

4. Emergency room and urgent care nursing

According to the Urgent Care Association of America, there were 7,357 urgent care centers in the United States in 2016. 

That was up from 6,707 in 2015, and the numbers continue to grow as doctors and others take emergency medicine out of traditional hospital channels — and that means more work for those with experience in this nursing specialty.

5. Technology nursing specialty

Finally, one nursing specialty many overlook involves the ability to transition into a medical technologies niches. 

Sue Niemeier, MHA, BSN, RN, is the Chief Nursing Officer of Ivenix. She brings a clinical perspective to the teams that work on technology meant to make patient care easier or safer. 

You don't have to work your way into the C-suite to take part in this nursing specialty; technically-minded RNs often find work in research and development or technology labs.

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