Five Nursing Specialties You May Not Know About

May 27, 2014

students On the wards in iringa If you are considering becoming a nurse, you’re in luck—you have a lot of specialties to choose from. When most people think of a nurse, they may think of someone taking care of patients in the hospital, performing assessments, giving medications and providing other types of bedside care. There is a lot more to nursing than that traditional image, including the following specialties:






Forensic Nursing

The role of a forensic nurse is part healthcare provider and part detective. Forensic nurses treat patients who have been victims of violent crimes, such as physical and sexual assault. They are trained in collecting evidence off a patient during a physical exam. In addition, forensic nurses may testify in court and help investigate accidental death cases. Forensic health nurses need to have their registered nursing license and at least a year of nursing experience. To improve your chances of landing a job as a forensic nurse, certification is available from the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Holistic Nurse

If you believe the whole person should be treated and not just an illness, holistic nursing may be a good fit. Holistic nurses use different types of complementary treatments, such as nutrition, Eastern healing practices and massage to treat the “whole person.” Holistic nurses often work in hospitals, birthing centers and doctor’s offices. After earning a license as a registered nurse, those interested in this specialty area of nursing, can obtain a certification in nursing from holistic nursing professional organizations.

Occupational Health Nurse

Nurses who are interested in working somewhere other than a hospital may be interested in becoming an occupational health nurse. Sick and injured employees are not good for business. It is the job of an occupational health nurse to develop ways to prevent injuries and keep employees healthy. This goal may be achieved through wellness programs, education and counseling. In addition to having a license as a registered nurse, a bachelor’s degree in nursing is sometimes required. Occupational health nurses work in corporations, research facilities and universities.

Nursing Informatics

Everything from paying your bills to keeping in touch with old friends can be done online. It’s no surprise the medical field is transitioning to electronic medical records.  Nursing informatics specialists are currently in high demand and play a vital role in the development of electronic medical records. Nursing informatics specialists find effective ways to integrate electronic medical records into facilities while improving patient care. Registered nurses who have an interest in computer science may find nursing informatics to be a good match. Nursing informatics specialists work in many settings, including hospitals and consulting firms.

Hyperbaric Nursing

You may have heard of a hyperbaric chamber being used to treat scuba divers with the bends, but they are also used to treat other conditions. Hyperbaric nurses work with patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen treatment. In some instances, hyperbaric chambers are used to treat wounds, which require high levels of oxygen to promote healing. Hyperbaric nurses educate patients on safety, operate the technology, and monitor the patients in the chamber. Specialized training and certification are needed to work as a hyperbaric nurse. Hyperbaric nurses work in hospitals, outpatient centers and wound clinics.