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The College of St. Scholastica

By now, you’ve likely heard about the nursing shortage in the United States. Baby boomers are aging, infant mortality rates are dropping and seasoned nurses are nearing the end of their careers. The need for healthcare is growing rapidly as a result.

In fact, the number of registered nursing (RN) jobs alone is projected to grow 19 percent through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), yielding nearly 575,000 new jobs. That is notably higher than the 12 percent growth projected for all U.S. jobs over the same time period.

The BLS is also projecting just over half a million RNs will retire or leave the labor force for other reasons, practically doubling that projected growth!

It goes without saying that a nursing career is one with ample opportunity. But maybe the seemingly endless number of nursing specialties has left you with more questions than answers.

Take a look at nine sectors of healthcare that are looking to fill nursing positions now.

9 in-demand nursing jobs

1. Nurse anesthetist

Requirements: Doctoral degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Overview: A nurse anesthetist works closely with anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists and other physicians to administer anesthesia. They monitor patient vital signs and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. These nurses are kept busy performing routine screenings, developing anesthesia care plans and responding to emergency patient situations.

2. Dialysis nurse

Requirements: Associate or bachelor’s degree, RN

Overview: Dialysis nurses are experts in kidney disease and treatment. Proficient in all types of dialysis, these nurses monitor patients before, during and after procedures, consulting with physicians and technicians throughout. The complexities of kidney disease lead dialysis nurses to work closely with a variety of different medical professionals, such as physicians, dietitians, social workers and technicians.

3. Family nurse practitioner

Requirements: Master’s degree, MSN

Overview: Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have pursued the education and certification to serve as primary healthcare providers in most states. Certified family nurse practitioners (CFNP) are comparable to family physicians in that they often work with patients throughout their lives, conducting routine check-ups and exams, diagnosing illness and prescribing medication as needed. This multifaceted, patient-facing position is grounded in long-term care, covering everything from disease prevention to assisting in minor surgical procedures.

4. Nurse midwife

Requirements: Master’s degree, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

Overview: Nurse midwives are involved in all phases of the birthing process, either working independently or as a part of a comprehensive healthcare team. They monitor fetal development by listening to heartbeats, identifying the baby’s position and estimating its size and weight. These nurses tailor their practice to each patient, creating bespoke healthcare plans and preparing to initiate emergency interventions as needed.

5. Case management nurse

Requirements: Associate or bachelor’s degree, RN

Overview: Case management nurses work with patients who require long-term care for chronic or complicated medical conditions. They evaluate patient needs and create comprehensive healthcare plans alongside patient families. These nurses can also work in a social work capacity, acting as advocates for patients to ensure they receive the best care for their specific situations.

6. Critical care nurse

Requirements: Associate or bachelor’s degree, RN

Overview: Working as a critical care nurse is never boring. They work directly with patients facing life-threatening conditions—often those placed in intensive care units (ICU). These nurses evaluate vital signs to determine emergency intervention needs, monitor patients for changes in status, administer medication and conduct pulmonary assessments.

7. Mental health nurse

Requirements:  RN, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, PhD

Overview: Mental health nurses work with patients afflicted by mental illness, to help them live their lives to the fullest extent. Working in this sector of healthcare requires expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. These nurses are often part of an interdisciplinary treatment team.

Titles and educational requirements vary by state, although nurses working in this arena of healthcare are most commonly mental health RNs and the more advanced mental health nurse practitioners. The scope of responsibilities vary respectively.

8. Informatics nurse

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, BSN

Overview: Nursing informatics is an emerging nursing specialty that is becoming integral to the healthcare system. These medical professionals combine advanced knowledge of nursing and data processing to assist in the design, development and ongoing modification of electronic healthcare databases. They also act as translators between nurses and systems engineers and analysts.

Informatics nurses work toward improving nursing services through analyzing and interpreting information systems data.

9. Geriatric nurse

Requirements: Associate or bachelor’s degree, RN

Overview: The aging population in America shines a bright light on the need for geriatric nurses across the country. Older adults are at greater risk of injuries and diseases like Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer. These nurses focus on preventative care and work closely with elderly patients and their families to cope with these medical conditions.

Which nursing job is the right fit for you?

The national nursing shortage is creating ample career opportunities for those interested in entering the medical field. Can you find your perfect vocational fit in this handful of in-demand nursing jobs?

No matter which specialty you choose, all nursing careers come with an ingrained emphasis—to provide genuine care to those in need. If that sounds like a mission you can rally behind, head over to St. Scholastica’s undergraduate nursing information page to learn about your options.