The nursing industry has been on an upward trajectory for years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for RNs from 2016 – 2026 will increase by 15%. This projected growth is good news for all nurses, including travel nurses. While the surge of demand is across all of nursing, there are some nursing specialties that have more growth opportunities than others. This list of the top 10 nursing specialties outlines the top 10 nursing specialties of 2018.
Top 10 Nursing Specialties of 2018
1) Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. As an acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) you’re working in a very fast-paced setting. Your responsibilities include providing advanced care to patients suffering from brief yet severe illnesses. As an ACNP, you will most likely work in emergency rooms and other short-term facilities. As the baby boomer population ages, acute care nurse practitioner is most certainly one of the top 10 nursing specialties in 2018.
2) Dialysis Nurse. Similar to ACNP, the demand for dialysis nurses is on the rise with the aging population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics again, the growth rate for dialysis nurses is expected to hit 26% over the next decade. That projected growth makes dialysis nurses a top 10 nursing specialties of 2018.
3) Neonatal Nurse. As the needs of the elderly are high, so are the needs for newborns. Neonatal nurses, specifically those in the intensive care unit care (NICU) care for babies who are born premature and critically ill. According to the World Healthcare Organization, every year an estimated 15 million babies are born premature. Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age. This demand and the overall nursing shortage is expected to increase by 20% over the next 5 years. This makes neonatal nurses a top 10 nursing specialties of 2018.
4) Labor and Delivery Nurses. Another nurse helping mothers and their infants tops our list of the top 10 nursing specialties in 2018. While child birth can fluctuate month over month, there is always going to be a need to help the 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year.
5) Pediatric Nursing. As we work our way through childbirth, children up to adolescence work with pediatric nurses. There is always going to be a need to care for our youth. To keep them well and allow them to live full, healthy lives. As a result, pediatric nurses are certainly one of the top 10 nursing specialists of 2018.
6) Telemetry Nurse. Most facilities are searching for nurses with flexibility. While the majority of the time that means looking for candidates who step down to medical surgical jobs, there is a growing need for nurses who can step up to the ICU department. For travel nurses in this specialty, be sure to get your Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) to help yourself standout against peers looking for this type of job.
7) Operating Room Nurse. OR nurses are responsible for the patient and their family before, during, and after surgery. This much responsibility does provide a tense work environment. This is what makes OR nurses one of the top 10 nursing specialties of 2018. Due to the responsibilities and the work environment, the job outlook for an OR nurse is expected to grow by 19% in 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8) Emergency Room Nurse. An ER nurse is always prepared for anything. No one prepares for a traumatic injury. But when it happens, an ER nurse is there to help. It’s tough work but this nursing specialty can also be very rewarding. If you are interested in how to become an emergency room nurse check out the steps to get started in this rewarding specialty.
9) Intensive Care Unit. Due to their responsibilities, ICU nurses are always going to be in need. ICU nurses use advanced skills to care for patients who are critically ill and in life-threatening situations. This is why no matter the year, ICU nurses will always be in demand and as a result, are among the easiest nurses to place. ICU nurses are most certainly a top 10 nursing specialties for 2018.
10) Oncology Nurse. Every nursing specialty is difficult. It has challenges that knock you down. But it’s those amazing times that every nurse experiences that makes being a nurse rewarding. The same is for an oncology nurse. As an oncology nurse, you care for cancer patients. You monitor their conditions and provide strength for the patient’s family. While cancer is still something we as a society work to cure, the trends of survival are growing. Part of that growth is due to the amazing work oncology nurses provide.
There are so many nursing specialties. Each one of them doing so much good for humanity. From all of us to you, thank you for being a nurse.