10 Nursing Specialties You May Not Be Familiar With

by Howard Gerber on January 16, 2014

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nursing-specialties-typesIf you are considering which area of nursing to focus on, you’re probably familiar with certain specialties. For instances, pediatrics, emergency, intensive care, and labor and delivery are common nursing specialties. You may have even completed a rotation in one of those areas of nursing when you were in school. But there are many other specialty areas of nursing, which may be unfamiliar to you. Some of the lesser known specialties can have plenty of employment opportunities for both permanent positions and for travel assignments.

  1. Domestic Violence Nurse: This is a relatively new specialty area of nursing. Domestic violence nurses care for the victim’s emotional, physical, and mental wounds. In addition to an RN license, certification in adult or pediatric sexual assault examiner is a good way to break into the field.
  2. Forensic Nurse: Forensic nurses will help patients who were victims of crimes while aiding with the investigation. For example, nurses may measure wounds, photograph injuries, and collect evidence from the victim’s body, such as tissue or blood samples. 
  3. Infection Control Nurse: Infection control nurses work in hospitals and clinics. They develop infection control plans and teach both staff and patients how to reduce the chances of infection.  An infection control certification is often helpful in order to gain a job as an infection control nurse.
  4. Lactation Nurse: Lactation nurses work in clinics, hospitals, and independently. They support women in breastfeeding through education. A lactation consultant certification is available for nurses who wish to go into this field.
  5. Pain Management Nurse: This specialty of nursing involves working with patients with chronic and acute pain. Nurses assess patients and work closely with the physicians in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan to manage pain.  Pain management nurses often work in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and hospitals.
  6. Wound and Ostomy Nurse: They provide specialized care to treat patients who have wounds and ostomies. They may develop wound treatment plans, treat bedsores and teach patients how to care for wounds at home. Nurses can obtain a wound and ostomy certification from the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board. 
  7. Informatics Nurse: Informatics is a newer area of nursing, which focuses on technology to improve medical care and communication. Nurses may develop and incorporate information technology into hospitals or healthcare facilities. They also may train medical staff on how to utilize systems, such as computer charting and computerized medical records. 
  8. Infusion Nurse: Infusion nurses work with patients who are getting medication intravenously. They may administer the medication, monitor patients during treatment, and watch for side effects. They often work in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and outpatient infusion centers.
  9. Plastic Surgery Nurse: Plastic surgery nurses prep patients for surgery, prepare the operating room, and assist the surgeon. Depending on where a nurse works, they may work with patients undergoing minor cosmetic surgery or complicated plastic surgery.
  10. Dermatology Nurse: Nurses who specialize in dermatology treat burn victims, patients with skin cancer, and other diseases of the skin. Certification in dermatology nursing is helpful in order to get into the specialty.
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