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Nursing Specializations: Exploring Career Paths

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Not everyone is meant for a Nursing career. Are you too interested in the dynamic nursing career path? Well, then do keep in mind that nursing requires lots of dedication, compassion, and intelligence to deal with simple to complex patients. It is quite evident from the past few years that the Nursing profession is high in demand, and has expanded with multiple career opportunities in Australia. The best part about this profession is job flexibility and a wide array of nursing career specialties. 

Don’t know how to start your nursing career, what are the advanced nursing career options, and salary packages?  Read this article to explore the 8 trending nursing career specialties offering high earning potential and better chances of growth.

We’ve also discussed the projected job growth for the nursing professions between  2024 and 2032. It will benefit both entry-level and experienced professionals to make better decisions for their nursing career path.

Let’s get started to find out the education, and experience required for different specialties!

Top Nursing Career Specialties

According to the data analysis report of Job Outlook, The number of RNs has increased abruptly from 279,600 in 2018 to 330,900 by 2023, and is predicted to grow at the same pace in the future.”

There is no denying the fact that candidates who have already acquired RN tags have better chances of getting high-paying job opportunities. However, we have discussed different healthcare positions for undergraduates as well as graduates. These specializations are highly recommended to get an instant hike in salary whether you are a male or female nurse practitioner. Take a look!

#1. NICU Nurse (Neonatal intensive care unit)

Eligibility: Only RNs can apply for NICU specialization

Average Annual Salary: $ 96,262

As the name suggests, the core duty of Neonatal intensive care nurses is to look after newborn infants with premature birth, babies with birth defects, or critical health conditions until they are discharged. NICU specialization is quite rewarding, but challenging at the same time. But this career path will dynamically boost your nursing career growth.  

“According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Every year about 40,000 infants are delivered with low birth weight. Thanks to the skilled and well-trained  NICU nurses who helped increase the survival rates.”

How do I become a NICU Nurse?  

Apply for RN licensure, get some clinical experience, and earn a neonatal certification like Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN)® Neonatal certification, Associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for career advancement.

#2. Nurse Manager

Average Annual Salary: $120,635

Projected Future Job Growth: 23%

Nurse Managers have to manage and administrate a whole nursing unit. Their main task is to coordinate with the physicians, and healthcare professionals, and provide practical training to entry-level nurses. Nurse Managers are also responsible for the wellbeing of patients.

How do I become a Nurse Manager? 

Get a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree, clear the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, and gain nursing experience. You can also complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree to earn high salary packages.

#3. Case management nurse

Average Annual Salary: $75,000 to $90,000.

Projected Future Job growth: 6-7%

Case management nurses have to supervise patients with serious chronic diseases like Cancer, heart disease, etc. Case manager nurses have also to guide patients & their families with the best treatment options, and connect with insurance providers.

How to Become a Case Management Nurse?

You need to have an RN license, a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical practice, and 1 Year experience of in full-time case management supervised by a CCM.

#4. Forensic Nurses

Projected Job Growth: 6%-7%

Average Annual Salary: $58,200

It’s a high-profile job that includes taking care of violence victims or survivors. As a trained forensic nurse, your major task is to look after their physical as well as mental being. Forensic nurses are legally trained nurses to represent the criminal justice system.

How do I Become a Forensic Nurse? 

Active RN license with a BSN/ADN degree plus  Forensic nurse specialist certification or training as a sexual assault nurse examiner.

#5. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Projected Job Growth: 9%-10% 

Average Annual Salary: $110,000-$180,000 

CRNAs are one of the most highly skilled and highest-paid nursing jobs with the role of supervising the anesthesia doses for all types of patients during surgeries. They have to monitor patients and conduct physical assessments.  

How to Become CRNAs in Australia?

Only RNs with valid licenses and a minimum of two years of experience in critical care are eligible to complete the MSN( Master of Science in Nursing) or DNP (Doctor of Nursing Program) graduation program. CRNA aspirants must pass the National Certification Examination (NCE).

#6. Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Average Annual Salary: $104,100

Projected Future Job Growth: 738%

CNMs were, are, and will always be high in demand. Their main task includes prenatal care, handling deliveries, postnatal care, and infant care until they are discharged from the clinics.  Their role also includes overseeing women in adolescence, pregnancy, and during menopause.

How to Become CNMS?

RNs have to get a midwifery specialization and take the certification test form the certification from the AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board). 

#7. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Projected Job Growth: 38%

Average Salary: $100,730

WHNPs’ main role is to deal with women’s major health issues like reproduction, maternal, sexual, gynecology, and obstetrics. WHNPs are advanced practice registered nurses. They also deal with men’s sexual and reproductive issues. 

How to Become a WHNP?

Acquire an RN license followed by some clinical experience, and an MSN degree offering WHNP training. The final step is to get certified by NCC (National Certification Corporation).

#8. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)

Projected Job Growth: 28% 

Average Annual Salary: $135,020

CNO is the highest working post in the nursing profession. CNOs have to coordinate with the CEOs, supervise the whole nursing department, evaluate performances, and handle finances. They also have the authority to implement the state-of-art technology advancements if required. 

How to Become a CNO? 

The aspiring CNOs have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination [for] Registered Nurses (NCLEX- RN) exam followed by a master’s degree such as MSN, MHA, or both.

Ready to earn your nursing specialization?

The rewarding nursing profession is in great demand across Australia. That’s why the modern youth are inclined more towards this genuine profession that promises growth, job security, and a balanced lifestyle. We hope this mini-guide will take you to the RN pathway followed by the specialization of your choice. If you’re already an RN nurse, now is the right time to take the next step in your nursing career path.

Also Read:

The Evolution of Nursing Education

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