Top Nursing Specialties for New Grads

5 Tips for Working with Travel Nurse Recruiters

By Kristy Snyder, Contributor

Nurses fresh out of school have a lot of opportunities; including a number of nurse specialties to go into. But choosing which one to start a career down can take a little more time and effort.  

If you’re not sure where to turn, use this list of nursing specialties to help you find the job that will jump start your career.

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Neonatal Nurse

Neonatal nursing is a nurse specialty that’s currently in high demand. Experts expect job demand for this niche to rise by 17 percent by 2022.

Neonatal nurses provide care for premature infants in the early stages of their lives. These nurses are often critical for infants care and recovery.  Often working closely with families and being a lifeline to them during the time their loved one is in the NICU. 

Loving infants and children is key to finding fulfillment from this specialty. In addition to providing you with a great experience, taking a job as a neonatal nurse will help you improve infant survival rates -- infant survival rates are 10 times better than they were 15 years ago.

Intensive Care Nurse

Working in the intensive care unit of a hospital is a dream for many new nurses, as you’ll gain exposure to patients suffering from extreme illnesses and injuries. In many cases, you might even get the chance to make life or death decisions.

Back in 2013, experts estimated that there were as many as 500,000 critical care nurses in the United States. That number has only risen since then, and is expected to keep rising by 16 percent in 2022.

Because this field can be competitive, get an edge by taking continuing education classes to stay on top of the latest trends. Our tip: start in a less competitive field, like nursing homes or hospice, and work your way up to hospitals.

Dialysis Nurse

Being a dialysis nurse might not be one of the most glamorous nurses specialties out there, but it’s a crucial position for keeping patients with kidney problems alive.

Because the number of people in America with kidney problems is on the rise, so is the demand for dialysis nurses. Currently, more than 20 million Americans are estimated to have some form of chronic kidney disease, which is leading to an expected 19 percent increase in jobs by 2022.

Psychiatric Nurse

With drug abuse rates rising faster than ever before, the need for psychiatric nurses is also growing.

In this nurse specialty, you’ll work directly with people suffering from addiction and mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and other mood problems. With an expected job growth of over 20 percent by 2022, it’s an option for a nurse who feels called to help in this population.

While there are many more nurse specialties out there for recent grads, these are some with the highest estimated growth over the next few years. 

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