You can specialize in many different areas. For instance, Labor and Delivery, Mother/Baby; ICU (Neonatal, Pediatric, Medical, Surgical, or Coronary); Operating Room to name a few. In my area (Dallas/Ft. Worth), it's a post degree thing. After completing your degree, the hospital has internships in these areas, most are 3 months, I think. Operating room is a 1 year internship, with a commitment to work for 2 years after that. The pay rate for all these areas is the standard new grad pay rate, which here is $16.06. In smaller hospitals, you may be required to work in med/surg for 1-2 years before specializing. Many people recommend a year of med/surg before specializing, others say it is unnecessary. Also, for my BSN program, I have 6 hours of nursing electives, so I can take an advanced class in the area of nursing I'm interested in. There are also sign on bonuses which I have seen range from $1,000 to $30,000. (The $30,000 was a bonus for a critcal care area and required a 3 year work commitment.) Hope this answers some of your questions.