How did you decide your specialty?

  1. 0
    I am torn. I hold a B.S. in psychology. for years, I was going to attend medical school to become a psychiatrist. I have changed my path to nursing, for a few reasons that I won't bore you with. I can't decide on what I want my specialty to be. I'm torn between psychiatric nurse practitioner and CRNA. Both seem very exciting and rewarding. I know that CRNA's make a bit more $$$, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor. I'm not in a hurry to pick but when the time comes, how can I choose?
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    CRNA is not something you can do right out of nursing school. You need to work in an ICU for a couple of years before you can go back to school for CRNA. You also need very good grades to get accepted into CRNA school. My psych instructor in school said not to start in psych because you don't learn any nursing skills working there, and it can be hard to find a job in psych as a new grad. So, I wouldn't worry too much about it now. Once you do your clinicals in school, you'll have a better idea of what you like. Plus, you never know what job opportunities will be available when you graduate. Try not to worry about it too much for now.
  5. 1
    See if you can shadow a CRNA and a nurse practitioner.
    RHill9919 likes this.
  6. 1
    I wouldn't worry too much about it until you're in school. In school, you will be exposed to different areas of nursing through your clinicals. I was always interested in critical care, whether it was a full-blown ICU or a step-down. I was also interested in peds. When I went through my peds rotation, I learned that I did NOT want to do peds. I still loved critical care, though. I ended up on a PCU (progressive care unit, basically like an ICU step-down) after I graduated.

    To become a CRNA, you need to continue on with your MSN degree. CRNA programs also require AT LEAST one to two years of full-time critical care experience before you apply. That won't necessarily get you in, though. A nurse I work with has a friend trying to get into CRNA school and he has been an ICU nurse for over 2 years. He still didn't get in because the other candidates had 4+ years and he had less. They are very competitive.

    I agree, try shadowing a CRNA or an NP to see if you like it. Better yet, see if you can shadow a nurse in a field you are interested in, such as psych.
    RHill9919 likes this.
  7. 1
    Well, at the moment most people are just lucky to get one job. If you actually a choice between more than one speciality, you'll be the envy of everyone around you. So people are more often having their specialities choose them, instead of vice versa.

    In school you'll do clinical rotations. You'll be forced to try all kinds of things, and I promise you'll be surprised. Some things you think you'll love, you'll despise. And you might just be surprised by what you find to be your passion.

    In order to be a CRNA, you'll have to work in the ICU. You'll get ICU experience in school, and you'll find out if it's something you're good at and enjoy. If it is,maybe you can get a job in the field right away, maybe not. If so, you can work there for a few years and shadow a CRNA and see how you like it.

    But be prepared to work the night shift on a med-surg floor or to manage 25 pts at a nursing home, because you just never know.
    RHill9919 likes this.
  8. 1
    I didn't exactly choose a specialty...I worked in the ER and in Tele/Stepdown, before and during nursing school, so I was slightly interested in working with cardiac pts. I wanted to do critical care, felt like I could do Peds, and smash it together.

    After Rehab, Homecare, office nursing and the Mainstay being Peds for 7 years, I'm in the PICU...so I have two specialties, which is pretty cool

    I enjoyed each specialty that I have been able to work in. I thought I would stay in rehab, and eventually go into pediatric rehab, but I ended up in critical care.

    One time I wanted to be a surgical nurse...once I realized I almost passed out from observing pediatric procedures, I knew I just couldn't cut it with watching it for some reason

    You never know where you may end; however it is ok to have some idea of where you may want to specialize in. Once you go through your rotations, review if you still want to go into that, cool; if not, that's ok too
    RHill9919 likes this.


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