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I am interested in advice or stories in order to steer me in the right direction.

kritch00 kritch00 (New) New

I am currently a nursing student and would like recommendations on why or why I should not choose a specific field. I am leaning toward Correctional Nursing, Emergency, Forensic, Infectious Disease, Psychiatric, Rural, and Travel Nursing. I am interested in your stories or experiences and why or why I should not choose one of these specialties. Thank you.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Has 35 years experience. Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

OMGoodness Hon, it's great to have ambitions, but it doesn't seem as though you have a clear understanding of nursing practice yet. There is no 'specialization' to choose in your pre-licensure education. You will graduate as a generalist. There is no "choose" specialty option at all. Specialization only comes with graduate education.

When you graduate & pass your NCLEX, you are probably going to have to really scramble just to find a job -of any kind - since the job outlook for new grads is very dismal, and will most likely remain that way.

Another point of clarity. Travel & correctional are not 'specialties' per se... just settings in which patient care occurs. Rural nursing could be considered a specialty only in some instances... most rural hospitals have the same patient care divisions as the bigger ones. Emergency & Psychiatric are nursing specialties but not infectious disease - that's a medical specialty since nurses care for patients with infectious diseases in many different settings. Likewise Forensic nursing - that requires specialty education and certification... and can take place in any setting in which that type of patient is cared for.

For now, it would probably be best just to focus on getting the most out of your nursing education, maxxing out your GPA and preparing for the almighty NCLEX. If you get a chance to choose clinical experiences, you can try to focus on one of your areas of interest.

I admire your enthusiasm. It seems like you have a wide variety of interests, that's a good thing. One of the great things about nursing is the ability to change paths. You can start out in Med-surg, then move on to ER or Peds, or Ortho. The list goes on and on. Try to relax and enjoy everything being new. Prep for the NCLEX. Find your first nursing job, get some experience. Then follow your heart. Good luck!


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