Nurse practitioners are a driving force in healthcare that provide meaningful care to scores of individuals. These professionals practice nursing at a high level and their duties often overlap with that of physicians. If you’re curious about pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner, it can help to be aware of the many specialties within the profession.
Here the 10 most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties.
1 – Family Care Nurse Practitioner
Family care nurse practitioners focus on providing care to individuals throughout their lives. This means that these professionals treat children, teens, adults, and older adults in their practice, oftentimes developing prolonged relationships with patients.
The broad nature of family care allows nurse practitioners in this specialty to practice a wide variety of services and requires an advanced knowledge of healthcare practices. Their duties can range from performing physical exams on patients to treating chronic illnesses over the span of years.
2 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to children throughout their childhood. This means that these professionals can potentially treat the same patient over the course of several years through to young adulthood.
Typically, pediatric care nurse practitioners will treat many different illnesses that are specific to children. These include ailments such as Kawasaki disease and certain infections common to children.
3 – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Adult gerontology nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to older adults. These professionals specialize in treating age-related ailments that their older patients are afflicted by.
In addition to treating certain illnesses, adult gerontology nurse practitioners will also provide patients with strategies and tips to maintain and promote good health as they age. This highlights the two-fold nature of the role, focusing on not only treating certain illnesses but also preventing the decline of health in various ways.
4 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) specialize in treating and assessing patients’ mental health states. They have the authority to both assess mental health ailments and prescribe medications as they see fit.
In addition, PMHNPs may also refer their patients to other professionals, such as psychotherapists, depending on their mental health needs. However, it must be noted that different states have different rules regarding the level of authority and autonomy that nurse practitioners may have, and PMHNP practices differ depending on the location in which they work.
5 – Oncology Nurse Practitioner
Oncology nurse practitioners specialize in assessing and treating patients with cancer or those at high-risk of developing cancer. These professionals work closely with other medical professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses, and play a significant role in the treatment of cancer patients.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, making professionals with the skills to diagnose and treat this illness in high demand. As such, oncology nurse practitioners and the specialized skills they bring with them are in high-demand in today’s world.
6 – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Acute care nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients who are in critical condition and need immediate care. Examples of ailments acute care nurse practitioners typically treat include heart attacks and trauma as the result of an accident.
In addition to providing immediate treatment, these nurse practitioners also work with patients to provide long term strategies for recovery and the promotion of good health. Given the unique skillset of these professionals, acute care nurse practitioners often work in institutions such as trauma units, urgent care units, and emergency rooms.
7 – Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Aesthetic nurse practitioners specialize in providing patients or clients with a number of treatments clinical procedures that revolve around cosmetic changes to someone’s appearance. Some typical treatments performed by these professionals include botox injections and laser treatments.
The majority of aesthetic nurse practitioners work in private clinics, treatment centers, or spas. As opposed to many other nurse practitioners and medical specialties, aesthetic nurse practitioners typically work within normal business hours, potentially allowing for a more significant amount of work/life balance.
8 – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Women’s health nurse practitioners specialize in providing women with care at various stages of their lives. Like midwives, these professionals may provide pregnancy-related pre-natal and post-natal care.
Other areas that women’s health nurse practitioners may work in include gynecological and menopausal care, both diagnosing patients and providing them with strategies to manage their ailments. These professionals are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the women that they treat and have an advanced social perspective.
9 – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Neonatal nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to infants who are suffering from a range of ailments, diseases, and infections. Some common ailments these professionals treat include heart abnormalities and infections in infants.
In addition to providing care to infants, neonatal nurse practitioners will also help educate parents on how to best care for their infants depending on their various needs. Typically, neonatal nurse practitioners work in specific neonatal-oriented care units or emergency rooms.
10 – Infectious Disease
Infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating and helping patients manage infectious diseases. In some cases, their work may revolve around helping prevent certain infectious diseases that certain patients may be more vulnerable to.
Some common illnesses that infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating include Lyme disease and HIV. While many work in healthcare environments and provide healthcare to patients, some of these professionals work to inform healthcare policy by providing their expert opinion.
With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.