Starting a nursing qualification is the first step towards an exciting and rewarding career. Nurse are the frontline of medical care, and the career options are far broader than many of us assume. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the paths available to nurses, and how they match with personalities and preferences. If you’re currently undertaking your qualifications, it’s definitely time to begin thinking about how you may specialize. Let’s jump right in! 

If you enjoy a fast-paced working environment…

Although all nurses find themselves busy during a shift, there are some specialties that naturally come with a fast-paced working environment. Emergency and critical care exemplify this. No two days are the same in an Emergency department, and to be successful, you will need to be able to deal with acutely stressful situations and conflicting time constraints. 

If you do enjoy this kind of environment, another option is midwifery or neonatal care. You’ll need to manage anxious parents, new arrivals, and scenarios that can escalate quickly.   

If you are looking for strong career progression…

There are career pathways that extend the responsibilities normally seen within nursing. The most well-known of these is the role of nurse practitioner. With additional qualifications, NPs are able to independently diagnose and prescribe, and may open their own practice. If you wish to remain within a hospital or doctor-led practice setting, but want to take on further duties, becoming a clinical nurse specialist may be the right course for you. 

For those looking to work in a surgical setting, whether that’s orthopaedics, cardiovascular, plastic surgery, or any other specialism, you may consider training to be a medical-surgical nurse or a certified registered nurse anaesthetist.   

If you’re great with kids…

Specializing as a pediatric nurse is a great choice if you’re naturally good with kids. Caring for sick children can require a lot of patience, and it takes a special mix of qualities to do this well. You may also consider midwifery and neonatal care if you have a knack for looking after the youngest patients. 

If you’re great with kids and are looking to extend your responsibilities, you can train to become a family nurse practitioner. You’ll take NP qualifications, with a focus on care in the family practice setting.  

If you are looking to help in complex cases…

Some specialisms are naturally more complex than others. Oncological, geriatric, and palliative nursing can be mentally exhausting, but the comfort provided to patients and families in such difficult circumstances is uniquely rewarding.  

Psychiatric care can also be challenging, although it is extremely valuable to patients and their loved ones. 

If you have an interest in the future of medicine…

You may wish to step outside of traditional nursing to help guide the future of medical care. Research is an exciting area of the profession, which can keep you on the front line whilst enhancing your skills and contributing to the development of new treatments.  

You may also wish to go behind the scenes, working as a nurse administrator or health policy nurse. Or, you can have a direct influence on future nurses by working as a nurse educator.  

Nursing is not simply one path; there are plenty of avenues for you to explore!

Author's Bio: 

Brad is a regular contributor to numerous websites health and career industry. He also loves writing about video games almost as much as he loves playing them. Brad is the founder and creator of, where children's books are regularly reviewed.