Nursing Specialties

The healthcare field is huge and offers many unique nursing specialties and careers. Whether you want to work with infants, the elderly or as an administrator, you can pursue diverse types of nursing jobs to achieve your personal and professional goals as a nurse practitioner.

Almost all nursing careers require different levels of education and experience levels to enter, but each provides growth opportunities and ways to transition to other specialties later in your career.

To help you decide which nursing specialties may be right for you, let’s take a look at some of the most popular and impactful nursing jobs and how you can start your nursing journey on the right foot.

Types of Nurses

Do you dream of working in a hospital? Maybe you see yourself in a school setting caring for children. Or perhaps you want to assist geriatric patients in maintaining their independence and mobility. Whatever setting you see yourself in, you can prepare for specific careers with a nursing degree tailored to your goals. We’ll begin by looking at a few of the entry-level nursing specialties you can pursue right away.

Entry-Level Nursing Careers

There are several entry-level nursing specialties that can lead to rewarding careers or ways to continue growing into different types of nursing jobs.

You can pursue the following careers with a nursing degree or training:

  • Certified nursing assistant: Certified nursing assistants care for patients in multiple medical settings, such as hospitals, care centers and nursing homes. While certified nursing assistants don’t provide medical care, they must have enough medical knowledge to recognize when to reach out to a nurse or doctor in situations in which a patient’s health or life may be at risk.
  • Licensed practical nurse (LPN): Like certified nursing assistants, medical assistants must have great communication skills and the ability to empathize with patients. Unlike certified nursing assistants, however, LPNs provide medical care to patients with the supervision of nursing staff. After gaining the necessary level of experience, some LPNs can supervise certified nursing assistants.
  • Registered nurse: Registered nursing is among the most popular nursing jobs, and registered nurses (RNs) make up most of the healthcare sector. Like LPNs and certified nursing assistants, registered nurses spend a great deal of their time interacting with patients, and thus must be expert communicators who can explain even the most complex medical information.

These entry-level nursing specialties each require different levels of education and professional experience, ranging from training programs to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. If you are interested in these nursing careers, you will also need to pass specific exams before you can begin working with patients.

Advanced Nursing Specialties

If you hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or are already a working RN and are looking for career advancement, you can prepare for many nursing careers with a nursing degree at the master’s or doctoral level.

Here are just a few of the nursing jobs that require specialized training within a graduate degree:

  • Family nurse practitioner: Family nurse practitioners are one of the four types of nurses considered part of advanced practice registered nursing (APRN). While they share responsibilities with RNs, they are qualified to serve as primary care providers able to treat medical conditions without the supervision of a physician.
  • Adult gerontology nurse practitioner: If you are especially interested in caring for and working with the elderly, becoming a nurse practitioner specialized in adult gerontology primary care is a great option. Nurse practitioners in this field work with adults dealing with the specific health needs associated with aging.
  • Nurse manager: Nurse managers are the types of nurses who thrive on paying attention to details and the organization of overseeing and scheduling teams of nurses, in addition to caring for patients. If you are interested in nursing jobs that give you the authority to make huge impacts on the daily operations of a team of nurses, you should think about pursuing nurse management.
  • Nurse administrator: Nurse administrators are similar to nurse managers, but on a much larger scale. While a nurse manager will usually oversee one team of nurses, nurse administrators oversee multiple teams of nurses throughout a hospital or clinic. It’s one of the most widely impactful nursing careers in that nurse administrators may develop policies that affect an entire hospital.
  • To qualify for nursing specialties like the ones above, you will most likely need to earn at least a Master of Science in Nursing from an accredited program.

Salaries for Different Types of Nurses

If you are interested in entry-level careers with a nursing degree or certification, your salary would greatly depend on which nursing careers you pursue and your level of education.

If you are instead considering nursing jobs that are advanced and require more education, the investment is well worth it when you consider the outlook for advanced nursing careers, as well as the increased salary potential. According to the BLS:

  • Employment opportunities for nurse practitioners are expected to grow by 38 percent by 2032—more than four times the national average for all other occupations. On average, nurse practitioners earn about $126,000 a year.
  • Healthcare managers and administrators can look forward to career growth of about 28 percent by 2032, with an average salary of $105,000.

Prepare for the Nursing Specialties That Are Right for You at Saint Peter’s University

Whether you’re interested in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing, the nursing programs at Saint Peter’s University are designed to prepare you for a wide range of nursing careers that let you help patients of every age and cultural background. We specialize in whole person care, which means you’ll learn to approach each patient as a unique individual physically and emotionally.

The baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs in nursing at Saint Peter’s University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the New Jersey Board of Nursing, NJ Division of Consumer Affairs.

Saint Peter’s Undergraduate Nursing Programs

We offer three undergraduate degree paths to prepare students for the entry-level nursing careers of their dreams. With small class sizes and highly experience faculty, undergraduate students will get one-on-one guidance from several types of nurses and educators. Programs we offer include:

  • The Generic or Basic BSN program: We’ve designed this program for pre-licensure students seeking an undergraduate degree in nursing from a four-year program. After successfully completing the program, students can sit for the RN Licensing Exam (NCLEX).
  • Upper Division RN to BSN program: Registered nurses who hold a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing from an accredited program can qualify for this exciting program—which can be completed within 21 months. You will prepare for generalist professional practice and leadership in a variety of healthcare settings.
  • Online RN to BSN program: Registered nurses with a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing who cannot attend in-person classes can still earn their BSN through our online program. Even though you will be taking online courses, you will still enjoy the same quality educational experience that students receive on campus.

Saint Peter’s Graduate Nursing Programs

Build the skills and knowledge necessary for advanced careers with a nursing degree at the graduate level. With flexible programs, hands-on training and affordable tuition, it’s never been easier to earn your graduate degree and prepare for advanced nursing specialties. Each of our programs lets you specialize in adult-gerontology primary care.

We offer the following programs to fit with all types of nurses and professional schedules:

  • Master of Science in Nursing: We designed this program for registered nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree looking to advance their careers with a nursing degree at the master’s level. Our MSN program is built on three pillars: theoretical foundation to inform practice, utilization of research and specialty practice. These pillars will help you become the best nurse practitioner or administrator you can be.
  • Online RN to MSN Bridge Option: If you’re a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing but want to earn an MSN, this program will prepare you to apply for our Master of Science in Nursing program without having to join a full undergraduate program. Join our highly engaged online community and participate in lively chats and collaborative projects.
  • Post-Master’s Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Certificate program: This 25-credit program is designed for registered nurses with an MSN who want to specialize as an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. Advance your career as a nurse practitioner who can address the illnesses and injuries that can come with aging.

Start Your Saint Peter’s Journey Today

Now that you know what types of nurses there are, the next step on your journey is joining one of the world-class nursing programs at Saint Peter’s. We offer online and in-person options to fit with the schedules of all types of nurses and students, as well as affordable tuition that will let you earn your degree as cost-effectively as possible.

Visit campus or start your application today.