Nursing is a dynamic and rapidly evolving field that offers many career opportunities. With the healthcare industry constantly changing and expanding, the demand for specialized nursing skills is higher than ever.
As per data released by the U.S. Labour Bureau, nearly 203,200 openings for nurses are projected each year from 2021-2031, with the growth rate in employment being 6% during the forecast period. With the aging population and advances in medical technology, this demand is expected to increase even more in the coming years.
As we enter 2023, it is essential to learn about the nursing specialties that are expected to be in high demand in order to identify career opportunities for nurses to hone their skills and advance their careers.
In this article, we will discuss the five most sought-after nursing specialties in 2023, highlighting the unique skills and qualifications required for each specialty. Whether you’re a seasoned nursing professional or just starting out in your career, this article will provide valuable insights into the nursing specialties expected to be in high demand in the coming year.
1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
CRNAs are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who specialize in providing anesthesia to patients in a variety of medical settings. They work alongside anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients receive safe and effective anesthesia care.
CRNAs play a critical role in the healthcare system by administering anesthesia during surgical procedures, childbirth, and other medical interventions. They are responsible for monitoring patients’ vital signs, adjusting anesthesia levels, and ensuring that patients are comfortable and pain-free during procedures.
One of the reasons why CRNAs are in high demand is the growing need for anesthesia services in healthcare. As more surgeries and medical procedures are being performed, the demand for anesthesia providers is also increasing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nurse anesthetists is projected to grow 40% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
In addition to the growing demand, CRNAs also have a high earning potential. The median annual salary for CRNAs in 2021 was $195,610, with the top 25% earning over $200,000.
2. Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nurses work in intensive care units (ICUs) and other specialized units where patients require close monitoring and support due to serious illnesses or injuries.
They must possess advanced skills in the assessment, monitoring, and treatment of critically ill patients. They work closely with physicians, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare professionals to provide personalized care to each patient.
If you aspire to become a nurse and want to specialize in critical care, it is important to seek out opportunities to gain experience in acute care settings and pursue additional education and training in critical care nursing.
According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the U.S. is expected to experience a severe shortage of nurses by 2030, with a constant increase in the need for geriatric care due to an aging population, creating a greater demand for more critical care nurses.
3. Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse
Psychiatric mental health nursing is a specialty that is in high demand due to the growing prevalence of mental health issues, the expanding mental health services, and the shortage of mental health professionals.
Psychiatric mental health nurses provide comprehensive care to patients with a range of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse disorders.
Their role is diverse and challenging. They assess patients’ mental and emotional states, develop treatment plans, administer medications, provide psychotherapy and counseling, and monitor patients’ progress. They also educate patients and their families about mental health issues, provide support and guidance, and advocate for their patient’s needs.
To become psychiatric mental health nurses, individuals must first become registered nurses (RNs) by completing an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam. After gaining some experience in nursing, they can then pursue additional education and training in psychiatric mental health nursing.
4. Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
According to the World Health Organization, nearly 15 million children are born preterm each year globally, making it the leading cause of death in children aged below 5 years.
Due to the increasing incidence of such premature births and other health issues among newborns, Neonatal intensive care nursing is a highly specialized and challenging area of nursing that is in high demand.
Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses work in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in hospitals, which are equipped with advanced medical technology to care for newborns with complex medical needs.
They closely monitor the infants’ vital signs, administer medications, and provide specialized care such as ventilator support, intravenous therapy, and nutrition support. They also work closely with physicians and other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans and ensure that the infants receive the best possible care.
These nurses play a vital role in caring for critically ill infants, and their services are essential to improving the health outcomes of newborns and their families.
5. Certified Nurse Midwife
Certified nurse midwives are highly trained healthcare professionals who specialize in providing comprehensive care to women throughout their reproductive lives.
They also provide gynecological care, family planning services, and menopausal care. CNMs can prescribe medications, order and interpret laboratory tests, and perform some medical procedures, such as cervical exams, Pap smears, and breast exams. They also provide education and counseling to their patients on various health issues.
The rise due to the increasing demand for high-quality healthcare services for women and the growing recognition of the importance of midwifery care has made the field a sought-after nursing specialization.
The nursing profession offers many opportunities for individuals to specialize and make a meaningful impact on patients’ lives.
This article has highlighted the five most sought-after nursing specialties in 2023 with the objective of helping nurses who are looking to specialize in a particular area of nursing or those who are just starting their nursing careers.
By understanding the demand for these nursing specialties, nurses can make informed decisions and have rewarding careers, and patients can benefit from the high-quality care they provide.