Choosing the right nursing certification can be one of the keys to a long and satisfying career as a nurse. While not every RN chooses to specialize in one particular area of health care, those nurses are becoming rarer with every passing day, with more and more nurses deciding to focus their efforts and career on a particular kind of nursing. This trend is expected to not only continue, but to increase in the coming years.
Currently there are dozens of certifications that registered nurses may choose from, and that number is also expected to increase in the future, as new medical breakthroughs are made, new diseases come along, and established disciplines are broken down into even smaller specializations. Some experts have predicted that the number of specializations in nursing will double in the next 50 years.
Choosing a nursing specialty is a highly personal decision, which should only be done after a person has had some actual experience in the specialization she’s considering, and has given the matter a lot of thought. Embarking on the path to a certification in nursing without a realistic idea of what’s involved is a recipe for job dissatisfaction, as well as career burnout, so it’s imperative to have a thorough understanding of what the specialization entails, and what a typical day on the job is like.
Another important factor to consider is how difficult the certification process is. The path to certification in some specializations much more difficult than others, and the length of the process also can vary significantly. We’ve compiled the information you need to compare different nursing certifications so you can choose the one that’s right for you.