Top 10 Nursing Specialties of 2018

There has never been a better time to be a nurse!  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Registered Nurses from 2016 to 2026 will increase by 15%.  In addition, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing found that 55% of the current nurses in the workforce are 50 years old or older meaning over the next 10 to 15 years these nurses are going to start retiring.  So, what does this mean for travel nurses?  There is a growing demand for nurses and plenty of opportunities to get paid and see the country!

While there is an overall demand across all of nursing, there are some nursing specialties that have more growth opportunities than others.  This list outlines the Top 10 Nursing Specialties of 2018.

  1. Intensive Care Unit (ICU):

    ICU nurses care for critically ill patients facing life-threatening situations who require the highest acuity of care in a very structured and controlled setting.  To treat these critical patients, ICU nurses use their specialized skills and extensive knowledge of disease pathology to provide lifesaving interventions.  Due to the nature of their job responsibilities, ICU nurses will always be in demand and, as a result, are some of the easiest nurses to place.

  2. Telemetry Nurse: 

    Monitoring critically ill patients is a big part of what a telemetry nurse does.  While telemetry is not a new field, the technology is continuously improving allowing for more diverse groups of patients to be treated.  Most facilities are searching for nurses with flexibility, and there is a growing need for nurses who can step up to the ICU department.  Therefore, travel nurses in this specialty should be sure to get their Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) to help standout against similar nurses looking for this type of job.

  3. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP):

    An acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) provides advanced care to patients suffering from brief yet severe illnesses typically in an emergency department, ambulatory care clinic, or other short term stay facility.  As the Baby Boomer population ages, ACNP is most certainly one of the top 10 nursing specialties in 2018.

  4. Dialysis Nurse:

    Dialysis nurses have an in-depth knowledge of kidney disease.  They support, medicate, and monitor patients throughout dialysis as well as educate them on kidney disease and lifestyle choices to help manage their disease.  Similar to ACNP, the demand for dialysis nurses is on the rise due to the aging population.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for dialysis nurses will increase by at least 26% over the next decade.

  5. Neonatal Nurse:

    Neonatal nurses, specifically those in the intensive care unit (NICU), care for babies who are born premature and critically ill.  According to the World Healthcare Organization, every year an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, and the number is rising.  In addition, preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age, leading to an expected 20% increase in demand for neonatal nurses over the next five years.

  6. Labor and Delivery Nurses:

    Another nurse helping mothers and their newborns is the labor and delivery nurse.  They have a very specific job: to help moms deliver healthy babies and get through the process safely.  While child birth rates fluctuate month over month, there will always be a need to assist in the births of the 4 million babies born in the U.S. each year.

  7. Pediatric Nursing:

    A pediatric nurse works with young children, most often in a clinical or intensive care setting.  These nurses provide children with specialized care because their health needs can differ somewhat from adults.  There will always be a need to care for children that are ill, help make them well, and allow them to live full, healthy lives.

  8. Operating Room Nurse (OR):

    OR nurses are responsible for the patient and their family before, during, and after surgery.  Nurses who enjoy direct patient care and a good deal of change make some of the best OR nurses.  Due to the responsibilities and the stressful work environment, the job outlook for an OR nurse is expected to grow by 19% in 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  9. Emergency Room Nurse (ER):

    ER nursing can be challenging because most emergency patients arrive without a diagnosis and sometimes without even an indication of the problem.  ER nurses treat patients of all ages and backgrounds experiencing emergency and often life-threatening situations.  These nurses must be quick to recognize acute problems and be able to resolve or stabilize patients immediately.  The job is fast-paced, full of adrenaline rushes, and completely unpredictable shift-to-shift but also very rewarding.

  10. Oncology Nurse:

    An oncology nurse provides specialized care for cancer patients. They frequently work one on one with cancer patients in a hospital, clinical care center, or even at home.  These nurses administer chemotherapy, implement different types of cancer treatments, monitor the progress of patients overall, and provide strength for the patient’s family.  According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018 and 609,640 people will die from the disease, illustrating the growing demand for oncology nurses.

The projected growth in the nursing industry over the next few years is good news for all nurses, including travel nurses.  While there are certain specialties that hospitals are constantly looking for, these ten specialties are always in high demand and perfect for travel nurses to pursue.  If you are a nurse with one of these specialties, contact MedPro Staffing today for your next tavel assignment!

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