Starting your medical industry career can be one of the most exciting times of your life. But, as you embark on your first post-college job in the medical industry, it’s time to begin considering your long-term goals. Many graduates will go on to specialize in a specific part of the medical industry, and choosing your first position with this in mind can help you achieve your goals.
Choosing careers in demand can also ensure you always have good job opportunities. We have compiled a list of in-demand medical specializations to consider.
Psychiatry is the study of mental health. Healthcare workers who work in psychiatry help patients recognize and improve symptoms related to their mental health. Nurse practitioners often work closely with psychiatrists or therapists to administer and monitor treatments. A nurse practitioner is in a unique position with a good mix of physical and psychological experience to help patients with co-existing conditions.
According to the Bureau of Health Workforce, experts estimate that the demand for nurse practitioners will grow by almost 17% by 2030.
Orthopedics is a specialized study of medicine that covers musculoskeletal conditions. A nurse practitioner specializing in orthopedics may work with patients with broken bones, hip or knee replacements, arthritis, or recovery following an injury. Most orthopedic nurse practitioners are present in the surgical room and then actively involved in the after-care of their patients.
Nurse practitioner job demand will likely increase by 38% by 2032, making it an excellent specialization to consider.
Internal medicine nurse practitioners work with patients to diagnose symptoms and create treatment plans. Most often, nursing professionals who work in internal medicine deal with chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Nurses often work on a collaborative team with medical doctors and other nurses to ensure proper medical care of their internal care patients.
Experts project the demand for internal medicine nurse practitioners to increase by 40% by 2028, making it one of the fastest-growing specialties.
A family medicine nursing practitioner works specifically with families, often as a primary care provider. They often focus on preventative care and monitoring of long-term, chronic medical conditions. Nurse practitioners who want the ability to work with patients of all ages and to gain experience with multiple conditions often start as family medicine providers. A family medicine career or specialization can also help newer medical professionals explore other specializations and narrow them down.
Medical professionals expect a shortage of between 17,000 and 48,000 family medicine physicians by 2034. More family medicine clinics are offering the position to alternative degrees, including physician assistants and nursing practitioners. In many states, family nurse practitioner positions, or FNP jobs, allow professionals to do many of the same tasks as an employee with a medical degree, including diagnosing and prescribing medications. The only difference is that a nurse practitioner doesn’t have to attend medical school.
Geriatric nursing practitioners work specifically with seniors. Many nurses may work in a nursing home setting, where they help residents manage chronic condition symptoms. As the Baby Boomer generation gets older, there’s likely to be a shortage of medical professionals who work with seniors. An estimated increase in demand of 26% is expected for geriatric care.
Neonatal nurse practitioners specifically work with babies, most commonly ones who were born prematurely. A neonatal nurse commonly works in the NICU department of a hospital. Experts estimate the demand for neonatal nurses to increase by 40% by 2031.
The medical industry also needs nurse educators to help educate and mentor oncoming nurses to meet the shortages. Nurse educators instruct classes and help aspiring nurses choose the best employment opportunities based on their skills. In an attempt to solve the nursing shortage, many estimate that the demand for nurse educators will increase by 46% by 2031.
ER nurses work in the emergency room. This is a fast-paced work environment that exposes nurses to a wide range of medical conditions. Nurse practitioners interested in an ER specialization can expect an increase in demand of around 7% by 2029. This number may be even higher, though, as ER nursing has one of the highest burnout rates, and new nurses will be in demand to replace them.
Travel nursing is a newer concept that allows nurse practitioners to travel to different hospitals and healthcare clinics to accommodate fluctuating healthcare needs. Travel nurses have to be willing to travel, but in return, they can enjoy a flexible schedule and competitive pay. The demand for travel nurses will depend on how fast healthcare environments can fill their healthcare worker shortages and resolve the healthcare staffing issues.
Newly graduated nurse practitioners have a lot of career specialty options. If you’re unsure what specialization is right for you, it can be helpful to earn some hands-on field experience. A position as an ER or family care nurse can help you explore different populations and specialties, helping you choose the best one for you.