3 Nursing Specialties You Didn’t Know About Until Now

3 Nursing Specialties You Didn’t Know About Until Now

Mar 13, 2015 | 8:00 am

From pediatrics to geriatrics, nursing specialties run across age, medical specialty and even gender. Most of us have heard of Emergency Room (ER) nurses, doctors’ office nurses and school nurses, but did you know that nurses can specialize in ambulatory fields, trauma and helping patients through anesthesia?

Not all nursing specialties are widely known, but as nurses gain experience, they may feel drawn to certain fields, even ones they least expected. Let’s take a look at three of the lesser known nursing specialties and their importance to the health care profession.

Ambulatory Nursing Specialty

What it means: In Latin, ambulo means to travel or walk. An ambulatory nurse, also called a travel nurse, is one who works with patients in a variety of settings, focusing on pain management techniques and helping manage chronic medical issues. According to the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, these specially trained RNs interact with patients personally or through a variety of telecommunication strategies, often establishing long-term relationships.

How to specialize: Once Registered Nurses gain two years of experience in ambulatory care plus at least 30 hours of continued education, they can sit for the ambulatory care nurse certification exam for the title ACN (Ambulatory Care Nurse).

Trauma Nurse

What it means: Trauma is defined as a distressing experience or physical injury. This nursing specialty involves saving lives, daily, in a state of emergency. According to Nurse.com, a trauma nurse must act with decisiveness to unexpected events by assessing and stabilizing patients who arrive with little information available.

How to specialize: Once RNs gain at least two years of emergency nursing experience, they have a few more steps to specialize. DiscoverNursing.com suggests first getting Emergency Nurse certification followed by completing a Trauma Nursing core course. After that point, trauma nurses can get certified as a CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse), CFRN (Certified Flight Registered Nurse) and CPEN (Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse).

Perianesthesia Nursing

What it means: This nursing specialty provides care to patients receiving or recovering from anesthesia. They’re also called Recovery Room Nurses, as they observe patients regaining consciousness after surgery. While some patients emerge calmly, others may experience effects that must be handled by trained professionals, and that’s where perianesthesia nurses lend their expertise.

How to specialize: Once RNs work at least 1,800 hours in perianesthesia, they can sit for the Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN) exam or Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA) exam, notes DiscoverNursing.com. At this point, they become Certified Perianesthesia Nurses.

Nursing specialties vary across populations, environments and medical fields—and what a benefit to patients who have these specific concerns! With a bolstered effort to train and educate nurses to meet the highest standards in health care, we can feel safe in their care.