HomeEducationThe best-paying nursing specializations and the path to getting them

The best-paying nursing specializations and the path to getting them

Becoming a nurse is a big commitment, not just in terms of the responsibilities but also because of the academic requirements demanded of those in the field. With that said, one of the biggest challenges facing many aspiring nurses is deciding which field to specialize in. All nurses will eventually be faced with the question of what role they wish to play in their careers, whether that be helping mothers give birth and supporting newborns, functioning in a more traditional role in hospitals by assisting regular patients, or in other roles. 

With that being said, those unclear on what path to take next will benefit from the following discussion. Though there are endless specializations to follow in the field of nursing, we’ll cover some of the major ones and lay out the requirements for each one. Nursing can be one of the best jobs out there, so read on to see the best specializations in the field. 


One of the most popular specializations in nursing is midwifery, helping pregnant women give birth and giving them other care and medical attention postpartum. This role also involves other responsibilities to do with women’s health including involvement in checking and treating gynecological health, monitoring reproductive health, and engaging in preventative healthcare. 

How to become a midwife

Becoming licensed as a nurse midwife requires the standard Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as a general Registered Nurse license, meaning you’ll already be a practicing nurse before specializing in most cases. A master’s or doctorate in nursing will also be necessary, after which graduates can work to become certified nurse midwives, a credential which is administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board.

Family nurse practitioner

The role of a family nurse practitioner, or FNP, is to work with patients in family settings, both children and adults, both in clinical and family practice settings. It is one of the most popular nursing specializations out there and offers the opportunity to work closely with individual patients, build a good relationship with them, and focus on preventative care. 

How to become a family nurse practitioner 

The absolute minimum requirement for pursuing this specialization is a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Sometimes this can be attained without a Bachelor of Science qualification, but a bachelor’s degree is usually required. An online course provided by Holy Family University’s nursing school allows students to study for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at their own speed, allowing work and family commitments to be met while working towards the qualification. Advice is provided about how best to succeed in nursing school and the challenges that could be met. The use of technology allows students to interact with others on the course and to obtain guidance from their tutor. After their nursing school success and having acquired their master’s degree, prospective FNPs can pursue family practice certifications through various nursing practitioner certification boards.

Nurse anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse that administers and regulates anesthesia and pain medication to patients. They also monitor vital signs, check the patient’s condition, and make adjustments as necessary during surgical operations and throughout post-operation patient recovery. 

How to become a nurse anesthetist

This is a fairly complex role that requires significant qualifications including a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a license as a Registered Nurse, and a Master’s of Science specialized in nurse anesthesiology. Additionally, you cannot become a nurse anesthetist right away. The specialized certification demanded of this role requires a minimum of 3,000 hours of clinical experience, as well as passing the national exam set by the National Boards of Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. They’ll also need to become licensed in their state as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with prescriptive authority.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

This advanced role involves dealing with mental illnesses and disorders. These nurses are involved in the diagnosing, treatment and assessment of these patients ranging from mood disorders to addiction. 

How to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner

Along with needing a Registered Nurse license and a Master’s of Science in Nursing to qualify for the necessary Advanced Practice Registered Nurse license, nurses may also need psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. 

Nursing is both an exceptionally-fulfilling career and a field with great career prospects. With this information, prospective nurses should feel more prepared going into their specializations. Best of luck!


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