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September 2022

Is It Easy To Change Nursing Specialties?

Some nurses work in the same specialty until retirement, but some choose to explore different specialties at some point in their professional lives. Numerous opportunities are available in the nursing industry, even though some nurses are happy to retire in one specialty before venturing into another. Instead of changing nursing specialties without a plan, take time to research and determine a suitable position.

How hard is it to change nursing specialties?

Changing nursing specialties can be challenging but necessary. For example, you may feel your current specialization area is not a good match for you. This feeling can be something you felt from the start of your career or a recent reality emanating from tedious or stressful situations.

Are you considering changing your career? Here are some things you should know as you prepare for the shift.

Conduct self-evaluation

If you want to switch your specialty, that could indicate that something is not working well. Before transitioning, consider reflecting on the reasons you’re no longer interested in your current specialty. Do you want to move away from time-intensive situations to have enough time for your health and focus on your family? Changing your specialty can be complex, and this tip will help you determine whether you’re making the proper decision.


Analyze the various specialties available. Read valuable materials like news articles, industry publications, relevant journals, and reliable blogs. Where possible, attend nursing events and conferences. Often, such events may be an ideal way of discovering multiple career options within a limited time. What’s more, they provide excellent opportunities for meeting and interacting with colleagues and potential employers.

Acquire hands-on experience

After listing down potential specialties, you’d want to venture in, consider trying them in real life. Ask to follow and watch nurses in your preferred specialties, as was the case during your nursing school days.

After gathering tremendous experience in the industry, doing so can feel weird, but it’s the only method you can use to experience what working there would be like. You have to be there in real-time to prepare for your switch.

What is a good career change for a nurse?

Numerous options are available for certified nurses to choose from. These include:

Physical Therapist

This position allows you to help people who’ve suffered various illnesses or injuries manage their pain and improve their movement. You can either work in a private clinic or a public hospital. This is an evolving field, and if you’re interested in continued interactions with patients after changing nursing specialties, a physical therapist job would be ideal. To qualify for this position, you may have to acquire a relevant certification or degree.

Clinical social worker

Clinical social workers specialize in determining and treating emotional and behavioral problems. They can work in numerous settings, such as in government agencies and mental health clinics. Working in this position allows you to handle various issues like abuse, addiction, and mental illness.

To qualify for this position, you may need a master’s degree in social work. You must also have excelled in a state licensing exam. This position allows you to work in various NGO, private, or public organizations. You’ll get the most job opportunities in the urban areas.

Which nursing specialty is the hardest?

Before changing nursing specialties, you want to establish the most challenging departments in your career. These include:

  • Geriatric care
  • Medical-surgical
  • Oncology
  • Emergency room
  • Hospice
  • Home health
  • Correctional nursing
  • Psychiatry.

Can a nurse have multiple specialties?

The rise of multiple specializations in the nursing industry has allowed nurses to meet certification and education requirements and acquire working experience. As a result, they’re able to concentrate on a specific area of patient population or practice. Nurses who acquire specialized in-demand certifications gain from:

  • Employment possibilities with added autonomy and responsibility
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • High compensation levels.

What is the least stressful nursing specialty?

While nursing can be a fast-paced, hectic career, some specialties are less stressful. They include:

  • Nurse educator
  • Nurse administrator
  • Summer camp or school nurse. This position will be ideal for you if you love children.
  • Public health nurse
  • Nurse researcher
  • Case management nurse
  • Nurse informaticist
  • Home health nurse


Changing nursing specialties can be both interesting and frustrating. However, you can eliminate unnecessary stress by conducting extensive research before transitioning. Use the tips in this article to make the process smooth.