In today’s healthcare environment, nurses should keep their skills fresh. Moreover, it’s essential to continue learning to remain competitive in the job market. An advanced nursing degree is a great way to do that. Many nurses pursue advanced certifications or specializations after obtaining their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
Specializing may be for you if you’re looking for ways to advance your nursing career. Courses such as the UIndy online DNP-AGPCNP program allow nurses to do just that. Further, an advanced specialization is an additional academic focus that builds on your foundational knowledge. For example, the University of Indianapolis’ program confers degrees to nurses seeking the highest-level expertise in advanced practice nursing.
You can think of it as a micro-specialization. Going back to school helps you focus on specific knowledge and skills in a particular area of practice or clinical setting. In sum, it’s a way to become more marketable. Furthermore, it helps you build your resume and prepares you for leadership roles in nursing.
What is an advanced specialization?
An advanced specialization is an applied study area. As mentioned, it builds on your foundational nursing knowledge. One of the easiest ways to explain it to people is as a micro-specialization. An advanced specialization allows you to become an expert in a clinical setting or practice area. Nurses often pursue advanced specializations to enhance their resumes and marketability. However, they also do it because pursuing advanced disciplines increases their earning potential.
Why should you get an advanced certification?
Fortunately, nurses have many options for advanced specializations. An advanced degree adds tremendous value to a nurse’s career. Also, it’s ideal for nurses who wish to stay in their current profession but want to build on their foundational knowledge.
With how technology is changing the healthcare field, these advancements in technology and healthcare have also created a demand for nurses with advanced skills. In addition, many more nurses are needed to fill high-need areas, such as gerontology.
How to find the right program for you
The first step in getting an advanced degree is researching and narrowing down which ones are a good fit for you. If you’re unsure where to start, ask yourself a few questions:
- What do you like about nursing?
- What do you want to improve on in your career?
- What would make you more effective at your job?
- What opportunities are available to you?
- What are your career goals?
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can start researching advanced degree programs. Of course, you can always start the journey by searching online. You can also contact a nursing school to see what’s available. Having a clear idea of what you want and exploring what’s out there will help you find the right program.
Top areas of practice to focus on in your nursing career
You know many nursing and health topics exist if you read up on health news. The following are a few top areas of nursing practice from which to choose:
- Cardiac nursing: The cardiac nursing specialty focuses on diagnosing and treating heart disease. Cardiac nurses work in cardiac intensive care units, cardiac surgery and cardiac telemetry units.
- Adult-gerontology primary care nursing: An adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner (AGPCNP) is an advanced practice nurse who provides care for adults and older adults in primary care settings.
- Neonatal nursing: Neonatal nurses specialize in diagnosing and treating newborns with medical problems. Neonatal nurses work in neonatal intensive care units specifically designed to help newborns with medical problems receive care.
- Women’s health nursing: The women’s health nursing specialty focuses on female wellness and diagnosing and treating health issues that affect women. Women’s health nurses work in gynecology and other medical offices where women receive treatment.
Stay competitive with an advanced degree
Nurses should always keep their skills fresh. Moreover, by continually furthing their knowledge, nurses can remain competitive in the job market. An advanced nursing degree is an excellent way to move your career forward. Many nurses pursue advanced certifications or degrees to become more marketable and to move into leadership positions.
If you’re looking for ways to advance your nursing career, an advanced specialization should be something to consider. You’ll quickly see how it opens up new opportunities for a life-long and rewarding career.