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Are you considering switching from your current nursing specialty to another? If so, figuring out your next career move can be challenging, especially if you want to go into a completely different area of nursing. 

Changing your specialty may seem intimidating, but you will feel more comfortable with your decision with some research.

In this article, you will learn: 

  • Reasons why nurses may want to switch specialties
  • Questions to ask yourself before switching specialties
  • Tips for switching specialties
  • And much more

 

 switching specialties in nursing

 

Table of Contents

 

 

3 Reasons Why Nurses May Want to Switch Specialties  

There are many reasons why nurses choose to change their specialties, including personal reasons or life changes.

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most common reasons why people change specialties. 

#1: You Want to Work in a New Setting

If you want to grow or define your career, working in a different setting can help. You can change specialties to work in a completely different environment and capacity where you feel your contributions matter more.

Another way to work in a new setting is travel nursing! With travel nursing, you can change locations as often as you like. 

You can target any hospital or clinic you’re interested in as a travel nurse to see what working life will be like in that setting. It is possible to try different settings to find out what works best for you.

Are you interested in learning more? Please contact us today. 

 

switching specialties in nursing

 

#2: You No Longer Feel Passionate About Going to Work 

If you are happy in your current role, you should be passionate about your work and the patients you serve.

It might mean you need to change your work life if you aren’t proud of your work and do not feel excited about your wins.

A career change is also an option for those who dread going to work.

If you’ve already eliminated the possibility that the staff or organization is making you feel unhappy, you might consider changing specialties.

For some nurses, some specialties are not suitable for them. In addition, working with the same types of trauma or cases for an extended period can be exhausting.

#3: You Need a New Challenge 

You may feel like you could contribute more in your current role if you’ve been in the field for some time but do not feel challenged.

This signifies that you might benefit from a new specialty, setting, or increased responsibilities.

Is It Hard to Switch Nursing Specialties? 

Switching nursing specialties can be challenging, but it is doable and sometimes necessary.

Even though many nurses already have the educational background and training to work in a different specialty, they’re worried about the perceived difficulty of switching nursing specialties.  

 

switching specialties in nursing

 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Switching Nursing Specialties

When you’re considering changing your nursing specialization, it’s pretty clear that something’s not working for you. So think about why you no longer enjoy your current specialty before making the leap.

The following questions can help you determine your reasons for wanting to make a switch.

#1: Do I Want More or Less Contact With Patients? 

Do you feel burnt out from patient care and need to take on a position where you won’t be in contact with patients as much? 

Are you sitting behind a desk and wishing you could spend more time with patients? 

Nurses can choose between positions that involve more or less patient contact. 

If it’s not the right fit for you, you can always try a different setting. Nursing has the advantage of always being able to find another setting to try if something doesn’t work. 

#2: Am I Happy in a Hospital Setting? 

Hospitals are buzzing with activity 24/7. Hospitalized patients are sometimes in life-threatening situations and require proactive care and monitoring. 

It can be exciting for nurses to work in a hospital setting due to its unpredictable nature. However, the hospital setting can also expose nurses to distressing situations, such as excruciating pain or sudden death. 

The fast-paced nature of hospital settings often requires nurses to work long shifts, including nights and weekends. 

If this has become challenging for you, maybe a clinic setting suits you better? How about a home health setting?

You can work in various settings when you have a degree in nursing. Feel free to switch and see what works best for you. 

#3: Do I Like to Be Part of a Team or Prefer to Work Alone?

Do you desire to work alone and interact with coworkers less? Would you prefer to work in a team? 

It’s possible to do both in nursing. 

For example, all practitioners need to work together to ensure that patients receive the best possible care in an ICU setting

If you prefer working alone, your co-workers are rarely present in a home health setting, and you spend most of your time with your patients. Therefore, you may find this setting ideal. 

#4: Do I Have Time for Any Additional Education or Training? 

Further education can prepare you for a new career or help you find your dream job. 

Depending on how drastic your switch is, you might need additional education to prepare for a new nursing specialty. 

Additional education might include day-long workshops or certification courses, or be more involved, such as auditing classes at a local college or even getting an advanced degree.

Be honest with yourself when you decide if you have time for this additional education or training. 

#5: Would I Like a Nursing Specialty Where I Can Travel? 

Do you like to travel? Are you looking for some adventure? Travel nursing might be a fit for you!

If you are interested in travel nursing, pick an in-demand specialty where you can travel. Some of the most in-demand specialties include: 

  • Labor and delivery nurses
  • Operating room nurses
  • Neonatal intensive care unit nurse
  • Post-anesthesia care unit nurse
  • ICU nurses
  • Emergency room nurses
  • Pediatrics nurse
  • Step-down unit nurse
  • Telemetry nurses

The goal of Trusted Nurse Staffing is to make your travel nurse experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. 

All team members are dedicated to ensuring that your assignments are a great fit for you. In addition, as a travel nurse with Trusted Nurse Staffing, you have access to your own personal Trusted Partner who is there for you at every turn.

 

switching specialties in nursing

 

Ready to Switch? 5 Tips for Switching Specialties in Nursing 

Having taken stock of your reasons for wanting a change in nursing specialties, it’s time to make the switch.

The following are five strategies to keep in mind as you prepare for the transition. 

#1: Research Other Nursing Specialties 

Now that you’ve evaluated yourself, it’s time to assess specialties.

You should research the different specialties and be aware of additional schooling or certification requirements, pay differences, and life/work balance.

When you begin to research, start online by reading: 

  • Industry publications
  • News articles
  • Reputable blogs
  • Relevant journals; or
  • Whatever else you think might be helpful

Along with your online research, try attending nursing conferences and job fairs. 

It’s a great way to quickly learn about various career options and an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and recruiters you might not otherwise cross paths with. Someone you sit next to at a conference panel might become your coworker or boss one day!

#2: Gain Hands-On Experience 

Now that you’ve narrowed down the list of possible specialties you’re interested in, it’s time to experience them yourself. 

Shadow nurses in the units you consider, just as if you were in nursing school again.

After working as a nurse for a while, it may seem strange to go back to shadowing. Still, you can’t fully understand what it would be like to work in a specific specialty simply by reading articles or talking to people — the action needs to be witnessed in person, so don your scrubs and go shadowing!

#3: Network With Others in Your Desired New Specialty 

Most jobs are found through networking and employee referrals rather than traditional job searches. 

You will increase your chances of finding a relevant job opportunity by networking with others in your specialty. Therefore, it’s wise to start networking early before you’ve even decided on a particular specialty.

Reach out to colleagues, tell them you’re considering a change, and ask if they would be willing to answer some questions about their jobs.

Then, once you’ve decided on a specialty and established a networking relationship, you can tell them what kind of position you’re looking for.

#4: Consider the Best Time to Transition 

The time to switch specialties is almost as important as the specialization itself. 

Transition too early, and you’ll look like you’re a job hopper with commitment issues, but transition too late, and it might be challenging to catch up with younger colleagues. 

Generally speaking, the best time to make a switch is after you have mastered your original specialty and your growth has plateaued, but not so late that you have moved up the ranks and have to swallow a significant reduction in title or compensation.

Of course, major personal events such as moving and having a baby are also part of this equation, so don’t forget to account for those. 

#5: Try a Change of Scenery First 

Think outside the box before making a massive shift in specialty or investing a lot of time and money into something new. For example, consider working at a clinic instead of a hospital or traveling as a nurse to experience a new setting.

A few other ideas include: 

  • Aesthetics
  • Clinical education
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Risk management; and
  • More

 

is it hard to switch nursing specialties

 

Looking for a Change in Your Nursing Career? Create a Free Profile Today and Let Trusted Nurse Staffing Help Guide You 

If you’re interested in learning more about vaccination nurse jobs or want to take the next step, feel free to reach out to us here at Trusted Nurse Staffing. 

You can depend on us at every stage of your journey – we’re here to help. 

Right now, there are many hospitals, facilities, and mobile programs that could use someone like you. 

You’ll find your place with us. Contact us today. 

 

switching specialties in nursing