Thinking about what to major in for nursing? Most nursing programs, whether you’re going for your bachelor’s or master’s, have specific areas of concentration you can focus on, and they usually have to do with the type of job you’ll be qualified for when you finish school.
So how do you know what to major in? The answer to that depends a lot on what you want to do with your nursing degree. Below are five tips to help you decide what to major in for nursing.
5 Tips to Help you Decide What to Major in for Nursing
1. Ask yourself what age group you identify with most
Some aspiring nurses are most comfortable with kids, so they choose to specialize in pediatric nursing. Other nursing majors are more comfortable with adults or the elderly and choose to specialize in geriatrics.
If you’re the first person to offer to hold a newborn baby or find yourself fascinated with the birth process, then perhaps a career in obstetrics or neonatal nursing is for you.
2. Think about how you cope with stressful situations
Although all hospital floors and departments face life-threatening situations from time to time, some areas of medicine may be calmer than others. How do you work best?
If you’re the type of person who thrives under pressure, then being an ER nurse might be ideal. If you prefer a quieter work environment, then concentrating your nursing major in home health or rehabilitation might be beneficial.
3. Consider what aspects of nursing you like best
Although you might not have professional work experience in nursing quite yet, think about how jobs such as a nurse practitioner, midwife or ER nurse differ from each other.
Some nurses like meeting new people every day, while others enjoy seeing the same patients for years in the same doctor’s office. Think about the tasks you like performing the most and then apply those to types of nursing majors.
4. Give thought to the type of facility you might like working in
If you’ve never liked visiting hospitals, then you probably won’t enjoy working in one. Nurses can work in all types of places — clinics, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, universities, schools and even large corporate offices.
Comfort is key, so be sure to choose a nursing major that allows you take a job where you’re most comfortable working.
5. What makes you feel fulfilled?
A large part of any nursing job is fulfillment, and this can mean different things for everyone. Some nurses feel the most fulfilled at the end of their shift at a hospital or ER, knowing they made a difference in their patients’ lives, while others might feel most satisfied helping children or working closely with families to help their kids stay healthy.
And for nurses in managerial roles, they may get the most satisfaction helping other nurses succeed.
The answers to what to major in for nursing are deeply personal and depend on your career interests, skills and long-term nursing goals.
Thinking about these points can help you determine what concentration is right for you and help you find a satisfying nursing career.