Career Advice for Nurses: Specialties in Demand, Professional Development & More

Happy Nurses Week 2022 illustration with female nurse with the words More Than a Nurse a Student

Here at CareerStaff Unlimited, we’re big believers in helping nurses achieve their best possible career. To mark Week 3 of Nurses Month 2022, we’re excited to offer some professional development guidance along with other important career advice — because we know that you’re more than a nurse… you’re a difference maker.

Advice for Nurses: The Importance of Professional Development

Career development can be a challenge for nurses of all types. Professional development for nurses can open the door to new types of jobs in different types of settings. Especially for those who feel like their skills are underused in their current setting, professional development is a chance to take your career to exciting new places. (Literally, in the case of travel nursing assignments!)

Professional development can also take a number of different forms. The most common is continuing education (CE), which can be used to get nursing specialty certificates. Other activities like attending conferences or webinars can also qualify as contact hours, which, when accumulated, can equal CE credits. Of course, nurses are also required to take a certain amount of CE courses every year in many states. You can see what level of CE is required for the state where you’re licensed at

Even for nurses who may be happy where they are in their career, professional development is important for a number of other reasons. It can help keep people up to date with constantly changing technology and EMR/EHR systems, for example. For new nurses, it can help raise your earning potential in a hurry, even if you prefer to stay where you’re at for a while.  

Advice for Nurses: Most In-Demand Specialties in 2022

For many nurses, pursuing a new nursing specialty certificate with CE credits is a way to meet your state’s CE requirements while climbing up the career ladder. It’s also a reliable way to land a job in one of the most in-demand nurse specialties, many of which require certification like Acute/Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (Adult, Pediatric & Neonatal), Clinical Nurse Leader, or many others.

Different organizations have different criteria for what nursing specialties are most in-demand, and the list will also vary by region. Since Covid-19, it’s a pretty safe bet that critical care nurses will be among the most in-demand specialties in most areas. (This includes RNs with experience working in intensive care units (ICUs), cardiac care units, pediatric ICUs, and emergency departments.)

A 2022 survey of hospital executives found that the most in-demand nursing specialties were med/surg nurses (78%), emergency department nurses (69%) and ICU nurses (53%). And according to NurseJournal, the some of the most in-demand nursing specialties during Covid-19 and are:

  • Critical care nurses
  • Certified dialysis nurses
  • Operating room (OR) nurses
  • Nurse case managers

At CareerStaff Unlimited, where we’re proud to connect nurses with great jobs across the United States, some of our most in-demand specialties include step-down/progressive care unit (PCU) nurses, med/surg nurses, behavioral and mental health nurses and critical care/ICU nurses. And there’s always demand in the general nursing category, which includes assignments for CNAs, LPNs and LVNs, especially those with experience working in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs).

Advice for Nurses, from the CareerStaff Clinicians of the Month

But don’t just take our word for it! The nurses who have been named as CareerStaff Unlimited Clinicians of the Month often tell us why they value professional development, and how it’s helped them to reach new career heights.

Take Marisa for example. One of the CareerStaff Clinicians of the Month for May 2022, she recently told us about how the different skills she’s gathered over her career have led to new opportunities.

“I have helped open facilities and put policies and procedures in place due to my knowledge of medications and how detox units work and run,” she said. “I have dedicated my hard work and time to it because I am very passionate about it.”

For Debbie, one of our Clinicians of the Month for January 2022, the proudest moment of a long, rewarding career was making the move from LPN to registered nurse, “so I can do more and learn more for my residents and patients,” as she told us.

Jeremy, a CareerStaff Clinician of the Month for April, 2022, is also inspired in his career ambitions by the simple prospect of helping others.  

“I chose nursing as my career path because I have always enjoyed helping people,” he told us. “There are endless possibilities within the healthcare profession that makes it inspirational. Working in the healthcare industry allows one to nurture their desire to help others while earning a living.”

This rings true for Marisa, too. She told us about how she takes inspiration to keep pursuing her career dreams from the patients who are so grateful for her help.

“They always come back and thank you for helping them and being so grateful for your care,” she said. “It’s the best thing about being a nurse to me.”

Find Jobs, Career Guidance & More at CareerStaff

If you’re looking for help taking your career in the right direction, CareerStaff is here to help. We provide a wealth of other benefits — including top pay — to make sure you have everything you need to succeed. You can check out all of our jobs here, or fill out a quick application to get started even faster! Good luck, and Happy Nurses Month!  

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