8 Best Nursing Specialties in Demand for 2024

Last Updated on January 26, 2024

emergency room specialty nurse in blue scrubs holding tablet in hospital background

New year, new career goals! The new year is always a great opportunity to take a step back, examine your career goals, and take action. To help you get there, discover some of the top jobs and nursing specialties in demand to explore for 2024.

Nursing Jobs and Specialties in Demand

While the healthcare industry needs sharp minds and caring hands in every sector, there are a few nursing specialties in demand, settings, and jobs that can open even greater opportunities to level up in your nursing career.

Let’s take a look at some of the growing specialties and settings for 2024:

Behavioral and Mental Health Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Also known as psych nursing, the demand for behavioral and mental health nurses has surged, with past reports expecting a 31% growth rate by 2024. Psychiatric facilities also have one of the highest concentrations of registered nurses (RNs), making this one of the best nursing specialties in demand.

With a growing need and awareness of mental health care, there are many opportunities available.

What You’ll Do:

As a psych nurse, you’ll play a meaningful role in supporting individuals facing mental health challenges. You’ll assess patients, administer medication, educate patients with self-care strategies, and provide crisis intervention.

Where You Can Work:

You’ll find opportunities in psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, rehabilitation centers, and community health organizations.

Learn more about behavioral and mental health nursing jobs here.

Skilled Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) consistently need healthcare professionals, including RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and NPs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, SNFs have some of the highest levels of RN employment.

What You’ll Do:

When working in an SNF, you’ll provide specialized care to patients needing post-acute care, rehabilitation, or long-term assistance. Most often, you’ll work with elderly or disabled patients to create care plans, maintain records, and coordinate care across teams.

Where You Can Work:

You’ll work in SNFs, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

Learn more about skilled nursing facility jobs here.

Long-Term Care Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

With an aging population in need of compassionate care, long-term care (LTC) is one of the top nursing specialties in demand. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to grow, learn, and make a difference.

What You’ll Do:

As an LTC nurse, you’ll focus on addressing the complex healthcare needs of elderly and chronically ill individuals. You’ll get to know your patients more personally, providing comprehensive care and support for those requiring extended assistance.

Where You Can Work:

You’ll find employment opportunities with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, memory care centers, home health and hospice providers, and other long-term care settings.

Learn more about long-term care nursing jobs here.

Correctional Health Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Our communities need correctional health nurses to meet the unique healthcare challenges within correctional facilities. It’s growing as one of the top nursing specialties in demand, as facilities and social programs are emphasizing the need for compassionate, quality nursing care in these environments.

What You’ll Do:

Working within the criminal justice system, you provide healthcare to incarcerated individuals, addressing a wide range of medical issues unique to the correctional setting. You’ll help support the physical and mental health of patients and work with those managing chronic illnesses.

Where You Can Work:

You can find employment in prisons, juvenile detention centers, and other correctional facilities.

Learn more about correctional health nursing jobs here.

Nurse Midwives

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Nurse midwives are highly sought after, with a remarkable 38% growth in demand. As one of the top-paying nursing specialties in demand, it offers a fulfilling career path and competitive compensation.

What You’ll Do:

With labor & delivery nursing jobs, you’ll specialize in women’s reproductive health, providing care to expectant mothers during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

Where You Can Work:

You can work in hospitals, birthing centers, and private practices, contributing to women’s health across diverse settings.

Learn more about nurse midwife jobs here.

Travel Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Want to travel and see the country? The flexibility offered by travel nursing makes it an attractive option for nurses and healthcare professionals alike.

What You’ll Do:

You take short-term assignments in various healthcare settings, filling staffing gaps and bringing your expertise to different regions throughout the U.S.

Where You Can Work:

You can work in hospitals, clinics, ERs — anywhere! Thanks to nursing compact states, you can work across the country and enjoy an adventurous, ever-changing work environment.

Learn more about travel nursing jobs here.

Medical-Surgical Nursing

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Medical-surgical nurses are one of the best nursing specialties in demand, thanks to their wide variety of skills and expertise in caring for complex medical conditions.

What You’ll Do:

You’ll provide care to patients undergoing medical or surgical procedures to promote a smooth recovery and manage any postoperative complications. This might include assessing patients, administering IVs and injections, and working with the healthcare team.

Where You Can Work:

You can find jobs in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and surgical facilities. Medical hospitals, surgical hospitals, and outpatient care centers have some of the highest levels of RNs employed, exceeding 2 million as of 2022.

Learn more about medical-surgical nursing jobs here.

ER Nursing Specialty

Why It’s an In-Demand Nursing Specialty or Career:

Emergency Room (ER) Nurses are consistently in demand, given the unpredictable nature of emergency healthcare needs. As an ER nurse, you’ll always be needed to take care of patients when it matters most.

What You’ll Do:

You respond to medical emergencies, triage patients, and provide immediate care to individuals in critical conditions.

Where You Can Work:

You can work in hospital emergency departments, trauma centers, and urgent care facilities, playing a crucial role in emergency medical services.

Learn more about ER nursing jobs here.

Discover The Best Jobs for Nursing Specialties in Demand

Ready to find opportunities within these in-demand nursing specialties? Make 2024 the year you reach your career goals with CareerStaff! With plenty of options, you can find a career path that aligns with your skills, interests, and professional goals.

Get started now: Search local, travel, and per diem nursing jobs nationwide. Or, get connected to roles in top specialties by filling out a quick application and get matched with a recruiter today!

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