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Thread: How does one obtain a nursing specialty?

  1. #1

    Question How does one obtain a nursing specialty?

    See, I'd like to be an operating room nurse. I may start out as a scrub nurse then work my way up to first assistant or supervising nurse.

    Do I have to go to graduate school to really obtain a specialty? I'm interested in surgery and pediatrics. They shouldn't be too hard to combine. I don't really want to go farther than a BSN in one setting. Sure, I may go to graduate school, maybe even med school, later in life, but do I HAVE to get a MSN or become a Nurse Practioner to get a specialty?

    I'd also like to become a legal nurse consultant, but there are certificates for that.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Most people are hired into an area and consider that their specialty after they have worked there for any given length of time. They may, or may not, get higher education pertinent to that area or they may become certified, once they have decided to invest themselves.

  3. #3
    Member Extraordinaire hppygr8ful's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    The BON in most states also have programs for some nursing specialties - Each board will list the specific requirements to be recognized as a Clinical Specialist - For example I consider myself a Clinical Specialist in Acute Psych but I have not tested with the BON in my state to get the Clin I title so I cannot advertise myself as that. But as far as I know you don't have to be an NP or have a Master's degree to work inspecialty areas. Check with hospital's that are hiring and see if they have in-house programs to train you. My first Job out of nursing school was as a Labor and delivery nurse and the hospital that hired me paid for all my additional training - but I did have to agree to work for them for Two years

    Peace and Namaste


  4. #4
    Hi Unknown,

    Nursing specialty organizations offer certification exams. I have CCRN and TNCC certifications for critical care and trauma and hold memberships in both organizations, the AACN and ENA. Become a member of the AORN and you will learn what you need to know about obtaining certification. This means preparing for and sitting for the exam. From the college perspective, you will not need additional education to be eligible.

    Good luck,


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