Purpose and Mission
There are many other nursing specialties besides the dozen or so mentioned here on the Career Insights page. Other common nursing specialties not specifically mentioned here include legal nursing, cardiac nursing, orthopaedic nursing, holistic nursing, case management nursing, occupational health nursing, nursing informatics and several others.
Nurses in these other specialties often have additional training beyond a bachelor’s in nursing, and many have earned a master’s degree to become advanced practice nurses or nurse practitioners.
Nurses in these various specialties are employed at hospitals, clinics, universities, schools, nursing homes, teaching hospitals, universities and state and local health agencies. They typically report to a lead RN, nursing supervisor or a mid-level administrator, but the direct supervisor will vary by job, facility and department.
Experienced nurses in most specialties will have some direct supervisory responsibilities, perhaps over enrolled nurses or nursing assistants. Senior specialist nurses are also typically responsible for revising the current standards of care and training new colleagues.
In order to become an RN, you must complete a bachelor’s degree or equivalent at an accredited university. Additional training to become a specialist can take from one year to four or five years depending on the program and specialty.
All RNs regardless of specialty must hold a current Nursing Registration with the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Agency) to practise directly with patients.
Responsibilities of Other Nurses
Specialty nurses have a variety of clinical, administrative and research responsibilities depending on the position. Of interest, holistic nursing and nursing informatics are among the fastest-growing of the other nursing specialties.
The primary responsibilities of nursing informatics specialists include coordinating patient records, preparing reports and training other nurses about how to use new software and other technologies. A growing number of nurses in this specialty are becoming consultants on health policy issues and starting to serve on various governance boards.
Health care professionals who specialize in holistic nursing apply both traditional and alternative philosophies of healing to their practice. As well as addressing personal medical needs, a holistic nurse works with patients to integrate emotional, spiritual and cultural needs in support of optimal healing. The underlying philosophy behind holistic nursing is that cultivating a sense of personal empowerment and responsibility in patients and families and caregivers leads to improved health outcomes.