There are four main nursing specialisms: adult nursing, children’s nursing, mental health nursing, and nursing for those with learning disabilities. You can choose to study one, or sometimes two, of these specialisms during your pre-registration nursing course.
However, just because you qualify in one area of nursing, for example adult nursing, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take future qualifications to move or combine specialism, for example mental health nursing.
Here’s more about the nursing specialisms:
If you specialise in adult nursing then the world really is your oyster depending on the qualifications and experience you gain. You could work in almost any NHS department from Accident and Emergency to specialist care of the elderly.
You could also work outside of a hospital and become a community nurse which involves visiting patients in their homes, walk in centres, GP surgeries, or nursing homes.
As a children’s nurse you’ll be working with children from tiny new-borns to teenagers and you’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with them, their parents, or their carers.
Children’s nurses can also specialise within this area – for example you could work in neonatal intensive care or you could work outside of the hospital and become a school nurse or health visitor.
Working in mental health nursing is another career option that allows you to work outside of a hospital setting. You could find yourself working in a prison, community health centre, or in patient’s own homes.
Within a hospital you could work in psychiatric intensive care, outpatient wards, or in specialist units to deal with mental health conditions such as eating disorders.
As a learning disability nursing specialist you’ll be working with children and adult with learning disabilities to help them have as healthy and independent life as possible.
This involves communicating with them, their carers, and other health care professionals to ensure they can access the care they need. The majority of your time will be spent in the patient’s home, workplace, or education centre helping them achieve their full potential.