5 Family Nursing Specializations that Require Specific Nursing Certifications

5 Family Nursing Specializations that Require Specific Nursing Certifications

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Mar 16, 2015, at 9:48 pm


WITHIN NURSING there are many specialized fields in which nurses can pursue additional education, which may lead to certification. Below, we’ve listed 5 nursing specializations that require specific nursing certification.

female docotor holding up whiteboard with 5 specialized nursing fields

1. Family Nurse Practitioner 

Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are becoming fundamental to the world of health care. Their clinical expertise offers a wide range of both specialty and more general care, often in collaboration with other medical professionals. Family NPs offer clinical proficiency and accessibility to millions of Americans. As the shortage of physicians practicing as primary care providers grows, more of us will turn to NPs to be our primary care providers.

A career as a Family NP is considered an advanced practice, and requires nursing certification and a BSN and at least a Master’s degree, with many nurses obtaining a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Some common services provided during a typical day as a Family NP include: prescribing medications, overseeing general patient care, managing chronic conditions, and educating patients on disease control and prevention in relation to each individual’s specific condition and lifestyle.

2. Geriatric Staff Nurse

Geriatric nurses work within the field of gerontology, which focuses on the care for older adults. They are in high demand due to a variety of reasons, like the growing life expectancy and the increased need for health services after the age of 65. According to the U.S Census reported by expolorehealthcareers.org, more than 20 percent of Americans will be over the age of 65 by 2050.

To become a geriatric nurse, one must have an RN diploma, BSN or ADN. The daily responsibilities of a geriatric nurse include an understanding of their patient’s health issues, and assess cognitive status, organize medications, educate on safety and disease prevention and link individuals to local resources as needed. In essence, geriatric nurses help their patients manage specific healthcare regimens that help both the patient and the family.

3. Gerontological Nurse Practitioner

Similar to geriatric nurses, gerontological nurse practitioners specialize in the care of elderly patients. This practice is also considered an advanced practice (like an FNP) and requires more nursing certification than geriatric staff nurses. Gerontological nurse practitioners diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, conduct routine checkups, order lab testing and manage pain.

Due to the advanced nature of the career, gerontological nurse practitioners require a higher degree of nursing certification with a BSN and MSN degree.

4. Neonatal Nurse

This specialty field of nursing only involves newborns that are born with a critical condition or illness. This includes health problems such as birth defects, infections cardiovascular malformations and prematurity. While most only work with patients from birth up until hospital discharge, some remain the child’s nurse up until the age of about 2.

A day in the life of a neonatal nurse includes: medication administration, tracking status and updates, changing diapers, comforting patients, and monitoring condition.

5. Pediatric Nurse

Pediatric nurses work only with children from infancy to later teen years due to many children’s specific health care needs. Pediatric nurses have specific nursing certifications and training that allow them to effectively communicate with children, even if the child is scared or shy.

Pediatric nurses conduct checkups, educate parents and children, and deliver immunizations.

We want to know: Are you a nurse?

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com

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