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Which Nursing Job is Easier to Find – ICU Nurse, ER Nurse, or OR Nurse?

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There is good news for those contemplating becoming a nurse in the coming years, job opportunities are on the rise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook is excellent for registered nurses and jobs in the field of nursing are expected to increase at a faster rate than in other areas. The one caveat is that positions in hospitals are not expected to increase as dramatically as in other areas because of reduced patient time in the facilities and the increased offerings in specialty facilities for procedures once offered only in hospitals. Not only are these jobs becoming more readily available, they are also great jobs to have. The U.S. News and World Report listed registered nurse as the best job for 2012 in the field of health care and also overall out of all the jobs profiled. It topped the list because of the projected growth in the industry, current employment rates, average salary, and job satisfaction.

A nurse can choose to specialize in a number of fields including critical care, emergency care, or perioperative care.

ICU Nurse
Critical care nurses are trained to give specialized care to patients in critical condition. These patients are usually served in a hospital setting but may also be served in outpatient clinics, home health care, or long term care facilities. There are several ways to become trained as a critical care nurse. In the past, the most common has been on the job training. However, there are certification programs that provide additional training in the specialty and employers are beginning to look for candidates who have already be trained in critical care procedures.

ER Nurse
Emergency care nurses are nurses who have been trained to give care in a fast paced environment and are able to quickly evaluate and make decisions on care and treatment for patients.

OR Nurse
A perioperative nurse is one who works primarily in the operating room. While these nurses usually work in hospital operating rooms they may also work in outpatient clinics or physician’s offices where procedures are performed.

Specialty Outlook
According to one analysis, employers are having a moderate amount of difficulty finding nurses to fill the above positions. This is good news for employees because it means it is easier to find positions in these fields than it has been in the past.

Are you currently a registered nurse in a specialized field? Has it become easier to find positions over the last few years? If you are interested in becoming a registered nurse what specialty areas interest you most?


Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!