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What Specializations Are There for Nurse Practitioners?

There are fewer more noble callings than nursing. And with an ongoing nursing shortage, the demand for leaders in the field is critical. If you’re ready to expand your knowledge and pursue the next level of nursing, becoming a Nurse Practitioner will open new paths and opportunities to positively impact patient care.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Path

FNPs provide primary care for everyone from infants to older adults. In this specialization, you’ll do more than treat the sick; you’ll also help educate your patients on healthy nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle choices. From diagnosing to treating illnesses, FNPs perform a range of different functions:

  • Perform primary or emergency patient care
  • Prescribe medication and therapy
  • Provide patient education
  • Collaborate with healthcare providers
  • Refer to specialists

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Path

PMHNPs help provide mental health care to people of all ages. Within this role, you’ll assess, diagnose, and treat a range of different psychiatric disorders, along with primary care physicians and specialists. PMHNPs work in both in-patient and out-patient settings and perform a number of different duties for people dealing with mental health disorders and substance abuse.

  • Prescribe medication
  • Conduct physical and psychosocial assessments
  • Provide emergency psychiatric care
  • Evaluate treatment effectiveness

Opportunities for Nurse Practitioners

With the skills of a Nurse Practitioner, you could work in a family practice, providing care to the general public or choose an area of expertise. For example, if you enjoy treating children, you could work in pediatrics. Alternatively, you could serve the elderly in geriatrics. There are as many choices as there are specialties in medicine, but some to consider are:

  • Acute Care
  • Cardiac Care
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neonatal Care
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Orthopedics
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary
  • Radiology
  • Sports Medicine
  • Urology

Additional training or degrees may be required to specialize in a particular area of medicine.

Leadership/Education Path for Nurse Practitioners

As a Nurse Practitioner, you might also take on a leadership or educational role. You could attain certifications such as:

  • Certified Nurse Educator
  • Certified Nurse Manager and Leader
  • Nurse Executive Advanced Certification

With these credentials, you might work as a Nurse Case Manager, step into a hospital administration role, or help teach the next generation of nurses. You can make an impact on individual patients and nurses or help to solve some of the pressing healthcare challenges that face your community, state and the whole country. You can make a difference for years to come!

Why Should I Consider Earning an MSN Degree and Becoming a Nurse Practitioner?

An MSN program is designed to provide nurses with advanced education, knowledge, and skills. It can help prepare you for healthcare leadership roles or allow you to pursue different career paths within nursing. It will augment your current skillset and teach you how to design health studies, delve more deeply into ethics and leadership, and implement evidenced-based strategies. Nurse practitioner is one of the top 20 most in-demand jobs in our country, with the job outlook expected to rise much faster than average through 2029. This degree can open you up to a variety of different NP roles.


The Online Nursing Program at Bluefield University offers Family Nurse Practitioner, Leadership/Education and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner concentration options. Each gives you the education and skills you need to pursue a fulfilling life of service to others. At Bluefield University, we take a Christ-centered approach to education and training and place a special emphasis on preparing you to pursue a calling in underserved and economically disadvantaged communities. If you’re up for the challenge, contact us today.

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