The Types of Nurse Practitioner Areas to Specialize in When Pursuing a Medical Career

Most people start their careers in general nursing before carving out an area of specialization later on. A nurse practitioner typically requires a Master’s degree in the area he or she has practiced in. These professionals are authorized to work autonomously and collaboratively in an extensive clinical role. In this career, nurses are involved in assessing and managing patients. They may refer patients to doctors, prescribe medication, and order diagnostic investigations.

There are different kinds of nurse practitioners serving in hospital facilities all around the country. This list highlights some of the most popular NP positions.

1) Adult Gerontology nurses

These medical professionals offer care and education on disease-prevention topics. They strictly serve adult patients by assessing, diagnosing and managing common problems they might have from time to time. You will find them in community clinics, ambulatory care centers, internal medicine offices and other medical facilities.

2) Pediatric nurses

They provide medical care to children and teens in general. You’ll find them working in a wide range of settings, including those situated in under-served communities and ambulatory facilities. They take care of both sick (or those who have chronic illnesses) and healthy children.

3) Psychiatric nurse practitioners

These NPs work with individuals, families or specific population which may be suffering from mental problems. They manage therapy and provide intervention treatment. The law also allows them to prescribe medication to mentally-ill patients.

4) Emergency nurse practitioners

The needs of an emergency room are so vast, which is why nurses wanting to practice in this area must learn all facets of basic care. Emergency rooms typically handle all types of patients, whether adult or kids. These medical practitioners are trained to understand various healthcare needs of a population.

5) Neonatal nurse practitioners

Their work is strictly done in a nursery or a neonatal intensive care unit. They address problems suffered by newborns and infants too. They work with parents and other healthcare providers to offer medical solutions where needed.

6) Acute care nurses

They handle patients who need short term medical care. They may work in an emergency care setting, outpatient facility or in a mental institution. They will assess the type of illness a patient is suffering from, suggest a solution or consult with other medical professionals to find a lasting solution.

7) Nurse practitioner

This mainly involves students taking nurse practitioner programs, and may specialize in a variety of areas. For instance, they may handle adult care, pediatric care, mental care, and sometimes emergency care. With enough hours to practice, they gain in-depth knowledge in assessing and diagnosing patients. With more experience, they acquire treatment skills in the area where they’ve specialized in.

8) Family nurse practitioner

They assess the health of their patients, offer them direct care and teach both individuals and families on matters concerning their health. In order to succeed in their work, they must collaborate with primary care physicians as well as other medical care professionals.


The types of nurse practitioners can vary based on the niche they serve. The 8 areas described above are the main niches where nurse practitioners choose to specialize in. Also, most areas mentioned above require graduate-level education, although others will require Masters-level training.