Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization

Now that you’re a registered nurse, what’s next? You’ve completed nursing school, gone on to work a few years and have gained experience in some wards. You decide that you want to pursue a specialization, for their multiple career growth benefits. Or maybe it’s for the higher salary that you have the potential to earn as a specialized nurse.

But hold your horses. While the benefits can be very enticing, choosing a specialization demands time, energy, and finances that you must be willing to sacrifice for a set period of time. You might not even see immediate benefits; they might come later in your career.

Still interested? Good. The nation needs more nurses like you. Ambitious nurses who are passionate about developing themselves and striving towards self-improvement. Here are five things your should consider before choosing your nursing specialty.

1. What Is Your Motivation To Pursue This Specialty?

What do you want to achieve by becoming a renal nurse? A perioperative nurse? A geriatric nurse?

You need to know what is exactly the reason for your interest in the specialty field of your choice. You want to help others? Is money a motivating factor? These are all acceptable reasons. If you are thinking of pursuing a specialization because of a family member or friend’s influence, that is fine, as long as your goals and objectives are in line with theirs.

Ultimately you are the one who has to go through and live with the decision. Knowing what motivates you will help you stay focused and succeed later, even through trying times.

2. How Are You Going to Obtain the Education and Training Needed for Your Specialization?

You should research a bit about the diplomas, post-basic certifications, degrees, and training courses that are required for the specialty you wish to take.

You can read up our guide to career advancement for nurses here.

Being a high-level nurse is a remarkable investment of money and time. It would be wise for you to think out how to pay for your education, and balance doing that with completing the required coursework.

If you have only a diploma in nursing and need to obtain your BSN degree from an expensive institution, a bit of planning ahead can help you save up for tuition fees. Some universities offer financial assistance that you can take advantage of.

Read here for our article on how to increase your income as a nurse. Every little increase in salary helps over time. It could mean the difference in you being able to take that course next year, or in two more years.

3. Does This Specialization Fit Your Strengths And Personality?

Not good around kids? Finding it hard to connect with younger patients? Then don’t take up paediatric nursing.

Are you a high-energy, challenge-seeking nurse that likes difficult situations? Or do you love to be in a more stable setting, working one day at a time, employing your full focus on things that matter? Are you an introvert? Extrovert?

Each specialization requires different skillsets and personality traits. Consider this well and evaluate how the work would mesh with your personality.

4. How Will This Impact Your Family And Personal Life?

Think wisely and carefully about this. Consider how your family might be affected if you have to work nights, weekends, or on call. Some courses are done at night after work.

Some employers do not grant study leave to their nurses. Think about how your family might be financially impacted if you were to quit your current job in order to study.

It is imperative you give it some thought now before you make the leap into your specialization.

5. Where Do You Want To Work?

Based on your working experiences, where do you think you’d like to work? Most importantly, which type of environment would you be most comfortable, and most successful?

If working conditions at hospitals are too hectic and large, then specializing as a cardiac nurse in cardiology would not be a good idea. Maybe you’d like to work more regular hours, in a small nursing center. Specializing in nephrology to become a renal/dialysis nurse would be a great idea. Some would also opt to practice nursing independently, doing house calls. A specialization in home care would be the best course of action.

Do you want to work near where you live? Or are you willing to move to another city for better prospects? Don’t limit yourself! Nurses are still needed at places you wouldn’t normally think of, like military bases or schools.

To get an idea of what nursing jobs are available in the area you wish to work in, check out our job portal, MIMS Career. Search for nursing jobs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. New jobs and vacancies are being updated every day. Browse through our extensive database, and apply with our convenient 1-click process.



Other Articles




  1. Specialization tasks  
 2. Pathway  
 3. Common job scopes  
 4. Common terms  
 5. Career opportunities  

 Cardiology 

 Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system the field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of  congenital heart defects ,  coronary artery disease ,  heart failure ,  valvular heart disease  and  electrophysiology . Physicians who specialize in cardiac surgery are called cardiothoracic surgeons or cardiac surgeons. The supporting role of the surgeons and physicians are  cardiology nurses . 

 Although the cardiovascular system is inextricably linked to blood, cardiology is relatively unconcerned with hematology and its diseases. Some obvious exceptions that affect the function of the heart would be blood tests, decreased oxygen carrying capacity, and  coagulopathies . 

   

  source: Resus.me  

 Specialization Tasks 

 All cardiologists study the disorders of the heart and all cardiology nurses are trained to take care of either adult or children conditions. This is due to differing aspects of training for adult and paediatric physiology. Surgical aspects are not included in cardiology and are in the domain of cardiothoracic surgery. 

 For example, coronary artery bypass surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass are both surgical procedures performed by surgeons, and not cardiologists. As a nurse, your task will be that of assisting the cardiologists in this matter. A properly-trained cardiology nurse would have the necessary critical thinking in order to draw conclusions to make meaningful impact of treatment. 

 Common tasks in the wards that you might have to do include the insertion of stents, pacemakers, and valves. 

 Pathway 

   

  source: verywell  

 Cardiology is a specialty of internal medicine. To be a cardiology nurse, a three-year work experience followed by a post-basic or relevant course is required. It is possible to sub-specialize in Malaysia. Recognized sub-specialties in cardiology for Malaysia are cardiac  electrophysiology ,  echocardiography,  interventional cardiology, and  nuclear cardiology . 

 Currently there is insufficient data for Malaysia, for salary, but it is guaranteed to be higher or on par with other similar nursing specialists. 

 Common job scopes 

 Cardiology is a vast field. Not only does it involve the heart and its systems, it also involves supporting systems such as haematology and its diseases. It is important to know and train for this when pursuing this specialization. 

 Cardiac electrophysiology 

   

  An example of echocardiography  

 This is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart. The term is usually used to desccribe studies of such phenomena by  invasive catheter recording  of spontaneous activity as well as of cardiac responses to programmed electrical stimulations. These studies are performed to assess complex arrythmias, relieve symptoms, evauate abnormal ECGs, assess risk of developing arrhythmias in the future, and to design treatment. 

 Cardiac examination 

 The cardiology nurse is able to carry out cardiac examinations of patients. It is performed as part of a physical examination, or when a patient presents with chest pain suggestive of a cardiovascular pathology. It would typically be modified depending on the indication and integrated with other examinations especially the respiratory examination. Like all medical examinations, the cardiac examination follows the standard structure of inspection, palpation, and auscultation. 

 Paediatric cardiology 

   

  source  

 Paediatric cardiology is a specialty of paediatrics. To be a paediatric cardiology nurse, one must complete at least three years of registered working experience and pass all the required courses. Adult cardiology certifications are not valid due to differences in physiology in children. 

 Common complications that you will see as a nurse practicing paediatric cardiology are  paediatric hypertension ,  paediatric hyperlipidemia , heart palpitations and arryhthmias. 

 Diagnostic tests 

 Diagnostic tests in cardiology are the methods of identifying heart conditions associated with healthy vs. unhealthy pathology heart function. It is commonly started by obtaining a medical history, followed by auscultation. Blood tests soon precede after, and imaging can be done on a need-to-do basis. 

 Common terms 

 1. Tetralogy of Fallot 

 It is the most common congenital ehart disease arising in 1-3 cases per 1000 births. The cause of this defect is a ventricular septal defect and an overriding aorta. These two defects combined causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and going right back into the circulatory system. The modified  Blalock-Taussig  is used as a treatment for this condition. 

 2. Pulmonary atresia 

 This happens in 7-8 births per 100,000 and is characterized by the aorta brancing out of the right ventricle. It causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and enter the circulatory system. Fixing it can by done by a team of cardiologists and nurses by redirecting the aorta and fixing the right ventricle-pulmonary artery connection in surgeries. 

 3. Double Outlet Right Ventricle 

 Double outlet right ventricle is when both great arteries, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, are connected to the right ventricle. There is usually a ventricle in different particular places depending on the variations of DORV, typically 50% are subaortic. A VSD closure is the most common form of treatment for this condition. 

 Career opportunities 

 Search for  high-paying cardiology nursing jobs  on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to  prevent scams and mistrustful behavior . 
   

 Our Most Popular Articles 

  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

  5 Things Nurses Need To Know To Be Paid More  

  10 Ways Malaysian Nurses Can Increase Their Income

Career Highlight: Specialty in Cardiology

1. Specialization tasks 2. Pathway 3. Common job scopes 4. Common terms 5. Career opportunities Cardiology Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the...

Read More


  1. Specialization tasks  
 2. Pathway  
 3. Common job scopes  
 4. Common terms  
 5. Career opportunities  

 Cardiology 

 Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system the field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of  congenital heart defects ,  coronary artery disease ,  heart failure ,  valvular heart disease  and  electrophysiology . Physicians who specialize in cardiac surgery are called cardiothoracic surgeons or cardiac surgeons. The supporting role of the surgeons and physicians are  cardiology nurses . 

 Although the cardiovascular system is inextricably linked to blood, cardiology is relatively unconcerned with hematology and its diseases. Some obvious exceptions that affect the function of the heart would be blood tests, decreased oxygen carrying capacity, and  coagulopathies . 

   

  source: Resus.me  

 Specialization Tasks 

 All cardiologists study the disorders of the heart and all cardiology nurses are trained to take care of either adult or children conditions. This is due to differing aspects of training for adult and paediatric physiology. Surgical aspects are not included in cardiology and are in the domain of cardiothoracic surgery. 

 For example, coronary artery bypass surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass are both surgical procedures performed by surgeons, and not cardiologists. As a nurse, your task will be that of assisting the cardiologists in this matter. A properly-trained cardiology nurse would have the necessary critical thinking in order to draw conclusions to make meaningful impact of treatment. 

 Common tasks in the wards that you might have to do include the insertion of stents, pacemakers, and valves. 

 Pathway 

   

  source: verywell  

 Cardiology is a specialty of internal medicine. To be a cardiology nurse, a three-year work experience followed by a post-basic or relevant course is required. It is possible to sub-specialize in Malaysia. Recognized sub-specialties in cardiology for Malaysia are cardiac  electrophysiology ,  echocardiography,  interventional cardiology, and  nuclear cardiology . 

 Currently there is insufficient data for Malaysia, for salary, but it is guaranteed to be higher or on par with other similar nursing specialists. 

 Common job scopes 

 Cardiology is a vast field. Not only does it involve the heart and its systems, it also involves supporting systems such as haematology and its diseases. It is important to know and train for this when pursuing this specialization. 

 Cardiac electrophysiology 

   

  An example of echocardiography  

 This is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart. The term is usually used to desccribe studies of such phenomena by  invasive catheter recording  of spontaneous activity as well as of cardiac responses to programmed electrical stimulations. These studies are performed to assess complex arrythmias, relieve symptoms, evauate abnormal ECGs, assess risk of developing arrhythmias in the future, and to design treatment. 

 Cardiac examination 

 The cardiology nurse is able to carry out cardiac examinations of patients. It is performed as part of a physical examination, or when a patient presents with chest pain suggestive of a cardiovascular pathology. It would typically be modified depending on the indication and integrated with other examinations especially the respiratory examination. Like all medical examinations, the cardiac examination follows the standard structure of inspection, palpation, and auscultation. 

 Paediatric cardiology 

   

  source  

 Paediatric cardiology is a specialty of paediatrics. To be a paediatric cardiology nurse, one must complete at least three years of registered working experience and pass all the required courses. Adult cardiology certifications are not valid due to differences in physiology in children. 

 Common complications that you will see as a nurse practicing paediatric cardiology are  paediatric hypertension ,  paediatric hyperlipidemia , heart palpitations and arryhthmias. 

 Diagnostic tests 

 Diagnostic tests in cardiology are the methods of identifying heart conditions associated with healthy vs. unhealthy pathology heart function. It is commonly started by obtaining a medical history, followed by auscultation. Blood tests soon precede after, and imaging can be done on a need-to-do basis. 

 Common terms 

 1. Tetralogy of Fallot 

 It is the most common congenital ehart disease arising in 1-3 cases per 1000 births. The cause of this defect is a ventricular septal defect and an overriding aorta. These two defects combined causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and going right back into the circulatory system. The modified  Blalock-Taussig  is used as a treatment for this condition. 

 2. Pulmonary atresia 

 This happens in 7-8 births per 100,000 and is characterized by the aorta brancing out of the right ventricle. It causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and enter the circulatory system. Fixing it can by done by a team of cardiologists and nurses by redirecting the aorta and fixing the right ventricle-pulmonary artery connection in surgeries. 

 3. Double Outlet Right Ventricle 

 Double outlet right ventricle is when both great arteries, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, are connected to the right ventricle. There is usually a ventricle in different particular places depending on the variations of DORV, typically 50% are subaortic. A VSD closure is the most common form of treatment for this condition. 

 Career opportunities 

 Search for  high-paying cardiology nursing jobs  on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to  prevent scams and mistrustful behavior . 
   

 Our Most Popular Articles 

  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

  5 Things Nurses Need To Know To Be Paid More  

  10 Ways Malaysian Nurses Can Increase Their Income

A Career in Cardiology

1. Specialization tasks 2. Pathway 3. Common job scopes 4. Common terms 5. Career opportunities Cardiology Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory...

Read More

 Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. 

 Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals who work together with the primary care doctors and referred specialists. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care of along with curative treatment. 

 Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, in the patient’s home, as part of the community palliative care programs, and in nursing facilities. Spiritual support is often provided in more interdisciplinary teams. 

 When a medicine or treatment relieves symptoms, but has no curative properties, it is said to be palliative. The word noncurative is sometimes paired with palliative for clarification purposes. 

 Scope 

 Palliative care is for patients with any serious illness and who have a physical or mental distress as a result of the treatment they are undergoing. Palliative care increases comfort by reducing pain, alleviating symptoms, and lessening stress for the patient and family. It is mutually beneficial for both patient and caregiver. 

 Emergency care nurses and doctors have a critical role to begin discussions with patients and their families regarding palliative care as they see them go through difficult times in life. 

 Paediatric palliative care is a rapidly growing subset of this field, and services directed specifically for children with serious illness are in dire need of this. 

 Responsibilities 


 
  Assessment of symptoms
 

 A method fr the assessment of symptoms in patients admitted to palliative care is the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scare, in which there are eight visual analog scales of 0 to 10, indicating the levels of pain, activity, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and sensation of well-being. On the scale, 0 means absent, and 10 means the worst imaginable possible. Medications are often managed at home by family or nursing support. 


   Further actions 

 Effective methods to ensuring successful palliative care is to provide a safe way for the individual to address their physical and psychological distress, that is to say their total suffering. 

 Dealing with total suffering involves addressing a wide range of concerns, starting with treating physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, and breathlessness. The palliative care teams have become very skillful in prescribing drugs for physical symptoms, and have been instrumental in showing how drugs such as morphine can be used safely while maintaining a patient’s full functions. 

 
  Importance of counselling
 

 Usually, a palliative care patient’s concerns are pain, fears of the future, uncertainties, and worries of their family and feeling like a burden. There are counselling, visual methods, cognitive therapy, and relaxation therapy to deal with it. 

 Pallliative care sees an increasingly wide range of conditions in patients at varying stage of their illness it follows that palliative care teams offer a range of care. This may range form managing the physical symptoms in patients receiving treatment for cancer, to treating depression in patients with advanced disease, to the care of patients in their last days and hours. 

 Training 

 In most countries hospice and palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, nursing assistant, social workers, and others. The focus on the team is to optimize the patient’s comfort. 

 Nurses in palliative care are given extensive training in counselling, medication dispensing, and support. The aim is about relieving distressing symptoms for the patient. Nurses are also part of the management of the imminently dying patient, more so than the physicians or doctors themselves. 

 Work Opportunities 

 The work opportunities that we get is aplenty. Palliative care is often used interchageably as a term with hospice care, albeit some slight differences. They share some similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management. Palliative care services can be offered to any patient without restriction to disease or prognosis, and can be appropriate for anyone with a serious, complex illness, whether they are expected to recover fully or not. 

 Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. usually it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided to not pursue treatment that is hard on them. 

 Typically hospice and palliative care nurses work in non-hospital settings.

Career Highlight: Palliative Care

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The...

Read More