7 Nursing Fields to Consider

A nursing degree opens the door to a variety of different opportunities in nursing. Nurses work in different settings — from emergency rooms to private facilities — and pursue a range of nursing specialties — from mental health to family nurse practitioner.

Below are just some of the nursing fields available!

Nurse Leader or Manager

If you love managing and inspiring teams, a leadership role is right for you. You can earn a nurse executive credential that could help you pursue management roles within nursing departments.

In management, nurses may advance from assistant clinical nurse manager, charge nurse, or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles, such as assistant director or director of nursing, vice president of nursing, or chief nursing officer.[1]

If this sounds like the right choice for you, explore our MSN-Nurse Leader track.

Travel Nurse

Hospitals and healthcare facilities often have a short-term need for nurses. This is where travel nurses come in. Travel nurses move to whatever hospital or facility needs them at the moment.[2] For nurses who love to explore different cities and states, this could be a great arrangement that provides freedom to travel.

While requirements can vary, travel nursing is a great opportunity that you can often pursue with only an RN license or a BSN.2 For RNs who want to earn their BSN to expand their travel nurse opportunities, WCU’s online RN to BSN program lets you earn your degree in as little as one year with the accelerated program pace.

Nurse Practitioner

If you love interacting with patients and want to become their primary care provider, a nurse practitioner specialty is right for you. Nurse practitioners work in collaboration with doctors to diagnose illnesses and manage treatment plans. NPs have more authority to work independently.[4]

If you want to learn to become a nurse practitioner, you can specialize in the area that interests you the most. For example, these are just some of the nursing tracks offered at West Coast University:

Psychiatric Nurse

The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track is another program option at WCU that helps prepare you for nurse practitioner roles.

If you have a passion for promoting mental health and wellness, being a psychiatric nurse could help you make a difference in your community. Psychiatric nurses specialize in helping treat and care for mental health illnesses. They can work in mental health hospitals, Veteran Affairs offices, and even community centers, among others.

Nurse Educator

Are you always the one explaining harder topics to your friends? Do you often organize and lead study sessions? Then becoming a nurse educator might be the right path for you. Nurse educators play an essential role in helping shape the next generation of healthcare professionals.

The requirements for a nurse teaching position can vary depending on the school and level. You may be required to have at least a master’s degree in nursing (MSN degree) to teach at the bachelor level.

If this sounds like the path for you, check out our MSN-Nurse Educator track.

Military Nurse

Nurses form a core and critical part of our armed forces. If you have always wanted to pursue nursing opportunities within the military, the United States Army Nurse Corps might be the place for you. As a military nurse, you might work in military hospitals or bases — both in the U.S. and in foreign countries.

Generally, to become a military nurse, you must earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Once you have your RN license, you can enlist.

Already in the military? West Coast University is a Military Friendly® school! Learn more about our military education resources online.

Are you ready to explore different nursing fields? Our admissions advisors are here to help. They can walk you through our different programs and help you find the one that aligns with your goals.  Below is a full list of the nursing programs and specialties you can pursue at WCU.



Are you a WCU student or alumni? Our Career Services team is here to help you with all your concerns! Reach out to them if you need help with career planning, locating open positions, or even preparing for an interview.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

WCU Distance education programs are delivered out of the California and Texas campuses and may not be available to residents in all states.

Practice Experience is required in order to graduate from the RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN, DNP degree, and Post-Master’s certificate programs.

Students enrolled through the Orange County campus must complete their OSI’s in California. Students enrolled through the Texas campus must complete them in Texas. Travel costs are not included in tuition and fees, and students are responsible for arranging transportation.

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the University has moved some of the on-ground courses into a distance education modality. However, as soon as the COVID-19 circumstances change, students will be expected to return on campus to complete their program onsite in the regular learning modality as approved by WSCUC and outlined in the university catalog.

[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses

[2] Travel Nursing ||  RegisteredNursing.org

[4] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.