There are 104 subspecialties within the RN ranks, according to Johnson & Johnson Services. Of these specialties, 34 operate outside of a hospital, 68 are research-oriented, 37 are in management and 92 involve direct contact with patients.
The various RN specialties span all areas of the health care industry, ranging from cardiac care and midwifery to forensic nursing and poison information specialist. Each specialty requires different levels of education, explains Johnson & Johnson Services. For example, a qualified plastic surgery nurse may have an RN diploma, an ASN or a BSN. Other specialties require advanced degrees, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners who have a BSN and an MSN.