How Can You Advance Your Nursing Career?
Working as a nurse can be a very rewarding job, and it is certainly a career that you can take pride in. Each day can offer something different, and you’ll be working closely with patients and other healthcare team members to provide high-quality care. It can be a great opportunity for personal growth, but also for professional development. There are many different paths a nurse can choose to follow throughout their career, which is another reason why getting into this line of work can be so exciting. If you’re a nurse who is ready to take the next step in your career, but you’re not sure how to put these plans into action, below are a few tips you might find useful.
1. Do Your Research
The best place to start if you want to move forward in your nursing career is to take the time to research different opportunities that could be a good fit for you. As mentioned above, there is a variety of options available to you in this position, so if you want to specialize in a certain area, such as geriatric nursing or become an aesthetic nurse, for example, looking at the different routes you can take to move into these roles is key.
2. Think About Where You Can Make Improvements
Another way you can start to move ahead in your nursing career is by taking some time to reflect on your current skillset and where you could make improvements. It’s good to take pride in your strengths as a nurse, but everyone — no matter what their career path — will still have weaknesses that they can work on. You might also find it useful to ask for feedback from your managers or co-workers to see if they can give you some useful insights into where they feel you could make some improvements.
3. Look into Shadowing Opportunities
If you do have an area of healthcare you’d like to work in as a nurse, but you’re not quite sure if it will be the right position for you, you could always enquire about shadowing opportunities in your place of work. Spending some time with healthcare professionals already working in your area of interest can help you gain a deeper understanding of the role and what you can expect from it. This is an ideal way to help you determine if a specific job role will be right for you, and also allow you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have regarding the position. You might also find that you can shadow professionals in other healthcare clinics or settings if there aren’t any current opportunities in your place of work.
4. Find a Mentor
Shadowing opportunities are great, but you may also find that you benefit from finding a mentor. This can help your career advancement by allowing you the opportunity to get feedback on your performance and additional support in your nursing career. This is particularly useful for nurses who are starting out in their careers, or if nurses who have recently accepted a new role. Your mentor can give you advice on how you can improve your performance, but they can also give you tips on things like job applications, and even how to handle certain pressures of the job more effectively. They might also be willing to give you a reference for future job applications if their input is relevant to it.
5. Consider Further Education
Not all career paths in nursing will require a higher degree, but some will expect candidates to hold a Master’s degree or higher if they are to be considered. For example, if you want to become a nurse practitioner, getting a Master’s degree in this would benefit you. You could even take your education further for this role with courses like these accelerated DNP programs that you can do online. Even if the position you’re interested in doesn’t require these types of college degrees, you might find that other training courses or qualifications can help you move forward in your career.
6. Networking Opportunities
When you think about networking, you might consider this to be more prevalent in business-related careers, but it benefits people in every kind of role. As a nurse, meeting other healthcare colleagues and getting your name known can help you stand out. It can also give you the chance to learn about job opportunities from the people you meet, or perhaps even opportunities for other training or work experience that you can benefit from. You might also find that it helps you make new friends, which is an additional perk to making the most out of your networking opportunities.
7. Be Open-minded About Relocating
Not everyone will want to relocate for their career, and some might not be able to due to other commitments. However, if you do have more flexibility regarding this, it’s certainly something to consider. Nursing jobs are in demand, so finding one closer to home shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Nonetheless, you might be interested in a specific role that’s available in another area that would require you to relocate. Of course, you will need to factor in other logistics, but being open-minded about this could open the door to other opportunities for you.
8. Be a Good Team Player
Working as part of a team is a vital part of nursing, and it’s something that will be expected of you. Even though this might be part of your daily routine, there will be some nurses that stand out more than others as they are willing to go the extra mile to complete important tasks and even try to help boost morale. Being a strong team player is something that will benefit you in your career, as your hard work will get noticed and earn you respect. This could put you in a better position if you’re interested in applying for a promotion or getting good references from your managers.
If you want to advance in your nursing career, consider these tips and see if they can help you move closer to taking that next big step.