When it comes to nursing, there is no such thing as a “one and done” career. It is an ever-evolving field. As a nurse, you might have considerable achievements under your belt, such as earning a decent income, having a secure job, and improving the lives of several patients. However, after gaining some experience, you may be itching to take your profession to the next level and make an even greater contribution to society.
In this post, we will walk you through practical tips that will help you to advance your nursing career:
- Work In Different Nursing Units
Work in as many nursing units as possible to maximize your experience. That way, you will get a better sense of what you enjoy and what you detest. On top of that, hospitals consider nurses with expertise in multiple units to be more valuable. It is because they could adapt to the changing needs of the common public. Also, the experience will help you stand out for managerial roles.
- Continue Your Education
One of the most important qualities of a nurse is to stay up to date on the latest advancements and consistently improve their knowledge and skills. And the best way to do that is to continuously invest in your education. Focusing on your education will lead you to explore high-paying leadership roles in policymaking, teaching, training, research, etc. Apart from financial perks, acquiring these positions means you will be able to exercise more autonomy in the workplace.
Until recently, it was tough for nurses to pursue their academic endeavors after getting a job. But things have changed now, thanks to the advent of online learning. Many well-reputed institutions are offering advanced programs like BSN to MSN online. Flexibility is perhaps the biggest advantage of pursuing an online nursing degree. While certain assignments may require you to attend classes in person, you can complete the majority of them from the comfort of your home.
- Look For A Nurse Mentor
Nurses encounter challenging scenarios regularly. It is important to have someone you can turn to for advice, guidance, and inspiration as you work your way up through the ranks. A nurse mentor is an ideal person to play this role. Among other things, you can also get a professional reference from them for your future job.
To find a mentor, you may tap into various resources such as nursing groups and mentoring programs organized by your current employer. If you do not have any success there, you may take the unconventional path like connecting with successful nurses in a social media group.
Make sure to prioritize convenience while cherry-picking the mentor. You should determine whether or not the mentor-mentee relationship is feasible for both of you. A lot of responsibilities come with becoming a nurse, and it particularly stands true for seasoned nurses. So you need to figure out that the respective nurse has adequate time to undertake the mentorship role. You should also consider geographical factors. Since you and your mentor need to talk about your work in person from time to time, you should probably ask someone from your facility to act as a mentor.
- Enhance Your Network
Nurses have a lot to be thankful for, but they also have a lot to deal with too, both physically and mentally. If you tell your friends about a bad day at work, they might sympathize with you. But only those who work in the nursing industry can get what it is like to be in your position. That is where your network comes in handy. Getting through a rough patch becomes a lot easier when fellow nurses are fellow nurses.
Aside from emotional support, building a strong network is also critical to your professional development. Sharing ideas and information helps us discover new ways of doing things. What is your primary area of study in nursing? For example, if you want to narrow your attention to patient care, you should look for nurses and organizations with similar interests.
That being said, joining professional groups is not the only way to expand your network. Attending award ceremonies, class reunions, and other community activities might help you make relationships you will value down the road. Always make an effort to keep in touch with people you meet. Doing something as simple as letting someone know that you enjoyed meeting them by sending them a short text message can go a long way.
Going above and beyond for their patients is second nature to nurses. Nursing is a noble career that is expanding at a tremendous rate. But you will have to make conscious efforts such as those listed above to upgrade your career. The sooner you take these measures, the earlier you witness growth.