There is no denying that nursing is one of the most rewarding, honorable, and lucrative careers in the healthcare industry.
Individuals who wish to bring positive change in people’s lives and help vulnerable patients usually make a career in this demanding yet gratifying field. From hospitals to private clinics and rehab centers, the demand for nursing professionals is always high.
However, it is to note that nursing has never been a once-and-done field. Moreover, with the emergence of the latest technologies and continuous medical-related research, nurse professionals must pay attention to their professional development.
Still, nurses find it challenging to grow in their careers due to hectic long shifts and a lack of resources.
It doesn’t matter if you are a freshly-graduated nurse or an established nurse. There is always some room for progress in your career.
So if you’re feeling unsure about where to start, the following tips in this article will help.
CONTINUE HIGHER EDUCATION
Let’s face it; the healthcare industry is constantly changing. Nurses’ practices and techniques to assist their patients have changed today, and they will continue to change over time.
Therefore, nurses should continue their education to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and practices. Without furthering your education, chances are your job opportunities would get limited since employers today are looking for advanced knowledge and skillsets in nurses.
Therefore, consider Going From ADN to BSN Online to broaden your knowledge spectrum and become eligible for advanced nursing job roles.
The online degree program is the best option if you struggle to manage your time with demanding shift hours and family responsibilities.
GO FOR A SPECIALIZATION
Undeniably, the nursing field has changed significantly over the past few decades. Today, nurses can narrow down their area of focus and specialize in their area of interest. With over 90 specialties in the nursing profession, you can choose the one that fits your personality.
Each specialty requires you to obtain further education and experience. Among different specializations, the common one includes cardiac nurse, critical care nurse, senior nurse, family nurse practitioner, certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), etc.
Earning a specialization in the field will also help you do what you love most. A specialization can increase employment opportunities and increase your earning potential. In addition, certification in a specialized field can boost confidence and help you focus on an area of nursing you love.
LOOK FOR NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
If you are looking for ways to move forward, make networking an essential part of your career. After all, there is always something you can learn from like-minded people.
One best way to grow your network is by attending industry conferences and job fairs. You can also expand your network by joining professional organizations.
Moreover, don’t forget to create your Linkedin account and build strong professional relationships because one of your connections can help open new doors for you.
Build your network with other healthcare professionals, too, take advice, give advice to others and grow together.
TAKE TIME OUT FOR VOLUNTEER WORK
The healthcare sector is immensely competitive. Earning further education and certifications alone is not enough to grow in this field. Professionals in this industry need to invest their time in volunteer work to move forward in their professional journey.
Due to the shortage of nurses and increasing patient demands, you have various opportunities for volunteer work. You might think spending time in volunteer work is an unpaid job.
But if you wish to advance in your career, you need to let go of any negative thoughts. Volunteering is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and polish your skillsets. It will also boost your resume.
JOIN PROFESSIONAL NURSING ORGANIZATIONS
Answer this. Have you thought about becoming a part of any professional nursing association? If not, don’t fret. It’s never too late to build strong relationships with experts in your field by joining a professional association.
Not only will it help you network with ambitious and passionate nursing professionals. But also, you can keep yourself updated with the latest industry trends and information.
In addition, many nursing associations offer their members other exciting incentives such as discounts for courses, invitations to events and workshops, etc.
While there is nothing wrong with joining general associations, try to become a part of an association specific to your specialty to make the most of this tip.
FIND A PROFESSIONAL MENTOR
The nursing job is no typical 9-5. Each day you will interact with new patients and experience different challenges. Therefore, having someone you can consult and advise can benefit your nursing career.
Thus, look for a mentor who can guide you better and support you in advancing your career. It is recommended to find a mentor within your work setting. However, if you can’t find one, look for one outside your workplace.
There is a high possibility that your mentor may help you connect with their network and offer you a professional reference that may come in handy when you apply for your next job.
Lastly, make sure the mentor you choose is someone you feel comfortable with so you don’t feel intimidated during your conversations.
PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH
Once you have entered the nursing field, you will want to do as much as possible to help people and make a big difference in their lives.
Yet it is only possible if you are taking care of yourself, too. After all, how do you expect to assist your patients if you are not paying attention to your physical and mental health?
In addition, demanding shifts, mortality incidents, etc., can cause stress and burnout in nurses.
Therefore, make sure to have some time to recharge your energy. If you wish to enjoy a long and successful career as a nurse, you need to prioritize your physical and mental health.
Undoubtedly, the nursing career is challenging and evolving. As a result, it is natural for nurses to constantly get the itch to move forward in their careers.
The road to career advancement has several ways like any other profession, yet it primarily depends on your personal goals and interests.
Be mindful; the career progression journey is an ongoing process. You can’t expect results overnight. Take one step at a time and keep going to succeed in your career.
Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to these tips only. You can explore different growth opportunities too that best aligns with your career objectives.