From emergency rooms to hospice facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices, nurses are constantly in demand, helping patients, families, and other staff members. It is no wonder many students want to become nurses after seeing the positive impact these professionals have on society.
But just like any other profession, nurses face obstacles in their careers. Regardless of how hard they try to excel at their jobs, circumstances outside their control can negatively affect their performance.
Fortunately, with some planning, you can overcome almost any obstacle. Below, we share tips that will help you, as a nurse, succeed in your career.
1. Get Involved With Professional Organizations
It is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When you start to feel overwhelmed, it is essential to remember you are part of a larger community. Like other professionals, nurses rely on one another to get things done.
If you join a professional association such as the American Nurses Association or National Student Nurses Association, you can meet other nurses and build stronger relationships. Plus, you will have access to valuable resources such as continuing education classes and training opportunities.
2. Enroll In Online Programs To Advance Your Skills
The internet has changed the way people acquire education. By enrolling in online courses, you can learn new skills from the comfort of your own home. Whether you want to learn basic medical terminology, advanced skills, or even how to treat patients with unique needs, you can find a course that fits your professional goals.
For instance, accelerated BSN online programs are an excellent resource for busy novice nurses who want to advance their careers with an undergrad degree under their belt. Just be sure to choose reputable institutions, so you don’t waste your time or money on a program that isn’t worth your effort.
3. Take Advantage Of Technology
With the rise of technology, nurses have access to innumerable opportunities. For example, online communication platforms allow them to connect with other healthcare professionals across the country. These tools also benefit patients by allowing medical practitioners to communicate instantly with each other.
Similarly, electronic medical records (EMRs) allow nurses and doctors to access patient data quickly. This makes it easier to provide consistent care to every family member and ensure they receive the highest level of service possible.
4. Stay Up-To-Date With Current Trends
Even though nurses are trained to deal with unexpected situations, it is still crucial for them to stay up-to-date on current trends. For example, the number of people living in poverty continues to increase, leading to a rise in chronic illnesses. Nurses must be able to offer care to these individuals.
Likewise, technological advances make it possible to diagnose diseases earlier than ever. Since early detection leads to better outcomes, nurses should be aware of the latest medical developments.
5. Become A Leader In Your Field
There is a reason why so many nurses are drawn to leadership positions. Becoming a leader in your field requires you to take the initiative, develop new strategies, and inspire others to follow your lead. Once you establish a reputation for being a leader, you will soon be approached by colleagues, superiors, and patients that want to learn from your experience.
As a result, you will have the opportunity to expand your influence throughout your organization. Not only will you be recognized as an expert, but you will also enjoy enhanced job security.
6. Make Sure You Are Taking Care Of Yourself
No matter how dedicated you are to your work, it is essential to remember that you need to take care of yourself first. Otherwise, you may suffer burnout or worse. The best way to prevent exhaustion is to plan.
For instance, you could begin setting aside time for exercise or meditation. Alternatively, you could create a schedule that allows you to achieve everything you desire. Many nurses view self-care as a luxury. When you prioritize your health, you can perform at a high level for longer periods.
7. Build Strong Relationships With Colleagues
Even if you work in a hospital, you do not know everyone involved in the process. Don’t let this intimidate you. Instead, make it a point to reach out to individuals you do not know. For instance, invite someone into your office for a coffee or ask them to come to lunch.
Even though you will be busy taking care of patients, you should find ways to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues. Not only will this encourage cooperation among those directly involved in patient care, but it will also improve the overall quality of service.
8. Remain Focused During Long Hours
Nurses have a difficult job because they are expected to deal with emergencies at any given moment. Unfortunately, this means they cannot afford to lose focus. For instance, you may notice that a patient’s condition is deteriorating. To avoid misdiagnosing the problem, you must remain vigilant about the situation.
Fortunately, there are numerous techniques you can use to maintain your concentration during long shifts. You could listen to soothing music or meditate to keep calm.
9. Use Your Resources To Their Full Potential
The rising cost of healthcare is causing many families to struggle financially. Luckily, there are several ways that nurses can help patients without spending a fortune on medical care. For instance, you may want to refer them to a community center that offers free services for low-income individuals.
Or, you could give them information about affordable insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act. By using the resources that are already available, you will be able to address their needs while also reducing their financial burden.
10. Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Social media provides countless opportunities for nurses to advance their careers. For example, you may be able to network with other healthcare professionals and share ideas that lead to improved patient care.
Additionally, social media can be used to attract potential employers. For example, you may publish an article about telemedicine’s benefits, which may inspire HR managers to consider you for open positions. Digital platforms have become the norm, and you should incorporate them into your daily routine.
11. Create A Code Of Ethics
As a nurse, you will often be confronted with ethical dilemmas. This is true even if you work for a reputable organization. When you commit to creating a code of ethics, you will make it easier for you to determine the right course of action.
In addition, this document will serve as a guide you can reference whenever you have questions regarding your responsibilities. As a professional, you should treat patients with compassion. However, you should also recognize when you need to step back.
HP Thoughts: Your nursing career is both a vocation and a career choice! You have to muster enough courage and patience to pull yourself through this work, especially in the “new normal”. We prepared this post for you — Advancing Your Nursing Career.
Becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make. Not only will you provide patients with valuable assistance, but you will also enjoy enhanced job security. Furthermore, you will be able to expand your network of peers.
As you can see, you can do plenty of things to continue developing your career. Start implementing some (or all) of these tips today, and you will soon realize that becoming a nurse was the best decision you could have made.