Looking for ways to stand out in your scrubs and grow in your job as a nurse? You are just where you need to be!
Nursing is both tough and rewarding. But getting a license and practicing as a registered nurse isn’t all that awaits. Nursing is evolving, thanks to tech integration into healthcare and growing patient needs. According to the BLS, the profession is expected to grow by 9% in the next decade.
With this vast growth, the competition in the job market will also increase. Thus, nurses must develop exceptional skills and learn to provide optimum care to patients in order to thrive in their careers.
Here are some tips to help you get started on your journey to a prolific career in nursing:
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Advance your education
Healthcare keeps evolving. With various changes being introduced into healthcare daily, your knowledge might be lacking in some aspects. What you learned a few years ago might become redundant now. Moreover, your knowledge, skills, and experience might not be enough to allow you to take advanced nursing roles.
So, top up your current qualification with another professional degree. Enroll in BSN to NP online programs to upskill your nursing practice in a flexible manner and take up more challenging roles. Online learning offers more affordability and flexibility, enhancing work-life balance for working nurses. Such programs supplement you with evidence-based knowledge, skills, and expertise. They allow you to take a leap in your nursing career and unlock promising benefits like senior nursing positions, job security, high salaries, etc.
Clarify your queries
Technology is innovating healthcare. It is not surprising that nurses may not know everything. Hence asking questions is a good way to clarify your queries about medical procedures, medications, or treatment methods. Never forget that there is no shame in asking questions.
Questioning will help you fill the gaps in your knowledge base. This will also ensure you are performing your job correctly. Moreover, recruiters and managerial staff often consider inquisitiveness a strong nursing trait. Being inquisitive will not only make you understand things better, but will also help you in the long run to become a nurse leader.
Network with other professionals
Networking is crucial to staying in contact with the pioneers and trailblazers in your profession. These professionals impart knowledge and wisdom in their conversations, so make use of it. Learn from their experiences and discuss your interests and willingness to thrive in your career.
Such people will also guide you to further opportunities when they appreciate your efforts and accomplishments. All you need to do is grasp networking opportunities like attending seminars, conferences, job fairs, or open recruitment days. Another way to stay in the loop is by creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with potential healthcare professionals and employers. Moreover, following nursing influencers and mentors on social media will ensure you remain up-to-date with the latest information and opportunities to grow in your profession.
The primary role of a nurse is to provide quality care to their patients despite their condition, background, or personality. A good nurse treats patients as humans by focusing on all their needs rather than just their symptoms, medication, etc. Empathy strengthens the bond between a nurse and a patient and facilitates an effective nurse-patient interaction.
When the patients feel they are being understood, heard, and cared for, the road to recovery and wellness becomes smooth. Here is a way to incorporate empathy into your daily practice. Ask yourself, ‘What would my life be like if I had this disease?’ ‘How would I manage my daily life?’, ‘What would make me happy in this situation?’ These questions will help you look at life from your patients’ perspective allowing you to understand them better.
Shadowing is a great opportunity for career development. This on-the-job learning allows you to get a taste of various nursing roles, thus opening a world of opportunities for you. Working in different settings and with multiple populations will help you gain diverse knowledge and learn some skills you never knew of.
You don’t need to shadow a nurse from your hospital. Instead, try contacting external hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and charities for shadowing opportunities. Shadowing can be especially fruitful when you want to switch your nursing specialty. For example, working for a few days under a psychiatric nurse will give you an idea of what it is to be a psychiatric nurse and decide if you want to switch. You can also determine if a work setting is suitable for you or not. Although you may have to do unpaid shadowing, it will pay you off in the long run and open up doors for you to enter other nursing roles.
Nurses work round the clock to ensure patients receive undivided attention and care, run administrative tasks, and deal with the unexpected. In all the hassles of a nursing job, nurses lose track of their health. Although putting your patients first should be a nurse’s priority, don’t ignore your health in the process.
Take a breather when you feel your job is starting to take a toll on your mental and physical health. Take time out to rest, eat, and exercise. Moreover, incorporate stress-relieving activities such as writing a journal or exercising to maintain your emotional well-being. These will help you keep burnout symptoms at bay.
HP Thoughts: Have you really decided to take up nursing? Better get hold of some reasons why nursing could be your dream vocation — Reasons to Choose a Career in Nursing.
Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career. If you wish to be a great nurse and make the most of it by changing the lives of hundreds every day, start your journey today. Every little step towards improvement will take you a step forward towards a successful nursing career. Refer to these tips as you set out to become a passionate, empathetic, and devoted nurse and excel in your field.