Nursing stands among the high in-demand careers in the United States. Nurses contribute to the largest segments of the healthcare workforce, with approximately three million members.
Most nurses own a bachelor’s degree and work as registered nurses. However, the room for advanced nursing professionals still needs to be filled.
Employers look for seasoned nurses with higher qualifications and more expertise in their areas. Several factors can play a role in directing you to reach the top of the ladder in your nursing profession.
Follow the below-mentioned six tips for advancing your nursing career.
1. Expand Your Knowledge
Nursing is a diverse field with a wide range of specializations. You have the privilege to change your profession by earning a degree or certifications throughout your career. However, narrowing your focus to a single discipline can easily accelerate your growth prospects.
It can help you gain in-depth knowledge with years of professional experience; as a result, you become best suited to serve in leadership positions.
Becoming a certified nurse in your preferred area of specialization can increase your chances of choosing senior roles and administrative positions.
For instance, a family nurse practitioner is a highly in-demand specialization. You can enroll in an online MSN FNP program while continuing your nursing career and honing your skills.
Other common yet rewarding clinical specializations include pediatric critical care, adult critical care, gastroenterology, etc.
2. Find Your Mentor
Nursing is a challenging job, and one can be exhausted from daily encounters with chronic patients or strenuous physical activity.
Nurses face tricky situations and need to make quick decisions in their routines. Their work life is different from 9-5 traditional office jobs.
In such a situation, having someone with whom you can discuss your professional problems and seek advice can ease work pressure.
In addition, learning from someone’s expert advice and years of experience can enable you to make better choices while navigating your options.
A mentor can make your nursing career more fulfilling and rewarding. With the support of a mentor, you can explore non-traditional job opportunities according to your interest, such as a forensic nurse, travel nurse, healthcare administrator, etc.
You can find a mentor from your nursing institute, professional network, or workplace. Moreover, several nursing organizations also run formal training programs; you can also try your luck there.
3. Join Professional Nursing Platforms
One of the best ways to stay connected with your field’s latest trends and happenings is to get registered with professional platforms.
Keeping up with the latest knowledge and in-demand skills will open new avenues of career growth for you. Explore different professional nursing platforms that can provide you with the relevant information and register yourself.
These organizations can help you stay updated with workshops, training, and seminars. In addition, you can also get sponsorships, scholarships, and other discounts on certifications, courses, and invitations.
Sometimes, career resources are available free of cost to the members; you may also benefit from them. In short, an affiliation with an organization can make your career more promising.
Some notable mentions include the American Academy of Nursing, American Nurses Association, American Organization for Nurse Leadership (AONL), Nurses Without Border, and American College of Healthcare Executives Nurses.
4. Be a Professional
Professionalism and work ethics can lead you to the path of success in a short duration. To stand among the crowd of nurses, you must look and act professionally.
Follow the ethical guidelines provided to you by your employer and maintain professional relationships with colleagues and patients. Be polite and don’t use harsh words with others.
Don’t disclose patients’ information to anyone who has no right to know. Consider their privacy while discussing their case in clinical settings.
People expect you to reach out to them in emergencies and be a source of relief. In critical situations, don’t lose your temper and be considerate; represent your profession well beyond the workplace.
Join volunteer work activities and help communities to handle health crises. It is one of the best ways to broaden your horizon and adapt to different environments while serving the patients.
The more diverse experience you have, the better your chances for promotion.
5. Follow Safety Protocols
Being a nurse, you must follow safety protocols and keep an eye on workplace hazards. You put your and patients ‘ health at risk when you fail to move patients safely from one place to another due to a lack of safety measures.
Develop a proper understanding of workplace hazards and how to avoid them with precautions and safety tips.
No matter how many years of experience you have, if you neglect your safety while serving the patients, you may face trouble in career advancement.
Maintain personal hygiene and wear gloves, a face mask, and protective gear when needed. Take assistance from colleagues while taking care of patients, especially while shifting heavy patients.
Own it and be vigilant to inform the supervisor in case of any mistake. With your integrity, you can make a long way in your career.
6. Trust Your Gut
Intuition is a major factor that contributes to a successful career path. People who trust their gut and make decisions accordingly never regret them.
Always listen to yourself before making a decision. Work in those specializations where you feel comfortable and satisfied.
Know your boundaries and take the necessary steps to enforce them. For instance, don’t overwork if you feel tired or mentally exhausted. Take a break when needed, and take proper rest before resuming your work.
Though nurses usually have higher stamina than others with long shifts, it does not imply working additional hours when you cannot give your best.
Ask for help from your colleagues or seniors to change your shift or arrange an alternative. Your actions and choices can influence your earning potential and career advancement in the future.
Nursing is a demanding yet satisfying and rewarding profession that prepares you to handle pressure efficiently. If you know how to maintain a work-life balance and benefit from opportunities knocking at your door, you can excel in this field.
Always invest in yourself by improving your current knowledge and learning modern tools, as nursing is a fluid and dynamic field.
Maintaining a positive attitude can also improve your work performance overall, thus resulting in your smooth transition to more advanced positions.