Nursing is a competitive field. Although there is a shortage of nurses, you do not want just any job. You want a job that you will enjoy, that challenges you, and is rewarding. To advance your career and to steer towards nursing work that you would enjoy and find rewarding, you need to follow these steps.
Have a plan
The first step to advancing your nursing career is to figure out your goals. Think in terms of your desired job or role in five year’s time. Many people do not have a plan. But if you want to get somewhere, you need one. A plan is like a map. Use your goals to shape your plans for advancement. Remember, if you do not have your own plan, then you are just drifting in someone else’s plan.
An important step is to attend nursing conferences. Not only will you have the opportunity to make connections and network with other professionals, but you will also increase your knowledge through the presentations by experts in their field. Conferences open your eyes to other locations as well.
Volunteer for extra duties
When your boss needs someone to take on some additional responsibilities, volunteer for this opportunity to gain the experience. This will allow you to increase your skill set and enhance your resume. The extra work will bring a positive aura to you and your career at your current job too.
Pursue continuing education courses
Courses provided by accredited institutions are a good way to enhance your credentials. Not only do these courses keep you up-to-date on the latest research and practices in the nursing field, but also they can be stepping stones to the pursuit of additional higher education degrees. These short courses are an affordable way get some more education.
Spend some time as a travel nurse
Due to the shortages in the nursing field, the idea of a travel nurse has been developed. This nurse works at somewhat temporary assignments in various locations. As such, you gain experience from a wide variety of relationships and clinical environments. Contrast this with working for the same employer for the same length of time. In addition to different workplaces, you will also get to see different cities and make additional contacts.
Join professional organizations
Professional organizations not only are a good way to network and make connections but also they are pathways to additional nursing practice information. At professional organizations, you can find out about working conditions in other places. By participating in the events of the organization, you can gain experience and recognition professionally.
Pursue additional certifications
Go back to school. You can pursue an additional degree, an advanced degree, or graduate diplomas. These are complete programs providing a more thorough and well-rounded educational experience. Completing these certifications enhances your credentials in a broad way, and also shows your commitment and level of responsibility.
Find a reliable mentor
Seek out a mentor. These relationships can be tricky to establish. Find someone who you admire professionally and ask their advice about career choices. Learn by observing their skills. Conduct informational interviews with those who are impractical to interact regularly with. In some locales and employers, there are also formal structures in place to find and build mentoring relationships.
Always maintain professionalism. It has been reported that some applicants for nursing jobs have been struck from consideration after the potential employer did their “background check.” By looking at the candidate’s personal website or web page, the employer was put off by what they saw. So, for any public-facing side of you, keep a professional image.
- Nurses need to steer their career to achieve their goals.
- Having a career plan is essential.
- Attending professional conferences enhances knowledge.
- Take on extra responsibility at work.
- A promising nurse should pursue continuing education certificates.
- Working as a travel nurse for a considerable period, you can add variety in your nursing profession.
- Serving in a professional organization makes one more confident.
- Additional diplomas and certifications help one build up a strong career fast.
- Taking advice of a mentor can keep you on the right track.
- Maintain professionalism even in non-work public dealings.
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