The healthcare industry has always been a competitive one. After all, handling and managing patient treatment and care is never an easy task. It requires skills, technical expertise, and a lot of dedication. Whether you’re working in a hospital, a doctor’s office, a clinic, an assisted living facility, or other medical centers, you know you must always be on your toes and at your best.
Fortunately, there’s also an incredible amount of opportunity in this profession. So even if you already have a job and a high-quality role as a nurse, there’s still more room for you to grow and further boost your knowledge in the medical field.
To help you out, here’s a list of the top ways you can further advance your nursing career.
1. Set Your Objectives
To take your nursing profession to the next level effectively, you need to map everything out. For instance, some of the things that you ought to ask yourself are:
- What are the things you’d like to get out of your career?
- What do you want to do that you can’t do in your present job?
Your answer to such questions could help you ascertain your career objectives and what you want to achieve in the future. Once you’ve set your eyes on your goals, you’ll be able to make some plans on how you can achieve your dreams more effectively.
2. Pursue Further Studies
Essentially, for you to be an RN, you’d have to at least have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and have passed a licensure exam. However, if you want to hold higher-paying positions or managerial responsibilities in the future, a fast way to grow is getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Fortunately, many reputable institutions such as the University of Texas Arlington offer online degree programs. You can visit academicpartnerships.uta.edu to know more.
Those who already have a BSN but want to study further can take graduate courses in business, hospital administration, public health, or even health information technology, to name a few.
3. Broaden Your Horizon
The great thing about a career in the healthcare industry, particularly nursing, is there are so many areas of specialty that you can pick. So, if you’ve landed a job as a critical care nurse and you’re not too happy about it, you can broaden your horizon and dip your toes in other sub-fields, such as pediatrics, family, or even sports medicine nursing.
However, to have a more solid and established career in the industry, it’d be helpful to find a specialty that you can resonate with. That way, you can have more drive and passion in continuously learning about the field.
4. Build A Network
Whether you like it or not, you can’t live in your bubble if you want a successful career in nursing. You must spread your wings and meet other people outside of your nursing school friends and current colleagues and coworkers if you want better opportunities to open up for you. For instance, joining and being active in nursing organizations can be a surefire way to help you navigate job hunting in your nursing career.
Aside from providing job assistance, such organizations can also assist you with training, conferences, continuing education courses, workshops, and other helpful resources.
5. Find A Mentor
For people who are just starting in the nursing field, it would be great to find a mentor who’ll be willing to teach you the ins and outs of the profession. There are mentoring programs online that you may want to try out. Or perhaps, you can find mentors in your previous or current workplace, local nursing organizations, or even from your previous educational institution. Essentially, your mentor can be anyone who has experience in the field.
If you’ve been practicing in the medical field already, having a mentor can still be beneficial. Having a knowledgeable friend or mentor can help make your workload and responsibilities easier. More so, you can seek professional advice from them regarding career growth and advancement.
6. Develop Other Skills
As a nurse, you should always be informed and be up-to-date on the new technologies, practices, and studies that may affect the way you perform your roles and duties. As mentioned, attending workshops, securing certifications, and pursuing further studies are all valuable endeavors that can surely help boost your nursing career.
However, if you want to be a well-rounded healthcare worker who’s not only an expert in the nursing field but also has leadership potential, you must sharpen other skills.
Some of the skills you need to hone, which can help prepare you for higher managerial or leadership positions include the following:
- Organizational skills
- Better communication
- Attention to detail
- Grace under pressure
- Decision making
Suppose you want a more hands-on approach to learning new skills. In that case, you could ask your manager for additional responsibilities or more participation in company events, including leading outreach projects or even organizing parties. You can also join sporting events, church programs, or your organization’s advocacies if you have time.
7. Maintain A Stellar Reputation
To help you further advance in your nursing career, you must provide quality care and always maintain the highest level of integrity. You’ll need to be open and honest, respectful of others, and maintain patient confidentiality to set yourself apart from other team members for all the right reasons.
It’s not always easy to deal with the pressures and problems of the job. Knowing how to deal with those challenges and keeping a positive outlook during stressful situations will help you stay motivated and make you a better nurse.
8. Always Be Ready
You’ll never know when the perfect opportunity will fall on your lap. That said, you should always be prepared to take advantage of these once-in-a-lifetime events. So even if you are not looking for a job, you must regularly update your resume on popular employment websites. Maybe a headhunter for the organization you dream of working for will stumble upon your profile and offer you a position.
The Bottom Line
Building a career in the healthcare industry is no easy feat. It will require a lot of time, effort, and dedication. But, with the right tools and motivation, it is achievable. With that said, continue to equip yourself with expertise, further education, networking, experience, dedication, and a stellar reputation if you want to have an advantage over the rest of the competition.