You must have made a difference in many patients’ lives as a nurse. However, after some valuable experience, you may take your career to the next level to increase your impact, seize new opportunities and reach your full potential rather than staying too long in your current position.
Taking the next in a nursing career can be exciting and, at the same time, overwhelming. Several questions might be in your mind, like where and how to start and what additional skills you should develop that could help boost your career prospects.
Let’s look at some of the essential steps you can take to achieve your professional goals in the field of nursing.
How to Boost Your Nursing Career:
There are different ways to boost your nursing career. Read below to learn valuable tips that can help advance your nursing career and lead to new and better job opportunities, higher pay, and job satisfaction.
- Advance Education:
The first step you can take is to look for the degree options available based on qualification and experience. By enrolling in a degree program, you can develop the skills and gain knowledge to help you stand upright in the ever-changing healthcare field. Some of the degree programs that can lead to your desired career path are as under:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Pursuing a BSN degree can help elevate your career prospects in nursing. You can also opt for an RN to BSN degree program, also offered online if you are a licensed RN.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Those with a BSN degree interested in taking the next move in their career can enroll in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. This degree may prepare you for managerial roles. You can also take up the teaching profession in a nursing school or become a nurse midwife. In addition, an MSN degree is often a requirement for research positions in the healthcare industry.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP):
An MSN holder can opt for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Obtaining a doctorate-level education qualifies you for several advance level positions. For instance, you can opt for careers as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, or nurse anesthetist.
- Go for Specialization:
Specialization in a specific area of nursing is one of the essential steps you can take to boost your career. It helps you to narrow your focus to the field of your interest. It provides you with greater responsibilities and vast exposure to your desired domain.
Specialization also gives you a new level of confidence and professional growth opportunities that result in potentially higher salaries.
There are many areas of specialization in the field of nursing. Each area requires a different level of education and experience. For instance, you can specialize in Adult critical care (CCRN), Pediatric Critical care (CCRN), Cardiac surgery (CSC), or Progressive care (PCCN) to pursue a career as a clinical nurse, school nurse, or a family nurse practitioner, respectively.
You may provide value-based services to your patients through specialization, leading to better health outcomes and valuable experience.
- Find a mentor:
To boost your nursing career, always seek someone you can consult with and ask for advice. Find a mentor for yourself to lead you during your career growth journey.
Learn from them as they carry invaluable experience and knowledge to help you navigate your career and boost your confidence.
They can provide professional assistance to your work and connect you with their networks. In addition, you may use their professional reference for your next job or when applying for later educational programs.
The best place to look for a mentor is within your hospital, clinic, or organization you are currently working. Look for nurses in leadership positions that you admire. Draw attention to how they handle interpersonal relationships, settle disputes, and give power to the patients.
A mentor may help you determine your specialty in your nursing career and locate professional development opportunities and valuable resources to help you boost your nursing career.
Networking is a prime strategy when advancing your career. It helps people to discover you and your talents. Through networking, you make your presence visible among different people in your field.
You can meet nurses in leadership roles or veteran nurses at various conferences. In addition, organizations such as the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners provide numerous opportunities for nurses to meet and connect.
You may also use social media to find other nursing professionals and create a bond with them. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn help you to connect with your colleagues, students, other nursing professionals, and even the head of your department. In addition, you may join different nursing groups and follow dedicated and passionate nursing professionals to keep you updated with the latest nursing skills, techniques, and trends vital to boost your career.
Knowing different people helps you to learn from their experiences and to find better growth opportunities within your field. It also boosts your motivation as these people can understand your daily battles and can celebrate your success with you. Hence, networking plays a crucial role in your career advancement.
- Experience different nursing units:
As a nurse, never limit yourself to specific nursing units. Instead, take opportunities to work in different nursing units to gather various experiences.
Since a nurse should add to the transformative changes in health care units, diverse experiences can improve the quality of care and patient experiences.
Working in different nursing sectors can assist you in specifying your career objectives and deciding which area you should choose to progress further.
Experience in different units makes you a more valuable candidate and, sometimes, fit for different managerial-level positions. Also, the hospital considers the experience valuable as you can serve the patients in different units, especially when there is a dire need for specialized nurses.
Therefore, experiencing different nursing units gives you vast exposure to enhance your credibility and advance your career.
If you are determined and ambitious to become the best nurse, a path toward career advancement might inspire you to take on new challenges in your field and realize your professional goals.
Taking your career to the next level in the nursing field requires patience and dedication. However, as discussed above, taking a few essential steps can help you develop the skills and expertise required for a career boost.