Nursing is not one of those careers where you find no prospects a few years after you get in. It is dynamic and full of opportunities. You get to do much more than delivering bedside care to patients because bedside care is only one side of the picture.
Nurses can expand their careers and follow whatever path they want. You might get into this career as a bedside care nurse but find yourself aiming for managerial positions a few years down the road.
Changing your career trajectory after a few years of working might not be possible in other professions, but it is nothing new for nurses.
If you have been thinking about changing your career domain or advancing your current career in nursing, this article is for you. Reading through it will help you find one or the other path to reinvigorate your stagnating career.
Enhance your educational qualification
The straightforward way to upgrade your nursing career is to upgrade your educational qualification. Getting a new degree in nursing means knowing about the recent research and breakthroughs happening in this field.
Advancing your education is the easiest way to learn new and improved ways of patient care and replace obsolete patient care practices with evidence-based practices.
Higher education also opens up new nursing roles, improves your job prospects, and makes you more attractive to prospective employers.
As you become eligible for higher and more crucial roles, your salary increases too. Today, more nurses with a higher degree can earn more. For instance, a DNP nursing informatics salary is higher than BSN. And more nurses with a DNP degree earn above $100,000 per year than those with a BSN degree.
Enhance your communication skills
Communication skills are essential for excelling in nursing. During the day, a nurse has to communicate with patients, families, and other co-workers. A major part of effectively performing their jobs depends on sharing the right information at the right time with the right people. Any communication lag can put the life of their patients in jeopardy.
On-time and effective communication also help you make quick changes in the treatment plans. The more efficiently you make changes, the more prominent you become among your team members. And thus, the greater your chance to get higher-responsibility roles.
A significant aspect of having good communication skills is being a good listener. You must listen to your patients, consider their grievances, and respond to them most respectfully.
Be a part of a nursing organization
When you are a nurse, it is never too late to join a professional nursing organization. Membership in a professional organization exposes you to experts in your field. You can take them as your mentors, learn from them, and ask for their advice to advance your career.
Professional nursing organizations also help you find new job opportunities and meet your prospective employers by participating in gatherings, seminars, etc. Attending professional huddles through these platforms is the best way to get noticed by the right people.
Apart from getting job opportunities, membership in professional nursing organizations makes you eligible for educational scholarships and free passes for seminars and conferences. If you remain steadfast in your efforts, in no time, you will see opportunities for professional development opening up in front of you.
Always have a positive demeanor
Nursing is a challenging and demanding career. With long and hectic shifts and a little break in between, losing positivity and feeling burned out is possible. But regardless of that, your positive demeanor can make a lot of difference in how you perform your job.
Similarly, your negative and strained behavior also reaches your patients, affecting your efforts to climb upwards. A positive attitude is constructive if you are seeking an administrative position.
Consider a specialization
Often the way to advance your career is by narrowing your focus and picking a niche. After a few years of working in one department, if you feel that your career is stagnating or that you are losing interest in your career, you can get a new specialization to recommence your career. You can choose a nursing specialization based on your interests.
By opting for specialization, you concentrate all your efforts on one aspect of nursing. Different specializations require a different level of base qualification. Therefore, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before opting for one. Also, research the ins and outs of various specializations in nursing to see the opportunities available to you before settling for one.
Read nursing blogs
Indeed, reading nursing blogs is not often the first choice when you want to know how to excel in your career. But often helpful information is available with just a click of a button.
Sometimes treading on the path leading to career development and demonstrating leadership skills starts with showing your awareness about your field.
Nursing blogs keep you updated about industry knowledge and career-excelling opportunities available to you. They mention the stories and experiences of seasoned nurses. You can learn from their steps to advance their careers, avoid mistakes, and capitalize on factors that made them successful. The more you read, the more you will learn about your profession and how the healthcare system works.
Talk about your career goals
Talking about your career aspirations and goals with your boss is important to be prominent among your colleagues. Let them know what you are trying to achieve, what you can do for the organization, and how you can improve patient care.
You can also request your supervisor to nominate you for committees that engage in hospital-related tasks. Discussions with your supervisors help you get picked for career development opportunities such as training and seminars.
Nursing is not a stagnant career. Therefore, you will find ample career opportunities by being part of this career. Some ways to excel in your career in nursing are mentioned above. You can follow the way that suits your career trajectory and help you achieve your development goals.