Being a nurse means you have to take care of your patients and think about their wellbeing, but at the same time, you cannot ignore your personal growth and development either. Concern for your career development is essential for gaining satisfaction from your work. So, you must be committed to moving forward, upskilling, and lacing yourself with the latest research. Here are a few ways you can excel in your nursing career:
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1. Opt for a new nursing specialization
Getting a new nursing specialization is one way to advance your career and challenge yourself. A person who gets too comfortable with their position, rank, or place of work cannot excel in any profession. It won’t be long before such individuals struggle to keep their job when other more competent candidates appear to take positions. Fortunately, nurses are prompt to address this issue. Their willingness to challenge themselves, learn new concepts, and be better prepared for providing patient care is praiseworthy.
While all specialized areas of nursing hold significant importance for healthcare, some careers become more attractive. For instance, public health nursing might soon become a hot specialization in nursing in the coming years. Moreover, there is an upsurge in the number of nurses interested in public health and other nursing programs, owing to the pandemic. The covid outbreak clarified the centrality and importance of public health as a field and a driving force for nations. As a result, more nurses opted for online MPH programs to grab the opportunity. Besides, it is easy to overcome the mental and physical barriers hindering you from enrolling in a degree program with an online mode of education. Here you don’t have to leave your work and attend classes every day. With the impending nurse shortage, healthcare can’t release nurses for an offline program either, so this is the best option you have.
2. Find a mentor
Nurses encounter mind-boggling situations in their daily life. Their problems are quite different from what a person faces in their average 9-5 work life. So, having someone you can go to, discuss your problems, and ask for advice can be invaluable. Assuming that your mentor is a veteran, you can also learn from their experiences. Having a mentor-mentee relationship is also essential to avoid burnout because it prevents a buildup of stress. You might sit together a few times, take their advice and weigh its efficacy and sincerity to be sure of them. More importantly, make sure to connect with a person who is not judgmental and guides you in an unbiased manner.
3. Develop your connections
Nurses can advance their careers by connecting with those in leadership positions. The easiest way to network with professionals from your organization and outside is by attending seminars, conferences, fundraisers, etc. You can share your thoughts, innovative ideas, and plans for improving healthcare. You can also meet like-minded people is by connecting with them on social media platforms.
Why do you need to advance your nursing career?
Healthcare is evolving at a fast pace and requires learning-oriented people. Those who are ambitious enough to get new skills will be successful in the end. But offering patient care is not the only motivation for advancing your career or upskilling yourself. Today nurses also advance their careers to earn a better salary. As you progress, you are expected to perform higher roles that allow you to earn more than RNs. For instance, a nurse with a mere diploma earns $71,628/yr, while a BSN degree holder nurse can make $82,864 per year. Other reasons to boost your career include:
1. Assume challenging roles
Often nurses advance their careers and assume challenging roles to come out of their routine tasks. The challenges, including taking management positions, earning a new specialization, or continuing education, can offer new life to your stagnating career.
2. Job satisfaction
Improved job satisfaction is another reason to advance your nursing career. It is not unusual for nurses to feel burnout. This may be due to constantly working with patients suffering from chronic illnesses, experiencing stress and fatigue due to long work hours, and not finding a work-life balance. Being satisfied with your career makes you less prone to experiencing burnout. So, job satisfaction in nurses might be an underrated topic, but it is one of the most crucial topics worth discussing. While no one claims that these issues are not present at advanced nursing positions, a change in duties and your work pace can reinvigorate your careers.
3. Get more career opportunities
Nurses with higher qualifications are more prone to getting offers from good hospitals. Today employers prefer nurses with higher education due to their proven ability to provide better patient care and knowledge about diseases and treatments.
Nursing is a fulfilling career; you get a sense of peace and meaningfulness in your life that no other profession might be able to offer. But it comes with its own challenges. To meet the evolving nature of this profession and healthcare overall, you need to evolve and improve yourself and advance your career. Some ways to grow your career include getting a new specialization and developing a mentor-mentee relationship. The opportunities are endless only if you are passionate enough to grab them.