How to Advance Your Career in Nursing
Are you a nurse who is stuck in a rut? Perhaps you thought you’d be further along in your career by now? Either way, it is never too late to achieve your goals and get the job in nursing that you deserve.
Read on to discover exactly what you need to do to advance in your nursing career, including where to go for help and advice and how to choose the right further education courses.
Determine your goals
Before you can start to progress in your career as a nurse, you first need to determine what it is that you want from your professional life.
Do you want to purely earn more money? Or maybe you have a specific role in mind that you have always wanted to take on?
Whatever it is, you need to make sure you are clear about what you want before you advance to the next step.
Pursue further education
There is only so far you can go in nursing without further education, so you need to make sure you know what qualifications you need to take you where you want to go. There are several different routes you can take when it comes to nursing qualifications depending on what stage of your career you are at. For example, if you are currently a registered nurse, you could choose to study for an RN to BSN degree online and put yourself in the position to obtain supervisor roles.
It is worth noting that online courses can be just as productive and worthwhile as on-campus ones and are often much more cost-effective and flexible.
Research the job market
If you have a specific nursing role that you want to pursue, then it can be a good idea to see what the demand is like for this particular job. Take time to research the job market and see how many jobs are available in your local area and what the salaries are like.
You may also want to sign up to local and national job boards so that you can keep informed about the job market and find out about any relevant roles. There are lots of different job boards, including ones that cater to all industries, such as Indeed and ones that are targeted towards the nursing sector.
Network as much as you can
Although qualifications are necessary, do not underestimate the importance of networking when it comes to career progression within the field of nursing. Have you heard of the saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know?”
Well, in nursing, it’s both. You need to have all the right skills and experiences, and you need to take the time to get to know the right people. You can network as a nurse in many different ways, including attending professional events and joining industry-specific online forums. If you are not a confident networker, then you can find lots of networking tips online that can help to get you started.
Try shadowing a colleague
Shadowing opportunities can be hard to come by, but if you can get one, they are worth their weight in gold. If you are already working as a nurse within a healthcare setting such as a hospital or private practice, ask your manager if they think that shadowing could benefit your career and if they have any available opportunities.
If not, then you may have to cast your net further afield and see if any other local healthcare organizations require help.
Join professional networks
One of the easiest ways to find out about new job opportunities and training programs is to join a professional nursing network. You can find this by performing a simple Google search; more often than not, these are free to join. These networks are also a vast source of information about the nursing sector and can prove instrumental in your career progression.
While it can be hard to find the time to prioritize your career, if you want to progress in nursing, then you need to put in the effort. If you do not have the support of your supervisor or you are struggling to make a breakthrough, then it can be beneficial to find someone with more experience in the sector to help you.
Remember that it can take time to get where you want to be but don’t give up. If you work hard and stick with it, you can achieve your career goals and get the job you deserve. You just have to persevere.