Home Career Tips How to advance a nursing career

How to advance a nursing career

by Maurice A. Miller

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Generally, people are drawn into nursing because they want to help others. Still, while this may be the main reason, several other reasons usually make nursing such a popular career. One of them is that nursing provides many pathways and opportunities for promotion and career development. Someone who has been working for a few years as a registered nurse (RN) may be thinking about the direction of their career and how to take the next step.

Gain a mentor

A nurse mentor can be highly valuable in helping a nurse advance their chosen career path. A mentor can provide helpful advice on improving performance as mentor can provide practical advice on improving performance as well as hints and tips on how they achieved their position. Nursing positions require many soft skills, and having someone trustworthy give feedback on aspects such as communication, organization, and problem-solving will help a nurse further develop their skills. They may also be able to supply a reference when the time comes to apply for promotion.

If there are formal mentoring programs where one works, it is well worth using them to find an effective mentor. If not, it may be worth approaching more senior respected colleagues or making known the wish to find a mentor to encourage a suitable person to step forward.

Achieve further qualifications

To become an RN, one will probably already have a degree such as a BSN or ABSN, but gaining post-graduate qualifications will help a nurse advance their career further. Popular choices include a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). These courses are widely available at universities across the country. However, attending university in person is not always practical. It can be hard to fit in around existing work, and for financial reasons, it may not be possible to take time away from work to attend college.

Fortunately, one can study through high-quality onli, allowinglivered by some of the world’s best universitiesing, allow nurses to learn without compromising their existing work and social commitments. A good place to start looking for an online MSN course is at Cleveland State University, which has several pathways to allow students to tailor an MSN to their career path. Among the jobs for MSN graduates from Cleveland State University are nurse educators, forensic nurses, and nurses who work in specialized populations such as those with disabilities, psychological trauma, and substance abuse.

Other options for further qualifications nurses can take are nursing specializations such as pediatric or adult critical care, cardiac surgery, or gastroenterology. If an area of nursing is of particular interest, it is worth investigating what accreditation is needed and what courses will cover this area.

Whether choosing an MSN, DNP, or some other specialist qualification, ensure a reputable organization will deliver it and will lead to recognized, accredited qualifications. Gaining these qualifications will prove a nurse’s commitment to prospective employers and highlight the expertise they have achieved.

Take all opportunities

In daily work as an RN, look for ways to increase knowledge and skills. An opportunity to work in a different department or specialty is worth taking. As well as gaining new skills, it will also help provide an idea as to whether this is a department or specialty the nurse would like to work in. Otherwise, they could find out if they can shadow someone who works in that area to find out more about the unique skills and knowledge they will need.

As well as seeking their mentor, a nurse could also offer to mentor new RNs. Being a mentor will help hone valuable skills such as communication and problem-solving. It will also be a good experience for those hoping to be a nurse leader or educator one day. And in addition to that, it will look impressive on their resume.

Advance knowledge

In the medical world, discoveries are being made constantly, and new procedures and practices are continually developing. Nurses should keep abreast of all these changes through medical articles or by subscribing to nursing blogs. Being open to new ideas can help one grow as a nurse and will open their eyes to new opportunities that may arise.

Join a professional organization.

While a nurse will probably have a range of contacts through their existing colleagues and nursing school alums, a professional organization will widen the circle. This can help them meet prospective employers or find a mentor. Through these additional contacts, they may hear about nursing positions becoming available before they are widely known. And simply by meeting and talking to a wider circle of professionals, they will improve their knowledge.

Professional organizations may have additional perks such as conferences or discounts on courses that nurses can use to hear about new developments or boost their skills in a particular area. They may also provide career support and resources to help them succeed on their career path.

Apply for new positions.

Once a nurse is confident they have the qualifications and expertise necessary to aim for a promotion, they should start looking for positions. There may be further opportunities in the medical facility where they already work, where they may have an advantage as the employers already know their capabilities. Or they may opt to look elsewhere, taking the experience they have gained in their current employment to be developed in a differnursing levels,es are in demand at all nursing levels, so any time and money invested in gaining additional qualifications are likely to be quickly rewarded. Nurses should look at their options and see where their nursing career can take them.

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