Nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling line of work, with high levels of job security, excellent wages and many advancement opportunities. It’s often called a noble profession, as you take it upon yourself to care for patients during difficult times in their lives. If you’re still in the early stages of your nursing career, where do you see yourself in two, five or ten years?
Of course, we all want to take whatever opportunities we can in order to advance our careers. Moving up the ranks not only awards you with better pay, but can also change the way you work and open up new experiences to learn from. The possibility to travel for work is also increased.
Education is Key
One of the advantages of nursing is that you’re able to further your education while still working. With today’s technology, opportunities to obtain your degree over the internet make it even easier to gain the qualifications you need in order to further your career.
With no waiting lists in your way, you can immediately get started with an online MSN program, even if you don’t have a GRE or GMAT. As Karen G. Schepp from the University of Washington School of Nursing says: “A more educated nurse is a safer nurse.” A Master’s Degree will earn you the valuable knowledge and expertise you need to advance your career.
As a nurse, you have the power to influence the decisions of your patients when it comes to their health. Ethics is essential for these decisions and is considered the cornerstone of nursing professionalism. If you’re able to conduct yourself professionally, both in your work and personal life, your employers will notice.
It’s common practice for managers to get a perspective of who their candidates for potential promotions are by looking at their social media presence. This is why it’s important to incorporate values such as honesty, respect, competency and a positive attitude into your life.
Build Your Network
Networking is not only important for meeting new people who could help you with career advancement, but also as a source of learning and obtaining useful information. You can build a network by joining local nursing and healthcare associations, attending workshops and seminars, blogging and joining webinars with colleagues.
This will help you put your name out and meet people who could help you with new job opportunities. If you have a good reputation among those in your sphere, it’s likely that people will come to you first when they need someone to fulfil an open position.
Consider a Mentor
If you can identify someone who you can learn from and feel comfortable with, you can receive important advice, wisdom and coaching from them that could help you gain the knowledge you need. This can be anyone from a professional in your field to a member of a mentoring organization such as AONE.
Be sure to keep an eye out for nursing positions that are outside of your current field which may interest you. This could open up a new path with new opportunities that could help you take your career even further.