If you are considering a nursing career, are already studying to enter the healthcare industry, or have been a nurse for some time, chances are that you would like to progress in your career. Career advancement provides new job openings, the opportunity to earn more, and improved job satisfaction. Navigating a career change can be daunting, and the same can be said for those wanting to pursue nursing career advancement.
Benefits of career advancement
- Provides new challenges and opportunities
Monotonous tasks can become tiresome for nurses after some time, so they often relish taking on new challenges. Pursuing a specialization, education progress, or transitioning to a managerial or executive position can give a different and exciting nursing experience. Moreover, these new challenges can also help nurses attain higher positions or promotions.
- Getting salary increment
Advancing one’s career as a nurse comes with the potential to receive a better salary. Various career progressions, such as specializing in a certain area of nursing, earning advanced degrees, obtaining certifications, and relocating to managerial roles, generally involve a salary bump. In addition, you could also get extra rewards, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Job fulfillment
Nursing is a job that requires a vast amount of proficiency and familiarity; furthermore, nurses need to possess empathy and compassion when conversing with patients and their loved ones or caretakers. Transitioning into a new nursing role that involves more management or executive duties can be a great way for nurses to find Fulfilment in their job over the long run. Additionally, some nurses take pleasure in the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and guide less experienced nurses.
How to progress in the field of nursing
If you are unsure where to begin, how to highlight your credentials, or who to ask for advice, this article will help you reach your goals.Let’s look at some strategies to help you progress in the field of nursing.
- Get certified
Nurses often require certifications to pursue more specialized roles and higher-paying positions. In the healthcare industry, ACLS, PALS, and BLS certifications are a must for medical professionals, including those working in emergency, senior care facilities, ICU, and other urgent care fields.
ACLS certification stands for an Advanced Cardiac Life Support certificate. This equips you with knowledge in life-saving capabilities, team interaction, and basic drug administration.Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training is essential for nursing personnel who want to provide emergency care to infants and children.Basic Life Support certificate (BLS) education is necessary for nurses to identify life-threatening situations, administer CPR, and apply an AED.
The healthcare industry requires a lot of time and effort, making it difficult for medical workers to find the opportunity to get certified. Many online certification and recertification courses can be taken at the convenience of a working nurse.
- Specialize in a particular field
By honing your knowledge and becoming an expert in a specialized area, you can open up more job opportunities and more rewarding work. A few of the clinical specializations for nurses available areCertified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Critical care for grown-ups (CCRN), Critical care for youngsters (CCRN), Perioperative Nurse (Surgical/OR Nurse), and Progressive care nursing (PCCN).
Networking is key, and joining a professional nursing organization is a great way to do it. You will be surrounded by dedicated and passionate colleagues who can motivate you to advance your career and have access to the newest developments, approaches, and practices in the nursing industry. Popular national nursing organizations are:
- The American Nurses Association
- The National Student Nurses Association
- The National League for Nursing
- The National Black Nurses Association
- The National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- The International Council of Nurses
Nurses in a professional organization may be eligible for discounted rates and invitations to healthcare conventions, resources when looking for employment assistance, and continuing education programs.
- Get a mentor
Those wishing to progress in their nursing career might want to think about finding a mentor. Joining a professional nursing organization can help you get in touch with role models in your field of specialization. Experienced nurses can be incredibly helpful in offering advice and support, both in terms of professional challenges and the emotional hardships of the healthcare industry.
Mentoring can be advantageous for patients and facilities, as it facilitates the flow of institutional knowledge, the generation of new ideas, and the betterment of health care outcomes and patient care. Moreover, mentoring provides an environment where novice nurses may ask questions without hesitation. Some facilities have nursing mentorship programs for their employees so one can sign-up to enroll.
Having mentors who are invested in your development can be a major benefit to your career. These individuals can teach you leadership skills, provide emotional support, and give you valuable resources. Furthermore, they can offer professional references, networking contacts, and other important assets that can be utilized throughout your career.
- Pursue additional learning opportunities
A great way to further your nursing career is to review your degree credentials and pursue higher education. This can open up possibilities such as a higher salary, more job opportunities, or specialization in your desired field. Types of educational advancement could include a Bachelor of Science in nursing. This increases the likelihood of employment and progression. If you’re looking for managerial, teaching, and leadership jobs, you can enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). For nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists, a Doctor of NursingPractice (DNP) is necessary.
Gaining a top nursing position often requires a degree, but there are so many open jobs for MSN and DNP. Returning to school may not be an option for everyone due to the financial input required. If this is the case, look into tuition reimbursement or government aid programs to make it possible. Licensed RNs can often gain a BSN through an online program.
Eight possibilities for nurse professionals
Nurses have a wide array of prospects when it comes to furthering their careers. The average salary of a nurse in America currently stands at $89,010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Going through this compilation of typical advanced nursing positions can help you get an idea of all the potential possibilities for advancing your career.
- Nursing faculty
The primary responsibility of a nursing faculty member is to teach future nurses about the profession. This job includes creating lesson plans, giving lectures to students, grading their practical and written exams, and monitoring their classroom, laboratory, and clinical training. A senior nursing faculty might also have administrative tasks, like mentoring other faculty and teaching staff.
- Occupational health nurse profession
The role of an occupational health nurse is to ensure the wellness and safety of those employed in the workplace. Such nurses can be employed in different surroundings and mainly take on tasks such as ensuring the workplace is hazard-free. They also tend to any injuries or illnesses related to the job and provide training and advice to staff and management on safety protocols tied to specific occupations. In addition, they are responsible for devising and carrying out health and safety programs for all employees.
- Legal nurse consultant
The job of a legal nursing consultant involves working with lawyers to provide assistance on medical issues. They often review medical records, supply expert testimony in a trial, investigate possible malpractice, and do medical research for investigations or legal proceedings. In addition, these registered nurses act as a go-between between lawyers and nurses.
- Supervisory nurse
The role of a nursing supervisor involves not only a few essential nursing tasks but also providing guidance and direction to nursing staff. Commonly, this consists of overseeing staffing and scheduling, teaching fresh nurses, and drafting or refining policies and protocols to better assist those on the nursing team and the patients. They may likewise designate patient care to specific nursing teams or individual nurses, making sure that patient records and documents are accurate.
- Research nurse
The role of a research nurse is to provide patient care and assistance during medical experiments to test the effectiveness and safety of drugs or medical equipment. Tasks can include observing patient responses, monitoring patient care throughout the trial, working with other researchers and patients, and collecting data from patients for the research. Additionally, they may be responsible for the creation of clinical trial protocols and documents.
- Midwife nurses
The role of a nurse midwife involves offering care to women pre- and post-parturition, as well as during childbirth. Aside from this, these advanced practice nurses are also responsible for administering routine gynecologic assessments, helping with the birthing process, and dealing with issues related to menopause and post-menopause. Furthermore, they may provide guidance on how to provide effective care to new parents, screen couples expecting a child for any sexually transmitted diseases, and work closely with gynecologists and obstetricians.
- Nurse practitioners
The responsibilities of a nurse practitioner include managing all aspects of patient care. Depending on the state, they may be able to provide care with or without the supervision of a medical doctor. These advanced practice nurses can perform physical examinations, diagnose illnesses or injuries, and prescribe treatment plans or medications. They may also provide guidance to patients and their families or caregivers to prevent or manage chronic conditions.
- Clinical nurse
The primary functions of a clinical nurse specialist are multifaceted. Typically, they are responsible for guaranteeing top-quality patient care by monitoring their colleagues. Additionally, they may review and revise policies and procedures, provide instruction to patients and families regarding a diagnosis and treatment, and participate in research endeavors. Furthermore, a clinical nurse specialist may delegate outpatient care to nurses in their charge, aiding in the control of daily patient care activities.
To nurture and grow your career, remember to showcase your skills in case any opportunities arise. You should always be prepared for a chance to make the most of an unexpected opportunity. Many nurses put off maintaining their resumes until they’re in the market for a new job. To ensure you stand out from the competition and land the position you’re looking for, it’s important to keep your resume up to date. You should also use your social media accounts to your advantage.
Tips to update your resume
The ability to apply for jobs online has made the entire process seamless and quick. However, this may lead to sending an outdated or poorly crafted resume to hiring managers. Avoid scrambling to make your resume presentable when an opportunity arises; be ahead of the curve with a resume that has been prepared in advance, and formulate answers to some of the most common interview questions to show your potential employer that you are ready to deliver quality healthcare.
To maximize the effectiveness of your resume, you should consider maintainingit by adding new accomplishments or skills, andemphasizingyour abilities so that it stands out to both recruiters and Applicant Tracking Systems.
Make sure your contact information is up to date, and the document is well-formatted; show how you meet the criteria for the job to ensure it’s not just a generic resume. Also, ensure your LinkedIn profile is current in case someone wants to look you up.
If you lack the abilities essential to the position you wish to acquire, start honing them now. Healthcare institutions hold education and continuing development in high regard.
- Polish up your social media profile
To stay professional, it is important to make sure that your social media accounts are free of any details or content that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Try Googling yourself to get an idea of what recruiters will be able to find out about you. If you have any unprofessional content on your social media sites, remove it or change your privacy settings to make it less visible.
Consistently scrutinizing your resume and social media accounts and perceiving them from an employer’s point of view is essential in understanding how, why, and from where a potential employer can access details of your personal life that you have chosen to share in the public domain. An employer hiring a clinical nurse could see if the potential employee worked at a care home and see their relevant experience.
It is possible to use social media to one’s benefit. Taking advantage of this platform can help in the following ways. First, it can help you interact with other healthcare experts on platforms such as LinkedIn, and by utilizing the LinkedIn search engine, you can connect and search for jobs, education, leadership, or nurseson LinkedIn and help to build a community of healthcare workers to support you through your career.
It is a good idea to post articles that catch attention, comment on other people’s posts, or write your own blog post to showcase your knowledge of topics relevant to nurses.
You can also adjust your profile to let recruiters know you are open to job opportunities and explore the social media accounts of nursing leaders, nursing executives, or other roles in nursing you wish to pursue. Similarly, you can keep up to date with professional sites, profiles, and the latest trends in healthcare.
It is important to maintain your competitiveness to stay ahead in your nursing career and avoid getting stuck in a monotonous routine or even risk burnout or boredom. This will help you achieveyour objectives, dowell in your current job, and alsokeep you on track for the job you wish to have in the future.
Achieving success in nursing necessitates considerable commitment, enthusiasm, and perseverance. Pursuing educational opportunities, acquiring mentors, and obtaining specialized certifications can aid in the advancement of one’s nursing career and, consequently, lead to a greater capacity to positively influence others.