You became a nurse because you care about helping others. You also care about yourself, which is reflected in the commitment and drive you have for improving yourself, both personally as well as professionally.
Whether you just entered the field of nursing or you’ve been practicing for decades, there are a number of things you can do to stand out and progress in your career.
We asked some seasoned nurses to share some of the key strategies that have helped them achieve their professional goals.
Here’s what they had to say.
Get a Mentor
Guidance and advice from a veteran nurse can be invaluable.
A mentor can help you gain insight that would otherwise have only come from years of experience.
You’ll also learn how to approach certain things in your career, determine which mistakes to avoid and get answers to all of your questions.
Last, but certainly not least, a mentor can be incredibly valuable when you’re in need of a professional reference.
Broaden Your Horizons
Whenever the opportunity to work in different nursing units arises, jump on it.
This will enable you to gain valuable experience and also get a taste for the various aspects of each role that you like or dislike so you’ll have a better idea of which career path makes the most sense.
What’s more, nurses who have experience in multiple units are more marketable, both as an employee as well as for potential management opportunities.
Pursue a Specialization
In nursing, the key to furthering one’s career often involves pursuing a specialization.
When you narrow your focus, you can become a master at your chosen vocation, which will make you highly sought after by employers.
If you’re not sure which specialization to focus on, think about which aspects of the job you particularly enjoy and go from there.
Continue to Learn
The health care industry is constantly changing, which means you have to take the right measures to keep up to date.
Pursuing continuing education opportunities will help you stay in the know about the latest techniques and best practices in health care.
Most states have specific continuing education requirements and employers also typically require medical certification.
Beyond this, taking additional classes will demonstrate to your employer that you’re dedicated to mastering your craft.
Use Online Resources
Since you’re reading this article, you’re already a step ahead of the game when it comes to leveraging online resources to help grow your career.
Following a nursing blog like this one can help you stay on top of industry trends, learn proven tricks of the trade and find camaraderie with others in the industry. And when you have information like this available at the click of a mouse, you’ll be much more confident in performing your job.
Join Professional Organizations
Joining a professional nursing association can benefit your career in a number of ways.
Not only will you be joining the ranks of other passionate and dedicated nursing professionals, but you’ll also be able to make many more valuable connections.
Furthermore, nurses who are members of professional organizations often receive certain perks, such as discounts on continuing education courses or invitations to health care conventions.
Employment assistance may also be available.
If you’re not quite satisfied with the status quo, the above expert tips should help guide you down a path of further advancement and brighter horizons in your nursing career.