Nursing can be a very rewarding profession that offers a number of great benefits, including flexibility and job security.
Nurses can be found in a wide variety of settings, from hospitals and doctors’ offices to nursing homes, long-term care facilities and even schools.
But as with any career, there often comes a time when the desire to climb the ladder and do more arises.
Whether you’ve reached that point in your own career, or you’re just trying to be proactive and plan ahead, here are eight steps you can take to bring your professional life to the next level.
Start mapping things out.
You won’t be able to move your career to the next step if you’re not sure what that next step might be, so start thinking about where you envision yourself in the future.
What are the things you want to get out of your career or accomplish that you aren’t able to in your current position?
Once you’ve identified what it is you want, you’ll be better able to determine which direction to go in to achieve those goals.
For instance, if you want something a little more challenging or fast-paced, going into emergency medicine might be a logical next step.
Use these goals to map out a plan for your future career moves.
Often times in nursing, just as with most other fields of business, it’s not just what you know that will help you advance, but also who you get to know in the process.
If you haven’t already, start focusing on making valuable connections with others in the industry.
Network with other health care professionals as often as you can.
Not only will this enable you to learn from other experts in the field, but it’ll also provide ample opportunity to build and nurture relationships with other professionals who may someday be able to help get your foot in the door at your next career move.
Pursue continuing education.
As a nurse, there are certain continuing education requirements that must be met in order to stay compliant and maintain your credentials.
But there’s nothing that says you must stop at those bare minimum requirements.
To the contrary, pursuing additional educational opportunities to enhance your skills now can pay off big time in the long run.
It may be tough to do with a busy schedule, but if you want to advance your career, getting more knowledge under your belt now can help pave the way for you tomorrow.
Plus, it’ll show those in leadership positions that you have ambition and drive.
Volunteer your time.
Again, finding spare time can be challenging for a busy nursing professional, but doing so voluntarily can do wonders for your career.
You don’t necessarily have to go out and look hard for external opportunities, either.
For instance, your boss may be looking for someone to take on a little extra responsibility.
By stepping up to the plate and offering to help, you’ll not only earn brownie points with management, but you’ll also gain additional skills and experience that you can use to enhance your resume and make you more marketable to other employers.
Consider becoming a traveling nurse.
If you’re not tied down by a family or other local commitments, becoming a traveling nurse can be an excellent way to advance your career.
Not only will you be able to explore different locations and meet new people, but you’ll also have the opportunity to try a variety of different specialties you might otherwise not have the chance to experience if you’re stuck in one place.
This will enable you to gain invaluable experience and identify what areas of the nursing profession you are most interested in.
Plus, traveling nurses make a pretty decent salary and often have access to free continuing education programs.
So, it’s a win-win!
Join professional organizations.
Being a part of professional organizations looks great on a nurse’s resume.
More importantly, these memberships provide the opportunity to learn from others, build valuable connections and gain experience you might not otherwise get elsewhere.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of organizations out there to join, from general nursing ones like the American Nurses Association to those that are specific to a particular career specialty.
If you’re unsure where to begin, start with a general approach and then as you move down your career path, consider adding a specialty group to your repertoire.
Obtain additional certifications.
Earning additional professional certifications is another great way to propel your nursing career forward.
Again, there are any number of different options available to you.
A good place to start is with whatever specialty you are interested in possibly pursuing down the road.
For instance, if you are intrigued by pediatric nursing, surgical nursing or emergency medicine, you might consider taking a course that will enable you to build specialized knowledge and earn a certification that you can later apply when you’re ready to move in that direction.
Always focus on integrity.
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to advance your career as a nurse, you should focus on maintaining the highest degree of integrity at all times – on both a professional as well as a personal level.
Always be honest, be respectful of others, maintain patient confidentiality and keep a positive attitude.
Understand and embrace the role of ethics in your day to day practice.
This will enable you to build a strong reputation that will ultimately help you win people over and consistently achieve the professional goals you’ve set for yourself.
Of course, these are just a few of the many methods you can use to bring your nursing career to the next level.
And if pursuing an online medical certification is a part of that plan, ProMed Certifications has you covered.
Check out our available courses and earn your credentials from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Let us help you take that next step in advancing your career.