The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It is a dynamic field that continuously develops and introduces innovative technologies every day. Hence there is a constant demand for better-skilled professionals to handle this sophisticated technology and provide better healthcare services to the public. As people’s living standards heighten, the need for better services in every field of life, especially medicine, also increases. So people expect a finer performance from doctors, nurses, and healthcare leaders. Trying to bring about a change in any career can appear daunting, and advancing in nursing is no different.
Nursing is a rewarding career, providing a unique opportunity to care for those in need and assist them in practicing a healthy life. And working as a nurse, you encounter different hurdles and challenges daily. So there is a need to develop exceptional thinking skills and the ability to analyze the problem quickly. So whether you’re already a practicing nurse or studying to become a healthcare professional, you need the passion to advance in your field.
Hence here are a few tips and tricks to help you devise a plan of action to become a better nurse.
1. Further your education
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has now declared that to be able to practice advanced nursing, all candidates must have a doctoral-level education. Earning an MSN to DNP online can provide a shorter route to those looking to position themselves at the forefront of the nursing industry. It offers a unique opportunity to enrich your knowledge of patient care, new research methods, and policies and procedures online. This degree enables Registered Nurses (RNs) or BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduates to reach for the highest management positions like Director of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer in hospitals and other healthcare institutes. Further education plays a significant role in helping you secure an executive nursing position through which you can earn a much higher salary.
2. Find a mentor
Having a mentor you can trust for guidance and advice is a reliable way to advance your nursing career. Guidance from nurses with more experience is extremely valuable in teaching you how to manage the emotional and professional challenges of working in the healthcare industry. Therefore, search for mentors willing to invest in you by sharing their knowledge and experience with you. By doing so, you will be able to hone your skills and have the support you need anytime you feel overwhelmed and anxious. Mentors with a lot of exposure can also provide a networking opportunity by giving professional references and resources to bolster your advancement in nursing.
3. Subscribe to nursing blogs
The next best alternative to having a mentor is subscribing to informative nursing resources online. Watching other nurses perform their duties and talk about their experiences provides much more insight than you imagine. There are plenty of competent nurses with blogs online, sharing details about a specialty or facility with which you might not be previously familiar. By following these informative blogs, you can come across innovative ideas that will broaden your mind and expand your skill set. Not only can you gain the latest information about different nursing techniques, but you can also learn about the age-old customs in nursing practice from seasoned experts. Reading these blogs will help you amass a more profound knowledge of how the healthcare system functions.
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4. Join a nursing organization
Perhaps the best way to get the exposure you need to land a better job in nursing is to enroll in a professional nursing organization. Such organizations hold conferences and seminars where the most passionate nurses, fully committed to their careers, come together and interact with each other. Such competent nurses motivate and inspire others to aim higher in their nursing careers. Through these organizations, you can cultivate the contacts necessary to guarantee new job opportunities while having access to the latest techniques, advancements, and practices in your field. The most reputable national nursing organizations include:
- National Student Nurses Association
- American Nurses Association
- National League for Nursing
5. Consider Specialization
The nursing profession presents a broad range of possibilities for specialization. If you wish to advance your nursing career, perhaps you should consider focusing on a specialty that interests you. Depending on your specialty, there will be a demand for different qualifications, levels of education, and experience. All you need to do is gather information about different specialties and select the one you feel is appropriate for you. Some of these specialties include:
- Nurse Anesthesia – Nurses specializing in this field aid anesthesiologists, surgeons, dentists, and other medical professionals in administering appropriate anesthesia doses to patients.
- Nurse Midwife – Nurses in this field assist mothers in having a safe delivery. They also help expecting women plan their medical check-ups and opt for appropriate prenatal care.
- Mental Health – These nurses provide medical care and aid to people facing mental health problems.
- Disability Studies – Nurses in this field provide support and health care for children and adults with permanent physical or mental disabilities.
6. Take care of yourself
It is normal to lose track of everything else when you’re focused on your career. But it is vital to also take care of yourself while following these tips. For example, having a healthy and balanced diet may seem like a common tip for most people but doing so is often difficult for nurses. Nurses often have so much to do and such variable schedules that they skip meals. So it is especially important for them to focus on themselves. If you’re not healthy, you can’t fulfill all your dreams. So sleep well, eat well, and spend some time doing things you love.
Hoping to progress in your nursing career requires unwavering commitment, devotion, and patience. Being receptive to education, reliable mentorship, and seeking a specialized certification can boost your journey to the forefront of your nursing career. However, as you steer through the numerous responsibilities of your position as a nurse, try to focus on your health as well because, ultimately, you will perform better when you have a healthy mind and body.