Nursing is a perfect career choice for someone caring, has a passion for helping others, and isn’t afraid of challenges. There can be many circumstances during your nursing career where you might be overwhelmed and find things difficult, but the rewards that this job can offer make it all worth it.
Another alluring factor to a nursing career is that it can provide you with job stability and the opportunity to progress professionally. If you are currently working as a nurse and feel like you’re ready to take the next step in your career, here are a few suggestions that could help you achieve your ambitions.
Consider Your Options
There are various paths you can take to move from being an RN to become a specialist nurse. Whether it’s becoming an FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner), working in mental health, pediatrics, geriatrics, and so on. It’s important to take the time to consider what path you would like to follow before you take those next steps; otherwise, you might end up in a role that isn’t right for you.
Try to get some experience working in different practice areas if you can, or request the opportunity to shadow other healthcare professionals in your interested field to get a better idea of what your new role will entail.
When you have decided on which career path you would like to take; you can then start looking into the relevant qualifications you will need to move into that role. As a nurse, you will already have a BNP, but you might need to get a master’s or a doctorate in nursing for a specific career goal. You can fit your studies around your working schedule by enrolling in an online course like this BSN to DNP program, for example.
Seek Out Mentoring Opportunities
Another way you can boost your career prospects as a nurse is by getting involved in mentorships schemes. Finding a mentor can help you to get more experience in a specific role, and they will offer you advice on guidance regarding the next steps in your career.
Your mentor could also provide you with a reference for any educational programs you will need to enroll in and even for future jobs when you come to apply. If your current place of work doesn’t have a mentorship scheme in place, you can ask a trusted colleague if they wouldn’t mind acting as a mentor for you or see if you can start a mentorship scheme yourself.
Mentoring is great for one-on-one support, but networking with other healthcare professionals could help to open even more doors for you. Whether it’s getting some sage advice from senior nurses or making connections to find out about new work opportunities, getting yourself known in the right circles can help you get ahead. This is beneficial for people in any career, so it’s always worth doing.
Finally, if you want to move forward in your nursing career, you need to be flexible. A job vacancy might not come up in your current place of work but at another healthcare center across town or in a different part of the country. Be prepared to make big changes if you’re serious about moving up the career ladder; otherwise, you could miss out on excellent opportunities, and it could be years until another one comes around.
If you’re a nurse who is ready to take the next steps, consider the tips above and use them to help you achieve your goals.