In any career, it’s important to think ahead and decide where you want to find yourself later in life, and what role you want to move towards.
You need to figure out how you’re going to climb that career ladder, and what opportunities are available to you. If you’re a registered nurse and are at a time in your career when you feel it’s time to move on to a more advanced role, you might be wondering about how you can achieve your goals. Below are a few tips that might help you to start making your plans.
Consider Your Options
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There are many paths you can choose to follow once you’re a registered nurse. You can decide to work your way up to a management position and become responsible for organizing budgets, recruitment, schedules, and so on for your healthcare department. Perhaps you would prefer to specialize in a type of care, like pediatrics or nutrition? If you’re unsure about what direction you would like to take your nursing career in, spend some time doing thorough research into the options available to you so you can make an informed decision.
For a lot of career progression paths for a nurse, you will likely have to take on further studies to qualify. For example, if you want to evolve from an RN to an NP, looking at online BSN to NP programs could be a good place to start. If you want to specialize in something specific, you should find out what college courses or relevant qualifications you will need to obtain for that role. You can find this information online or speak to colleagues for further advice.
Networking is a great way to get ahead in any career. While you’re experience and qualifications will help advance your career, making the right contacts could help increase your chances of landing your dream job. Knowing the right people could help you find out about new job vacancies sooner than others, you could also ask for help and guidance when applying for certain roles if you know someone on the hiring team, or who has been through it themselves. While qualifications and experience are essential, if people know who you are and find your likable, they will be more interested in working with you and inviting you to join their team.
Find a Mentor
Finding a mentor or asking to shadow a nurse in a role you’re interested in at a local clinic is another way to help you get ahead. You can ask a trusted colleague at work if they wouldn’t mind being your mentor, or find out if your place of work has set up any mentorship programs that you could sign up for. It’s a great way to get better support and advice on how you can improve in your current role and making you a stronger candidate for future opportunities.
Volunteering to pick up a few extra shifts at work will make you stand out as a team player as well as being greatly appreciated by your management team if they’re short-staffed. Asking to take on more daily responsibilities at work is also a good way to do this. Outside of your place of work, see if there are any volunteer opportunities at other health clinics, or getting involved in fundraising efforts for a hospital or healthcare charity will look great on your resume, and show how dedicated you are to nursing as a career.
Listen to Feedback
You should have 1-2-1 appraisals with your manager at work at least once or twice a year. When you do go into the meetings, take in the feedback that is being given to you about your performance and perhaps even asks for advice as to how you can utilize it and make those changes. This would also be a great opportunity to ask about taking more responsibility at work as mentioned above, and perhaps enquire about any further training that can be made available to you.
Stay Up to Date
Finally, make sure you’re staying up to date with the latest developments in the healthcare sector. It’s essential to show how invested you are in your nursing career and healthcare as a whole, so being able to discuss these things with prospective employers at interviews, or using the information to improve your performance or your current place of work, will be impressive. You can do this by joining professional nursing forums online.
If you want to advance your nursing career this year, think about the tips above and use them to help you achieve your goals.