5 Ways to Boost Your Nursing Career

A nurse holding up her pen while holding her clipboard. Excited.

Being a nurse can be a rewarding experience. Your job allows you to care for patients, utilize your nursing skills to care for the community, and be an asset to the healthcare sector.

However, like any other profession, it is natural to feel you need to do more for your career.

Advancing in your profession allows you to take up more senior positions in your field, gain valuable experience, and continue working in proximity to patients. It also leads to a higher salary and greater satisfaction, which every nurse strives to achieve.

But how do you boost your career? There are numerous ways you can boost your career as a nurse, and here’s a glimpse at a few of them.

#1 Obtain a Higher Degree.

Your education also allows you to gain more knowledge and skills required in the nursing industry. Higher-level degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), can help you stand out from the competition and make strides in your career.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2020, over 70% of MSN grads had a job offer after they graduated. Therefore, you must have the right degrees and credentials to access high positions and allow yourself to polish your career more.

If you are a registered nurse (RN) or have a bachelor’s degree, you should attempt to gain an MSN in Nursing Education to become an educator or specialize in a field such as pediatrics, gerontology, mental health, and so on.

The course covers various topics, including healthcare policies and management, leadership in nursing practice, clinical decision-making skills, communication strategies, research methods, and evidence-based practices.

#2 Build Your Interpersonal Skills.

As you enhance your merit, you also pay attention to your interpersonal skills. As a nurse, you need to know how to communicate, take charge and have accountability, especially if you make a mistake.

At the same time, you must improve at managing your time and prioritizing your workload to ensure you neglect no tasks.

For instance, if you need to improve at managing your time, it would help if you make a schedule and follow it closely. While it may sound challenging to handle, you will see a massive improvement once you focus on all your weak areas.

Setting reminders on your phones, creating quick notes for yourself on what you need to handle first, and showing up to your shift on time can make it easier to use your time wisely.

If you struggle with communicating with patients, ask other nurses how they talk to them or look up the best ways to approach an agitated patient and practice asking questions. Consider joining workshops, seminars, and online classes, and consult self-help books to gain a better perspective, especially regarding skills relevant to your field.

#3 Immerse Yourself Into Professional Organizations.

Professional organizations are an incredible resource for nurses. Professional organizations conduct workshops, have seminars, and carry out presentations to inform nurses about the emerging issues that govern their sector.

These groups can help you stay updated with the latest trends and developments in your field. Also, these organizations can offer you a platform to continue your education and pick up more credentials.

So whether you want to create a network of various nursing professionals, gain more exposure and knowledge or stay in touch with the changes entering the healthcare sector, you need these organizations.

The American Nurses Association, The National League for Nursing, and the International Council of Nurses are popular organizations for nurses. Other notable names include the National Black Nurses Association and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, which also focus on diversity and reducing prejudices in the sector.

#4 Be More Proactive at Work.

Dedicating and investing your time into your career can help boost it faster. The more you are willing to take on extra shifts, stay behind and put in overtime, or assist your peers in tackling their workload, the more your actions will support your profession in the long run.

While it’s not easy to give up your weekends, your commitment to your field will reflect your career development.

Consequently, you’ll get much faster in low-risk jobs like updating the patient’s charts, becoming more efficient while administering medication, and carrying out routine examinations. However, at the same time, make sure you don’t overdo it.

#5 Find a Mentor To Guide You.

A mentor can provide the valuable guidelines you need to navigate your field. Their experience, expertise, and industry knowledge can give you more insight than reading online blogs or talking to other nurses.

As a result, they will know how to help you, provide an outlet to let go of your frustrations, and support you as you try coping mechanisms. There’s a high chance your mentor went through similar challenges as what you may be facing right now.

Furthermore, your mentor can provide you with references and networking opportunities and help you pick a specialization for which you are most suitable.

Final Thoughts

Nursing can be a promising career. Be willing to invest time into acquiring a higher educational qualification and using your new degree to secure advanced positions in your field. As you try to boost your standing as a nurse professionally, don’t forget to work on your soft skills, tackle your weaknesses and strive to become confident, skillful, and resourceful as a medical professional.

Furthermore, become more active at work, take on more responsibilities and divide your time wisely between your career and personal life.

Lastly, ensure you work closely with your mentor to receive guidance, support, and care as you try to find your footing as a nurse. The medical sector can be very competitive, and it helps to have a support system watching your back.

Featured Image Credit: EdZbarzhyvetsky /Depositphotos.com

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Annika Stepanov

Annika is passionate about personal finance and travel, pouring her extensive experience into her writing on these topics. She has a diploma in Creative English Writing and has been working in the industry since 2016.