How to Take Your Nursing Career to the Next Level
When you are looking at taking your nursing career to the next level, there may be lots of things going around your head, such as where you want to work and why. It is important to decide the route you wish to take because when you can decide what level you want to get to and which route you want to take, you can then begin to take realistic yet persistent steps to make it happen.
Focus on What Experience You Hold
To kickstart this process, you need to focus on what experience you hold because this experience that you hold will help you make the next move, and it will kind of dictate which direction you move in. The experience you hold will help you see what you enjoy doing within your nursing role, and it will help you to see what specific elements of the role you wish to retain and, of course, the bits you may like to lose as you move forwards. So, please take a good look at your experience and see what it is telling you because this will give you a good starting point. If you choose not to utilize your experience, you may find that progression and getting to the next level will take you longer.
Look At Changing Your Specialization
What specialization or area of interest are you currently practicing in, and most importantly, is it working for you? When you look at what area you are working in and which area you want to work in, you can see if you are getting the most from the specialization. If you are not as passionate as you once were, then maybe it is time to make changes. Or, if you find that there is not as much fulfillment or even room for growth, then you need to start looking at other options. You don’t want to close off career progression and advancement just because perhaps the opportunities are not currently available to you right now.
Decide What You Want to Achieve
Knowing what you want to achieve is crucial in taking your career to the next level. If you do not know what you want to achieve, then how can you decide which route to take, and how can you decide what you need to go (and gain) for future positions. If you are not sure about what you want to achieve, then you may end up being unfulfilled in your career, and of course, this is not what you want or need. So, are you looking at achieving a leadership role in nursing, or are you looking to be a preceptor to other nurses and professionals? What would you like to achieve moving forwards over the next few years?
Look At the Roles on Offer
If you are struggling to fully commit to a role, or you are struggling to decide what role may be beneficial to you, then why not look at what nursing roles there are and what they entail. When you have a good idea about what you can expect from a role, you can then start setting your sights on achieving exactly what you want. It is important to always analyze nursing roles on offer because sometimes they may be different from what you expect. If your expectations are not met in a new nursing role, you will end up frustrated. So, carefully look at the roles on offer, and see what they can give you.
Rewrite or Edit Your Resume
Selling yourself to prospective employers and highlighting what you can do is much easier to do with a well-written resume. Your resume is one of the things you will use to move forwards with your job, so take time to assess your resume. Does it include everything you have done? Does it give the reader adequate coverage of what experience you have? If your best elements are not highlighted on your resume, then you will struggle to stand out from other candidates, and you may struggle to secure the position you want. If you do not feel that you can do your resume justice, then get a professional resume writer to do the job for you.
Continue Your Education
Your education will give you a good base to work on (and build on from). If you do not look at continuing your education, you may find that you will struggle to push forwards, and you may even end up stagnant. When it comes to continuing your education, you need to look at programs that will be beneficial to you moving forwards. Those programs will give you the knowledge and awareness you need to make the leap forwards. When you are looking at continuing your education, you need to look at what programs you wish to study and you need to look at where you wish to study. If you are not focusing your efforts, you may not get the most out of your education.
Focus on Continual Professional Development (CPD)
Just as education is important, so too is continuous professional development or CPD. Within the nursing industry, there is always the potential for you to enhance your skill set and enhance your development, and this is where CPD comes into play. Allowing you to transform your skillset and be the best professional that you can be is what CPD is all about. If you are not embracing continuous development, you may well be in for a good chance of losing positions and roles to counterparts or colleagues who have been focused on their CPD. To make the most out of CPD, you will need to set goals and targets, and you will need to focus on steady progression.
Look at Volunteering
You may find that you need more experience to get the role or post that you want, and sometimes getting this is easier to do when you look at volunteering. When you volunteer for other areas, or you look at even volunteering for other organizations, you get the opportunity to broaden your depth and knowledge and expand your horizons. To get the most out of any volunteering, you choose to do. You need to know what you want to achieve. You also need to know how long you want to volunteer and how much time you can commit. If you cannot commit enough time to make it worth your while, you may find it is not as advantageous as it could be. So, to get them out of volunteering, look at what you want to achieve, and see what you can do to spread and share your expertise and knowledge.
Seeking a Mentor
Sometimes, you can find that you can see what you want to achieve in your future – however, you can not always easily achieve it, and this is when a mentor comes into good use. A mentor will provide you with much-needed guidance and advice that will help steer you to success. When you are looking to find and use a mentor, you need to look at finding one through the networks that you use. You may also want to reach out to those that are currently within your place of work. There will always be those nursing professionals that want to support you and assist you in any way that they can. It is their invaluable experience, knowledge, and awareness that is going to put you in a good position for your future.
Join Nursing Organizations
There are nursing organizations that exist in and around your place of work. Some are free to join, while others have a minimum suggested donation. When you join a nursing organization, you get a great wealth of knowledge and experience at your fingertips, and even at the end of the phone. Being able to keep up to date with industry changes and advances is also important too, and this is something you can do when you join nursing organizations. When you are looking at which ones to join, try and look for those that have the biggest impact within the industry, as this will often represent those nurses and nursing professionals that have the most experience and knowledge.
Follow Nursing Blogs
Keeping up to date with what other nurses are doing is important, and one way you can do this is to follow a nursing blog. Seeing real-life experiences and learning first-hand what is involved in career progression will be eye-opening for you, and sometimes this is what you need to give you the push or boost that you need. As well as following nursing blogs, you will find it beneficial to embrace networking as much as possible. Meeting other nursing professionals and meeting potential employers too can be good for you, and it can be good for your career too. If you do not embrace networking, you may find that you only stick to the colleagues that you work with, and this can be detrimental to your future, so take care.