How to Start Advancing Your Nursing Career
Where Do You Want to Go as a Nurse?
You’ve probably been asked in at least one job interview, “where do you want to go in the next five years?” If you’re a nursing student, you might currently be a CNA working toward your BSN to be an RN. Or if you’re an LPN, LCN, or NA looking to grow, advancing your nursing career is a great way to obtain more compensation for your experience and gain more responsibility in your role.
Taking control of your career is an excellent way to find more satisfaction in your job. Plus with plenty of opportunities available for nurses of all types, advancing your nursing career can help you be a more competitive job candidate.
4 Tips for Advancing Your Nursing Career
No matter where you are now, if you want to take the next step in your career, consider these four tips to think about how you move forward and find continued success as a nurse.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Back to School
With an advanced degree or certification, you can get the right experience to move up in your role and take on new challenges. Any new education you receive will only help you build on your experience and open doors for new opportunities. Working while you pursue your education is also a great way to move up and gain experience in the nursing field. For example, you can work as an LPN while working on an associate’s degree in nursing, and as an RN while you work on a bachelor’s.
2. Build a Professional Network
Your peers are not only your friends at work, they can also be important players in the path of your career. Networking with other clinicians can help you have connections in future healthcare facilities you want to work in or help you identify new roles that you hadn’t thought about for yourself before. It can also help as a learning experience. Sharing your experiences with others can help you get an outside perspective on how to tackle common challenges and allow you to gain knowledge from experts and those with similar interests.
3. Find a Mentor
Identifying a mentor in your career might not be easy, but having a person as your mentor can help you develop as a nurse both professionally and personally. You might be able to find a mentor through a local mentoring program or someone who has had a significant impact on your career. With a mentor, you can have someone to go to for important career advice, general wisdom, or advice. When you’re presented with a challenge, or even looking for help on how to start advancing your nursing career, a mentor can provide an insider’s look as to how you can reach the next step in your career and point you in the right direction for how to get there.
If you want to stand out as a leader, don’t be afraid to step up to the plate and volunteer. Whether you take on more responsibility in your existing role or are just getting involved in the community, you can use this experience to build on the foundation of your existing experience. You’ll likely find opportunities to network with your peers and meet new people who could influence the path of your career in a positive way.
5. Be Open to All Opportunities
As a nurse, there are many different paths that your career can take. Being open to different or new opportunities can reveal new interests or passions that you might not have been aware of before. You might even find that different styles of nursing might be a better fit for your work style. If you want to travel or help people in other communities, travel nursing could be a great option. If you favor a strong work-life balance, you might want to consider per diem shifts to set your own schedule.
The healthcare industry is looking for more nurses than ever before, and if you’re interested in advancing your nursing career, now is the time. Take the leap in growing your career and exploring new opportunities to move forward and reach your goals.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can grow in your career, check out some of the resources that NurseDash has available for clinicians here.