Beginning your career in nursing often means entering a wonderfully fluid and dynamic community of fellow nurses who share the same visions and passions as yourself, providing many different opportunities for development and growth. Throughout your training and as you progress into your career, it is important keep your options open so you can access better opportunities. Below are some of the best ways to advance your nursing career.
Education Is Key
To access certain roles in nursing, it’s vital to have additional education beyond your basic training. If you are already a registered nurse, gaining a Master of Science in Nursing degree can open doors to progression and promotion, helping you advance your career to a higher level of seniority and earning potential. You can even study for a Master of Science in Nursing online, allowing you to continue working full time as a nurse while studying, thanks to the added flexibility of an online degree. Gaining a Master of Science in Nursing can lead to a range of more senior roles, such as nurse manager or administrator, or even nursing director.
Join a Local or National Nursing Organization
Joining a nursing organization, whether local or national, can enable you to gain access to information that you may not otherwise find regarding your chosen profession. Becoming a member of a nursing organization can help with networking and gaining valuable contacts which may become useful to you in the future, along with providing continuing education credits in many circumstances. Joining a nursing organization can also be useful when it comes to keeping up with local and national news regarding your profession and can help you keep abreast of current nursing issues and nursing legislation.
Focus on a Specialty
Beyond becoming a registered nurse, gaining certification in your specialty can open up more job opportunities and assist in advancing your career as a nurse. Becoming certified in your specialty also shows both your patients and your employers that you are fully committed to what you do and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that you learn as much as you can to better yourself in your profession. You can become certified in a number of different specialties, including fields such as pediatrics, palliative care or ambulatory care. See the American Nurses Credentialing Center for more information. You can also become certified through the national organization for your specialty. In many cases, those first entering the nursing profession may not be aware of which fields they would like to specialize in. This often comes with time and experience.
As a nurse, there are many different windows of opportunity which you can take to better yourself as a professional caregiver and advance your chosen career.