If you have been working as a nurse for a few years now, you might feel ready to take the next leap in your career. The question is, how do you go about making sure that you stand out in your scrubs? Here are some tips to put into practice.
Expand Your Education
You may struggle to progress your career at a desirable pace if you are a registered nurse without a BSN degree under your belt. This is why countless nursing practitioners opt to sign up to take an ABSN, or accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The great news is that you can take an online accelerated BSN where the majority of your coursework is completed online. From there, you will be required to dive right into your practicals under the watchful eye of a mentor. Reputable online learning institutions will usually offer a convenient placement service included in your course fees, ultimately ensuring that you are stationed at a clinic or hospital that suits you in terms of location and career goals.
Upon applying to online accelerated bsn, you may be wondering exactly how long it will take you to obtain your degree. The answer is approximately one year. Yes — just 12 months. It’s super-fast and will provide you with several advantages in the workplace. As you may already know, BSN qualified nurses tend to earn more impressive salaries, progress through their careers at a much more rapid pace and are often assigned a greater number of important responsibilities.
Ask to Be Mentored
A wonderful way to learn new skills and become accustomed to the duties of someone working in a supervisory position is to request to be mentored. You can either approach your main supervisor and ask to be placed with a more senior member of staff, or you can approach a senior nursing practitioner directly and start building a relationship. Not only is it a great chance to fast-track your career, but having someone else believe in and nurture your abilities can prove extremely motivating, too.
Think About Specializing
This is a sure-fire way to climb the ranks faster, and it’s a good idea regardless, especially if you seem to have a knack when it comes to a specific aspect of nursing. For example, maybe you are excellent when it comes to caring for infants and could make a real difference as a pediatric nurse? Or maybe you have lightning fast reflexes and thrive when working under pressure? In this situation, you may find that you are perfectly suited as a nurse working in the emergency unit or in ICU.
A few other specialization options include:
- A nurse midwife: someone who works specifically with pregnant women and helps to deliver their babies.
- Critical care nurse: these nurses tend to work in critical care units and ICUs, helping patients who are critically ill and need very dedicated caregivers.
- Nurse anesthetist: these people are responsible for administering regional, topical, and general anesthesia as required.
- Nurse educator: these practitioners are tasked with the responsibility of mentoring and training newbie nurses who have recently completed their degrees or who have recently moved to the clinic or hospital from a different work environment.
If you are keen to specialize, be sure to do your research into the various requirements for each option available to you. You may be required to further your education or rack up a specific number of years’ worth of experience beforehand.
Also keep in mind that different areas of specialization may offer different amounts in terms of your monthly paycheck. While the money shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor, it is important to familiarize yourself with what you could be earning further down the line.
Keep Up to Date
The healthcare field is forever evolving, especially as new technology begins to emerge and advancements are made in various areas of pharmaceuticals and treatments. If you want to remain ahead of the curve and make an impression when it counts, it is imperative that you keep up to date with all this information. Along with following nursing blogs and keeping a close eye on the news, as well as keeping your Advanced Medical Certifications up to date, another way to stay current is to join a nursing organization or association.
There are many benefits associated with joining nursing organizations. Firstly, you will be afforded the opportunity to form close personal connections with like-minded professionals and, secondly, you will be able to network. Networking is an essential aspect of most careers, and nursing is no exception. If you create and nurture strong professional bonds with other healthcare professionals and experts, you could be the first to find out about a possible job opportunity, for example.
Make Your Ambitions and Dreams Known
Once you are certain of where you want your career path to take you, it is a good idea to communicate this information to your superior. In doing so, he or she may be willing to provide you with advice and guidance to help you get there. He or she may also take note of it and notify you when there is a chance to progress in the direction that you wish. Ultimately, confident communication will aid in streamlining your path towards success and perhaps even speed up your career progression somewhat.
As a nursing practitioner, you are expected to work long hours and to remain dedicated and focused even during trying times. As with all other professions, it is focus and dedication that will help you to stand out among the crowd. So, put your head down and put the work in and you will be certain to reap the rewards.
In conjunction with hard work, don’t forget to set some time aside for yourself to breathe, relax, and de-stress. There is no point giving it your all only to burn out when the time comes to take the next steps. Look after yourself in the same way that you look after your patients. Balance is key. Good luck on your journey to the top!