Nursing is a very rewarding career choice; however, after a few years, many nurses look for further opportunities for advancement. Luckily, in the field of healthcare, there are many routes you can take. Here are 6 tips to help you ensure your career is moving in the right direction.
Invest in Your Education
There is the option of going back to school or gaining a new qualification online. Whichever route you choose, it’s an opportunity to improve your nursing knowledge and skills. Investing in your education also gives you the tools and qualifications required to undertake a new role in the field of healthcare. You might decide you want to try being a director of nursing or specialize in a field such as midwifery or anesthetics. Doing so allows you to further your career.
Whatever field or industry you’ve decided to work in, developing a network is crucial if you want to progress your career. Take every opportunity to network both inside and outside the health care organization you work in. Meeting new people gives you the chance to exchange ideas, find new ways to solve problems, find support and make friends. There are many ways to build your network including attending workshops and conferences or furthering your education.
Find a Mentor
A mentor is a good way of gaining information and guidance regarding your career. Mentors come in all shapes and sizes, but ideally, they should be an experienced and successful person in your chosen field. You should be comfortable discussing your career with them and not be afraid to ask for advice and guidance.
Join Professional Organizations
Joining a professional organization helps to build your network, and your membership is also going to look good on your resume. There are many different professional nursing organizations you can become a member of, depending on where you live. Examples of International nursing organizations include ICN – International Council of Nurses, International Child Health Nursing Alliance, and International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care. US organizations include the American Academy of Nursing and the National Association of Independent Nurses.
Volunteering and Work Experience
Volunteering is another way to build your network and adds to your experience. There may also be an opportunity to volunteer your services in your current workplace in order to gain more experience and take on more responsibility. Another option worth exploring is becoming a travel nurse. You’re given the opportunity to travel to different locations, meet new people and gain experience in areas you might not have been able to explore in your current role. There are often free continuing education programs travel nurses can take part in, to further your career.
Improve Your Communications and Interpersonal Skills
Two skills which are vital for your continued success are communications and interpersonal skills. It is possible to improve both these skills with practice. Try to be friendly, self-aware, and passionate, and always aim to be a good listener. Being able to communicate clearly and effectively can have a positive effect on your career.
These are just a few ways you can help yourself advance your nursing career. Take this advice on board and you’ll be able to move closer to your career goals.