Growth and Development are part of our human existence. We grow from kids to teenagers, and then adults. Like our natural growth, we also experience growth in our careers. We all aspire towards different levels in our careers, and getting there will require certain commitments. It could involve taking certificate courses, getting an advanced degree such as a master’s degree or a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). For nurses, it’s no different. There are many ways to advance and further your nursing career. This article addresses three ways to climb up the nursing career ladder.
How To Further Your Nursing Career
This can be a challenging journey, but it has a highly rewarding end. There are many ways to achieve personal and career development as a nurse. Here are the top three.
Further Your Education
This is a huge commitment and arguably the most challenging considering the stressful circumstances of being an RN. However, this can make a huge difference in your career and shoot you up the ladder. If you aim for higher levels such as Nurse practitioner, Nurse Midwife, Nurse anesthetist, Nurse manager, or Nurse educator, you’ll need at least an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing). Depending on the facility and geographic location, some may ask for a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree. Some people worry about how long it’ll take to quire these degrees, but you do not have to. You can get 12 month online DNP programs and easily advance your career. If you already have your MSN, you might want to get your DNP as it gives you leverage over your contemporaries and opens you to more opportunities. It is also possible to get a Ph.D. in Nursing. This is the highest level of education a nurse can achieve.
Get A Specialization Certificate
Unlike other healthcare fields, nursing offers the opportunity to switch specializations throughout your career. Narrow your focus to the desired specialty and become certified, which can help you build expertise and leadership roles. Examples of specialized certifications include Adult critical care (CCRN), Pediatric critical care (CCRN), Cardiac surgery (CSC), and Progressive care (PCCN).
Find A Mentor
This may sound cliche, but it’s one of the best ways to navigate your way up the nursing career ladder. A nurse mentor will provide adequate guidelines on advancing in your career. Their advice can help reduce the errors and unnecessary activities that cause burnout. If you’re actively searching for a mentor, try checking employer mentoring programs, professional nursing organizations, or your local professional nursing group.
Why Further Your Nursing Career?
We just discussed “How?” so let’s conclude by discussing why you want to further your nursing career. Most nurses are driven by one of three major reasons. New job roles, higher pay, and increased job satisfaction.
New Job Roles
Many nurses who hold a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree are motivated to pursue a higher nursing position, especially in leadership roles. This drive pushes them to earn more certificates and tackle job challenges that eventually land them in their desired positions.
A higher degree enables nurses to qualify for the additional opportunities and offers more flexibility during their professional career path in the long run. Pursuing a college education also expands access to opportunities by connecting them to a network of colleagues, advisors, professors, and mentors. This network can open doors and connect nurses to industry leaders to share ideas and explore new ventures. Discovering new nursing job opportunities is possible by using many career-related websites that post open vacancies.
The higher nursing job roles listed above offer more responsibility and higher pay than an RN (Registered Nurse). This is good news for nurses seeking higher compensation. However, the pay for these roles varies depending on the healthcare facility and geographic location.
Increased Job Satisfaction
This is a quiet yet important reason many nurses choose to further their careers. It is common for registered nurses to experience burnout after years of service. Registered nurses are regularly faced with long shifts, high-stress situations, and high patient volume. This is not to say higher-level nurses don’t face these situations; the pace just varies, with RNs bearing the bulk of the stress.
There’s no doubt you want to be the best nurse you can be. The question here is, are you willing to take up the challenges that you’ll face on your way to the top? Draw up a clear plan and keep your focus on the goal. In no time, you’ll be at the top of the nursing career ladder.
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