Nurses are vital members of the medical community. They perform various essential duties that cannot be replicated. After gaining experience, they can pursue a specific nursing pathway and specialize in it. They can also take on advanced degree options that can help them grow in their careers. Understanding their options in nursing can help them determine their long-term career goals.
Here are six ways you can advance in your nursing career:
Earning a BSN degree
If you are already a registered nurse with a diploma and looking for advancement options, consider earning a bachelor of science in nursing. A BSN is an undergraduate degree for registered nurses designed to introduce them to more advanced methods in safety, health promotion, and quality in the healthcare field. Earning a nursing degree can lead to many opportunities in the medical field. For example, you can practice in the US army, navy, or airforce with a BSN degree. Other than that, there are a variety of nursing roles, like hospice nurse, family nurse, nurse midwife, etc., that you can take on. Because a BSN graduate can take more potential jobs than RNs, registered nurses focus on taking an accelerated RN to BSN program. But, the problem is that traditional programs are expensive. That is why more nurses are now looking for affordable RN to BSN online programs because costs can vary depending on what school or program you choose for yourself. The online program helps you in many ways. If you are a working nurse, the flexibility of the course in terms of location and coursework allows you to complete it at your convenience. It helps you explore job opportunities, save on extra expenses, enhance your earning potential, and provide a better outcome for your future in terms of leadership roles and case management.
Earning a Certification
Another way you can advance your nursing career is to earn certifications. There are various nursing programs that you can enroll in and earn a certificate that can help you get a better job. A nursing certificate indicates that you have specialized in a specific area and can practice the field of study within the boundaries of the certification. They also show your recruiter that you are professional and specialize in a particular area. If you are a nurse with a specific interest in one of the nursing sectors, you can take a course that can help boost your career.
Below are a few nursing certifications that are in high demand that you can consider to improve your vocation.
- Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification: The CCRN certification prepares nurses to tackle severe illnesses and serious injuries.
- Certified Emergency Nurse Certification: The CEN certificate prepares you to handle patients in emergency and intensive care units.
- Certified Nurse Educator Certification: The CNE diploma allows you to teach fellow nurses, students, and trainees.
- Family Nurse Practitioner Certification: The FNP license lets you practice as a family primary care provider.
- Progressive Care Nursing Certification: The PCN certificate permits you to work with acutely ill patients who are in severe conditions and need more care than the standard hospital.
Earning a Specialization Degree
Another way you can grow in your nursing career is to choose a specific area of nursing and earn a specialization degree. You can quickly enhance your career with knowledge and experience in a distinct field. With your specialization degree, you can get better job opportunities since the certificate will ensure that you are a specialist in the respective area. With your advanced knowledge and skills, you will be able to take quality care of your patients, impacting your reputation positively. You will help you get a better job as good employers mainly hire nurses based on reviews.
Being a Part of Professional Nursing Organizations
One of the many ways to advance your nursing career is to be a part of various organizations that conduct training sessions, meetings, and workshops for nurses who want to expand their professional network and connect with other nurses. Participating in professional nursing organizations also helps you grow and develop as a nurse, as it cultivates your skills when you try new things. Also, you will consistently learn something new that can always come in handy, especially if you are studying under someone with extensive experience. Many professional nursing organizations also offer certifications.
Experience Different Nursing roles
To improve your nursing career, you should work in as many nursing areas as possible to gain more experience. This will help you understand which nursing role suits you best. After gaining experience in the various fields of nursing, you can become more marketable because of your diverse background.
Find a Mentor
Finding someone you can take advice, learn from, and consult with can be very helpful in your career. When you find your mentor, they can help you navigate your career crossroads and help you decide which role is better suited to you. They may be able to assist you with your next job or support you when selecting the right program for furthering your education.
You can find your mentor at your workplace, such as a senior nurse, a supervisor, or a manager you have worked with. Or you can look into a professional nursing organization to find the right guidance.
If you cannot find anyone suited to you, you can contact your recruiter’s human resources department or ask around your nursing community to see if anyone is interested in being a mentor.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, there are many ways by which nurses can advance their careers. Some key points include getting certified, earning a specialization degree, being a part of professional organizations, earning a BSN degree, taking on various nursing roles to expand their experience, and learning from a mentor to make better decisions for themselves.
They can also follow nursing blogs, teach students or new nurses, and stay updated on new developments to keep up with the changes in the nursing community.