5 Tips for a Successful Nursing Career
Nursing can be a rewarding profession. Every day, you will help save the lives of people in need. But many people don’t view nursing as a career. They don’t realize that there is room to progress to higher positions and earn a higher salary.
These five tips can help you succeed in your nursing career.
1. Evaluate and Update Your Network
Yes, even nurses need to network. Social networking sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, are one way to connect with other nurses and people in the medical field.
If you already have a list of connections, evaluate your network. Make sure you have the most up-to-date email addresses and phone numbers for each contact.
Evaluate your list and see if you’re missing people in certain areas. Maybe you forgot to include contacts from academia or professional organizations. Don’t forget the people who helped you along in your career. Thank them and keep them on your network list.
2. Set One Achievable Goal for the Year
Setting goals will help you progress in your career and provide personal satisfaction. Each year, set one realistic, achievable goal that you want to achieve.
Maybe your goal is simply to join a professional organization, or maybe you want to volunteer for a hospital committee.
If you can achieve the goal before the end of the year, set a new one and challenge yourself to reach it within the following 12 months.
3. Examine Your Scrubs Wardrobe
Appearances matter more than you think, even in the healthcare world. If you show up for your shift looking like you just rolled out of bed, you may find that it’s difficult to progress in your career.
Make sure that your scrubs are clean, and free of stains and holes/rips/tears. Men should wear men’s scrub tops that are fitted rather than styles that are loose and baggy. The same rule applies to female nurses.
If you present yourself in a professional manner, it shows that you take your job seriously and are ready to progress to the next stage in your career.
4. Join a Professional Nursing Association
Joining a professional nursing association will allow you to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in nursing. There are several organizations to choose from based on your interests and specialty. The American Nursing Association and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses are just two of the many organizations you can join.
Joining a professional association will also provide you with opportunities to network with other nurses.
5. Advance Your Education
If you truly want to progress in your career as a nurse, you have to consider advancing your education. Education is a valuable addition to your resume, but it may also qualify you for more advanced nursing positions.
To work as a nurse practitioner, for example, you need a master’s degree. Nurse anesthetists also require a master’s degree as well as a special certification.
Consider sitting down and creating a career plan for yourself. Include goals that you wish to achieve, educational and experience requirements, and milestones you have to reach.