Being a nurse has many exciting components, from trying your hand at the latest medical techniques to seeing improvements in client health. Perhaps the most attractive element of nursing, though, is the ability to take your career in new directions. Change is both thrilling and challenging, and in order to make the most of their job advancement endeavors, nurses must have the right tools and knowledge for getting ahead. Here are some tips for moving up in the nursing industry:
1. Find your education path
As patient needs change, so do effective care techniques. Chronic conditions are some of the most pressing health issues. Meanwhile, the U.S. population has seen demographic shifts like an aging population and greater racial and ethnic diversity. As a 2010 report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine explained, modern nursing education targets the current health trends and cultural needs better than training given in the 20th century.
In order for nurses to provide adequate care for current clients and leverage modern health technology, they may need to return to school. This keeps them updated on the latest direction of the health care industry, and it also develops highly educated and well-trained nurses who are better able to cater to the varying needs of clients.
2. Don't underestimate the value of experience
While continuing your education provides a detailed and comprehensive view of health care's current state, immersing yourself in new experience gives you a unique perspective on client care needs. Many advanced nursing jobs, like those in travel nursing, require at prior service, too.
Take every opportunity you can to branch out and try new endeavors. Not only does this step give you the necessary background to advance your career, but it also allows you to discover your interests. For instance, you may never have realized how much you love caring for seniors until you take a job in geriatric management. Then, you can enter the workforce with a more focused career path.
3. Never miss a chance to network
While you carry the responsibility for taking steps forward in your nursing career, it's always a good idea to have other professionals in your corner. You never know when a colleague will have access to a new job opportunity. Plus, networking does more than put you in touch with people that could potentially advance your career. It also gives you more perspective as you learn new information and ideas.
While being friendly in general and going out of your way to introduce yourself are great ways for meeting other professionals, nurses may also benefit from joining professional organizations like the American Nurses Association.