If you’re a nurse, the good news is that you have one of the most in-demand and important qualifications in the world. It’s also one of the most diverse fields to be in.
This means that there are countless possibilities for you if you’re ready to do what it takes to get the qualifications. This could be a great way to change settings or pace, or even work in a specialized field. Let’s take a look at what you should do if you want to advance your nursing career.
Start Looking at Specializations
The very first thing you need to do is make sure that you pick a specialization that fits your personality. You also have to know what it takes to make it in those fields.
How much stress can you handle at this time in this career? Are you getting tired at work? Would you like to be in a position you won’t have to deal directly with patients? Would you like to operate your own clinic? These are all questions that should help you make your choice.
Another thing you have to consider is what type of setting you want to work in. Nurses are needed everywhere, may it be in schools, prisons, ships, industrial sites, etc. So, consider if you’d like to work in a setting outside of a hospital. Then look at what kind of qualifications it would take.
On the other hand, maybe you’re ready for a career in leadership. In this case, one option could be to go for an online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Organizational Innovation degree. If you want to see an example, click here. Getting your degree online will not only allow you to get your credentials while you work, but get them much faster or slower depending on how fast you want them or the workload you can handle.
Look at Salaries
You should also look at salaries if that’s important for you and you want that higher education to be worthwhile. Positions with a higher demand will usually get a higher salary, so that’s another benefit. There is also a direct correlation between the education you have and the salary. RNs made around $71,000 per year in 2018, while NPs made $113,930, and those with a doctorate made around $120,460 per year on average.
Look at What’s in Demand Where You Work
Make sure that you always keep an eye on job postings where you’re working at the moment. You’ll always get an advantage when you apply somewhere you already work. So, take a look at some of the jobs that are opening now and which ones you can expect will be open a few years from now.
Look for a Mentor
Another thing you should do is try to find a mentor. There are some things that only another nurse will be able to understand. Find a nurse with more experience than you. Having a few cheerleaders who will be ready to put in a good word for you can also help. Mentors will give you guidance and insights. They might be able to help you assess your skills and personality with the perfect position, or they may open your eyes up to possibilities you might not have imagined.
Find a Professional Organization
If you don’t know where to find a mentor, we suggest you join a professional organization in your area. You’ll find tons of nurses that would love to mentor someone else. Either way, it never hurts to join one. You’ll have tons of networking opportunities. You’ll be able to speak with nurses in all sorts of positions and get their first-hand accounts. This would allow you to discover new possibilities or openings.
Let Your Ambitions be Known
It also doesn’t hurt if you make it clear to your supervisors that you’re looking for advancement. Let people know that you’re looking for a different role or a promotion. Unless you’re vocal, there’s no way for them to direct you towards openings. Another great move would be to sit on a committee in the organization you’re working at.
Try to Work on Different Units
Changing floors could be all that you need. This will allow you to get a lot of experience, and you’ll be able to see what you would like in a position. This will also become a great addition to your resume. Employers love well-rounded nurses, and this will significantly increase your value in the marketplace.
Nurses who can work in different areas are in very high demand because they can fill different needs based on the daily census. These nurses are also very respected by their peers. This also makes you a better candidate if you’re ever seeking a leadership position.
Consider Related Jobs
Another thing you should consider doing is looking at jobs that are related to nursing but don’t involve working in a healthcare organization. For instance, some nurses decide to work with law enforcement and become forensic nurses. There are also plenty of opportunities for those who’d like to do some writing.
You could become an academic writer, for instance. In that role, you will be asked to write educational or informational information for all sorts of organizations, including schools, insurance companies, patient care services, and pharmaceutical companies.
Speaking of which, there is a lot of demand for nurses for sales rep jobs in the pharma field. Pharmaceutical companies love working with ex-nurses as they have privy information on the latest medicine and know their real-life effects on patients. This makes them more knowledgeable and credible salespeople.
The most important thing is to keep your options open and explore. The field is extremely vast, and if you look, you could find a position that is an absolutely perfect fit for you. If you want to advance your career as a nurse, the good news is that the possibilities are virtually endless. The next step is looking at what you can do to become a good candidate.