Primary care providers are considered the pillars of the healthcare industry; however, recent times have changed the narrative. The present global health crisis highlighted how nurses are the underappreciated heroes of the healthcare industry.
Putting aside their well-being, nurses ensured patient care during the pandemic. Over the years, a nurse’s role has exceeded the norms of only caring for the sick or injured. Now, they advocate for health promotion, educate the public about injury or illness prevention, and ensure quality patient care.
Despite their responsibilities, nurses were not viewed as integral care team members in the past. However, with time, they fought to gain respect and recognition and proved their value in the healthcare industry.
Nurses spend an immeasurable amount of time with patients, which helps uncover important health information. The time spent with patients also offers an insight into their needs and behaviors that is valuable when planning and providing care.
When health issues, people do understand that visiting a physician is the first step in treating the issues. What they lack in knowledge is how to prevent those issues. This is where a nurse’s role as an educator is crucial for improved patient outcomes.
Nurses, as educators, help patients understand complex medical practices, procedures, and the importance of good hygiene and health.
As a nurse, focusing on gaining new skills and career advancement are as important as improving the lives of those around you.
Pursuing higher education like a master of science in nursing online or participating in a workshop are a few options to learn new skills and enhance knowledge.
Some other pathways to progression in the nursing profession are mentioned below.
1. Seek help from Mentor
Nurses regularly face challenging circumstances that others are incapable of comprehending. While some nurses, with the help of knowledge and diverse skills overcome them, others seek guidance from an experienced nurse.
A qualified nurse has much to offer regarding knowledge and experience that helps novice nurses succeed personally and professionally. Unfortunately, the nursing profession is overwhelming for those in the new field, with so much to learn.
In such circumstances, a mentor is a light at the end of the tunnel that helps beginners navigate their way through and offer valuable insights. With years of experience on hand, a mentor understands the personal and professional struggles of the nursing role.
Besides learning new skills or understanding the workplace dynamics, senior nurses also provide valuable information about different career pathways in the nursing field.
Career satisfaction is only guaranteed when you are motivated and, most importantly, supported in your journey. Offering emotional support and positive affirmation instills confidence in nurses to overcome struggles of any magnitude.
2. Explore other career pathways
Honoring your nursing skills is key to growing professionally and advancing your career. So, there are several ways for a fresh graduate or an experienced nurse to seek career advancement.
Besides working in various environments, nurses can explore other domains within the nursing field. It might be daunting or overwhelming to leap at change, but risks also play a vital role in a nurse’s professional journey.
The nursing field is considered rewarding due to the various roles and career options.
From working as an analyst to a nursing administrator, hospice nurse, or public health nurse, you can work in various domains to acquire a taste of what you like or dislike.
Even after pursuing higher education and gaining professional experience, you still feel a lack in your resume. You want to diversify your portfolio, and to do that, volunteering might be one of the feasible options.
Volunteering helps enrich your CV and speaks about the kind of individual you are. It reflects how you are not afraid to give back to the community and your commitment to work. Being a part of an organization and positively impacting the lives of the underprivileged is one of the noble causes.
While helping the less fortunate, the experience offers nurses the opportunity to learn and sharpen skills valuable to their professional growth. Aside from gaining experience or improving your well-being, volunteering opens the door to establishing relationships essential for career growth.
For instance, you might meet people who connect you to future job opportunities. Volunteering makes a huge difference during the hiring process. It gives you an edge over other inexperienced candidates.
As a nurse, you meet several healthcare providers and connect with countless patients. One way or the other, every individual you meet teaches you something about healthcare or provides an opportunity.
Joining an organization or simply being a part of a nursing group is crucial because you never know how meeting new people might help your career. Networking is mainly associated with the business world and building relationships for sales. However, it benefits anyone, including nurses who want a dynamic and fulfilling career.
As per the LinkedIn survey, 85% of the jobs are filled through networking. In the healthcare industry, referrals are key to organizational recruitment strategies. While offering generous incentives, several care facilities design referral programs that allow employees to refer their contacts.
Making connections within the organization helps create alliances that later have benefits. For example, having a strong professional support system helps develop policies and processes that positively impact patient care outcomes.
5. Choose a specialization
As discussed earlier, you have several career paths to choose from for advancing in the nursing career. Besides learning new skills, enhancing your knowledge, especially choosing a specialization, is also a step in the right direction.
Specializing in nursing means you have access to several benefits, one of which is the likelihood of earning more. In addition, being a specialist in your field means you have significant responsibilities to look after, more confidence, and an opportunity to dive deep into what you love to do.
Every specialty has a set of attributes that help you decide to choose the one suitable to your personality and goals. For example, a specialized nurse proficient in knowledge and skills also instills peace of mind in patients and their families.
The in-depth education enables care providers to implement the best practices that lead to fruitful patient care outcomes.
Nursing is a rewarding profession that helps the patients and those pursuing it. There are several reasons why nursing might appeal to you. Besides working in various settings, you have the opportunity to help the sick or injured and become a role model for others.
Besides ensuring care and creating awareness, nurses must also look after themselves professionally. Several reasons like career satisfaction, increased pay, or new opportunities play a significant role in why nurses consider professional advancement.
The key to achieving goals is planning and acting upon the right course of action. So, with numerous options like volunteering or specialization to choose from and motivation, you can work your way up to a successful nursing career.