How to Boost Your Nursing Career

No matter what job you do, if you love it and it feels like it is what you are meant to be doing with your life (or even if you just want to prove to yourself and others that you can achieve something great), you are going to want to become better at it. There are dozens of different ways to advance your career, and when you are a nurse, there is almost no limit to what you can do if you want to get ahead. Whether you choose to apply for and study online nursing programs or you gain as much experience as possible, nursing is certainly one career that you can progress in, going as far as you want to, helping people along the way.

Nurses are the largest working group within the medical profession, and although that may sound as though there is going to be a lot of competition within the ranks for any promotions and jobs, the truth is that, despite the large number of nurses we have, there is still a nursing shortage. The more people who study online nursing programs, the better, and so getting a promotion to boost your nursing career is certainly not out of the question. Read on to find out the best ways to go about getting further ahead in your nursing journey.

Always Have Good Intentions 

Not all careers require you to have constant good intentions. Not all careers need those working within them to be positive and helpful and kind at all times. Nursing does. Once you have completed your online nursing programs, it’s not enough ‘just’ to have great nursing skills and to know everything you need to know about patient care, treatments, medication, wound control, and more. You also need to have the right demeanor. You need to be caring and helpful, and you need to stay bright and happy even when you are exhausted and to feel as though the last thing in the world you want to do is talk to anyone or do another task.

This is what nursing is all about. The basic skills can be taught through online nursing programs, but the personalities that make good nurses cannot. They can be added to, but you do need to be a specific kind of person, someone who puts others first and can always find a positive outlook, for example, to be a good nurse. The more you can do this, the more chance you will have to boost your career and be promoted to whatever position you are hoping for.

Work with Your Instincts 

All nurses need good training, and whether you choose to have face to face training in a physical college or choose the online nursing programs route, you cannot start working without the right qualifications and knowledge. Yet on top of this, a great nurse will also know that they should trust their instincts when required. Knowledge enhances this ‘gut instinct’ trust and will help you to help patients more but trusting what you feel is crucial.

This is not just important when it comes to treating patients; it is vital when it comes to taking care of yourself too. An inexperienced nurse might push themselves to work harder and longer without a break, for example, whereas someone who is ready to boost their career will know when they need to take a few minutes for a break. An experienced nurse will know when to take on extra shifts and when it is best to say no.

Knowing these things means you will always be at your very best. Nursing is challenging and exhausting but going with your gut instincts when it comes to self-care means you can do more because you know your limitations, and you know your strengths. This is how great nurses are made and how they rise through the ranks to become leaders within their workplaces.

Keep Learning

Good nurses will finish their online nursing programs and leap excitedly into the world of work, keen to use their new-found knowledge to help as many people as they can in any way possible. However, as admirable as this is, and as much as the rest of the world needs them to do this, it will only get them so far. Online nursing programs plus experience will help a great deal as well, but this takes time.

So, what can a nurse do to advance their career more quickly? The answer is to keep learning. There is always more to learn, no matter what degree course you initially took. New ideas and medications and treatment methods are being developed all the time and keeping up to date with these things means you will always be at the forefront of patient care. This will help you gain the promotion you want and boost your nursing career.

Going back to school (or taking additional online nursing programs) is also crucial if you want a specific kind of nursing job. There are degrees and qualifications in many different areas of nursing, and if you want to work in a particular department, it is wise to work towards the right qualification to ensure you can. There are also certifications like the ACLS that a nurse has to have to start the career, but also renew every few years. Experience and knowledge combined are what will get you where you want to go.

Be Honest 

Being honest will always be useful, and when it comes to nursing, it is a vital skill to learn. Honesty in nursing can be the difference between life and death, and it can ensure that the patient or patients you are treating get the very best care possible.

In most cases, honesty means owning up to mistakes and taking responsibility for the consequences, as well as working hard to put things right. Everyone makes mistakes, and no matter how hard-working or highly skilled nurses are, they are still human, and mistakes happen. Unlike in most other careers, however, when a medical professional makes a mistake, it can be extremely dangerous, and this is why it is so crucial to speak up and do something about it.

No one will think less of you for making a mistake – they are just as likely to have done it as you – and if you can step up and be honest, it will stand you in good stead for the future. Those working with you, potentially those responsible for your career going forward, will see that you are honest, responsible and that you always have the patients’ interests at the forefront of your mind.

Be A Leader 

Another great way to boost your nursing career is to be a leader. There will always be leaders and followers in life. Followers can do very well for themselves, but they will be unlikely to read the top positions or make big strides in their careers; they are much more content to let others give them orders and follow them to the letter, showing that their training and experience is worth a great deal.

A leader is different. A leader is the kind of person who really can become promoted and do well in their career. Despite having the same online nursing programs to study as those who are more interested in being told what to do, this leadership personality trait is dominant, pushing them further and helping them achieve a lot more.

There are always going to be new nurses joining your workplace, and if you want to show you can be a leader, it is these new nurses that you can work with, helping them understand more about their tasks and ensuring they are carrying them out correctly, for example. The more you can do this, the more of a leadership role you will show you can excel in.

Remember, though, being a leader is not about bossing people around and being dominating. That kind of attitude will not help to get you very far as people will not want to work with you – since nursing is a team effort, despite the autonomy that each individual nurse will have, having people shy away from working with you is not a good thing. Leadership is about teaching just as much as showing and telling, and you will need to earn respect along the way. This is why not all nurses – or all people – are good leaders. It is a finely balanced way to work.

Ask Questions 

No matter how many online nursing programs you sign up for to boost your knowledge and help you become a better nurse who can advance in their career, there will always be things you still need to learn. This is just one of the many reasons why nursing is such an enjoyable and fascinating career to get into. However, you will never learn what you need to learn if you assume you already know it all. You must have the right attitude and be willing to ask questions to gain more knowledge.

Asking questions is not just something that will help you; it will help your patients too. If you assume you know what to do when you do not really, or you know that you lack an important piece of information, but you do not want to seek ‘weak’ by asking someone else for help, then the patient themselves is potentially put at risk. At the very least, they will not get getting your best and full attention.

We all have to learn, and none of us is born knowing how to carry out any particular task. Nursing is no different, and learning is all part of the process. Knowing that you still have more to learn even after graduating from your online nursing programs is a healthy attitude to have and one that will enable you to advance rather than one that will slow you down.

Build Your Networks 

If you know anything about business, you will know that networking is vital to the work. Speaking to the right people and utilizing their skills and positions to help you get a step further is just one of the many elements that go into running a business or working within one.

You might assume that nursing is different; after all, it’s not a business, and many people would even see it as a vocation. Networking cannot be used to help boost your nursing career in the same way as it would if you ran a business and needed new clients, can it? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is yes, it can. Although it does not work in exactly the same way (no nurse is going to be short of ‘clients’ and needs to find more), networking with others in the medical profession can certainly go towards boosting your career.

You can discuss common problems, talk about how you found your online nursing programs, and gain new information. New ideas will be presented to you, and you can tell others your own ideas. Passing this information around and helping other nurses and medical professionals and gaining help yourself can only be a good thing and one that will ultimately enhance your nursing career.

Find A Mentor 

Like the idea of networking, nurses who want to achieve more in their careers should look for a mentor. A mentor is more experienced, has a great deal of knowledge, and is willing to guide a less experienced nurse through the challenges and pitfalls that they would otherwise have to deal with themselves.

As well as learning a lot more than you ever could on your own, you will learn more quickly. This means that you can achieve more in a shorter amount of time, building on the knowledge that you gained from the online nursing programs you studied and helping you to be a better nurse for your patients.

A mentor will give advice, answer questions, and generally help you become the best nurse you can be. Although it might take a little while to find someone who can do all this for you, searching is a wise thing to do because of the huge difference they will make to your career and your life.

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