You may have begun a career in nursing because you love helping people, you enjoy a challenge, or you want every day of work to be different from the last. Nurses tend to love overcoming a challenge, solving problems and working with a team to help as many people as possible.
Regardless of the reason why you became a nurse, you may now be wanting to enhance your career in order to help more people or provide yourself with an even bigger challenge. If you have started a career in nursing and you want to progress your career, there are a number of different ways that you can take your learning and skills to the next level.
Before you decide to go back to school or retrain, you should try out a number of different types of nursing to find out what you are the most interested in. A great way to gain exposure to different types of nursing is by being as pro-active as possible whenever an opportunity arises inside or outside of the clinic.
This can mean networking at job fairs, getting involved with RCN campaigns and shadowing other healthcare professionals. There are many different ways to put yourself out there and learn more about the various sides to the nursing profession, you really just need to be pro-active in your search and to follow the opportunities when they arise.
If you are really feeling drawn to a particular aspect of nursing and want to give it a try before fully committing, you can also explore your clinic’s policy on sabbaticals and secondments. You may be able to get a few months away from your current job to try out the new position you are interested in.
Go back to school
Another option for progressing your career is to hit the books and go back to school. Many nurses go back for a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, which helps nurses to specialize in an area such as midwifery, informatics or geriatrics.
Nurses who already have an MSN and want a further challenge can opt for programs such as Wilkes University’s MSN to DNP online degree program. The Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP degree is an advanced degree that trains nurses to take on leadership roles in clinical settings. DNP degree holders have the opportunity to have a direct impact on patient welfare, care plan drafting and health policy implementation.
Take care of yourself
One thing the Covid-19 pandemic taught us all was that it is extremely important to take care of yourself and make time for yourself throughout the day. During the height of the pandemic, healthcare workers around the world were stretched past the breaking point as they worked incredibly difficult shifts – both emotionally and physically.
Regardless of what you choose to do to progress your career, remember to take care of yourself and make time to check in and see how you are feeling. There is no point in investing in your career if you are not enjoying the job.