You have put a lot of time and energy into your nursing career, and you want to be sure that it is the best that it can be. So, how can you improve your nursing career, and how can you push yourself to achieve more? What direction do you need to take, and what options are available to you?
Learn How to Self-Evaluate and Self-Assess
To kick start this career improvement plan the right way, you have to learn to self-evaluate. Self-evaluation and self-assessment involve looking at where you are at the moment within your career. Are you doing what you want to be doing, and have you achieved everything that you set out to achieve? If you do not undergo a process of self-evaluation, then you cannot see where to grow or even how to grow. If you cannot see where you have room to develop, you will struggle to push your career to the next level. During your nursing career, it is important to undertake self-assessment regularly. When you do this, you can be sure that you realize your full potential.
Listen to Others and Seek Feedback
You can learn a lot from looking at yourself and monitoring your actions. However, sometimes you will find that the best feedback you get is from others around you. This could come from lecturers while you are studying, or it could come from the colleagues that you work with. When you listen to others (and you take feedback onboard), you learn how to grow and develop in ways that you might not have even thought about before. Accepting feedback and learning from feedback will help you to grow. At times it can feel that feedback may be too personal, and you may struggle to accept it. However, learning to dissect feedback and learning to pick out constructive feedback is crucial to your success. If you find that feedback is not forthcoming, you need to seek it from others. Ask for evaluations, and ask for honest opinions.
Continue With Your Education
Education is crucial as a nursing professional, and it is also very important in advancing and improving your nursing career. There are lots of short programs and even lots of university programs which you can undertake. UIndy online nursing programs can boost your knowledge and skillset. When you look at continuing your education, you want to look at what you will get from your studies and how you will directly apply your knowledge. To get the most out of your studies and education, you have to adopt the right mindset, and you have to remain both dedicated and focused.
Focus on Professional Development and Growth
To get your career to the point where you envisaged it would be, you will need to invest in professional development and growth. There are lots of short programs and lots of CPD programs that will be offered by your employer or place of work. Changes happen quickly, and they happen regularly within the nursing sector. When you focus on professional development and growth, you can be sure that you keep up to date with what is happening in the nursing industry. Professional development and growth can help you strengthen your offering as a nursing professional, and it can help you build upon skills and attributes that you already hold.
Join Professional Organizations
Professional organizations are there to support, assist and guide you. They are often full of knowledgeable members whose experience could prove invaluable to you and your career. When you are looking at which professional organizations to join, you have to look at locality and expertise. For example, joining a union that is based in your state would be a good idea, as they would have the local knowledge and expertise to be able to support you in your current role. There are lots of benefits to joining nursing organizations. For example, they can provide you with valuable resources and they can provide you with support and guidance. When you have that backup and support behind you and your career, you will feel unstoppable.
Focus on Gaining Experience
Experience will help you build your knowledge, and it will help you increase your awareness. When you focus on gaining experience, you can open up lots of new doors and opportunities for your future career. When you are looking at gaining experience, you need to focus on voluntary roles just as much as paid roles. Any experience that you can gain will be eye-opening for your career, and it should help you become a better nursing professional. When you build your experience, you can look at improving all aspects of your career and even your approach as a professional. You may even wish to seek experience on top of your existing role. Any experience will help you learn and grow, so do not pass up any opportunities.
Trying a New Specialism
If you have been working in a specialism for a while, it might be time for a change and time to make a move. Your experience and your knowledge may be better served in another area, ward, or department. For example, your role in the emergency wards may be transferable and useful to the maternity wards and departments. Sometimes to improve your career, you have to take a fresh look (and approach) to things. If you continue to do the same role day in and day out, you may well find that your career plateaus and becomes stagnant. This is then a rut that you must then break free from. When you are looking at trying a new specialism, look at areas that interest you the most, and also look where your skills and knowledge can be transferable.
Honesty, Integrity, and Transparency
To improve your career, you need to improve who you are and what you offer as a professional. Remaining honest and transparent is crucial to career improvement. As you progress and advance with your career, you will begin to build a reputation and credibility. This credibility and reputation can be enhanced with the right behavior and approach – so always make sure you think about actions and consequences before you do anything.
Model Yourself on Other Nurses – Look for a Role Model
There are lots of nursing professionals who you can take inspiration and guidance from, and quite often, you will find it beneficial to model your behavior on the positive behavior of other nursing professionals (role models). When you have a role model to mold and model yourself on, you will find it easier to see where room for growth and improvement lies. When you mold your behavior and approach on that of others, you will see firsthand what changes need to be made and why.
Look Towards Leadership
Taking your nursing career to the next level may not have been something that you initially thought about doing – but what is stopping you? When you move into leadership, you have the potential to make a direct impact on the lives and careers of both patients and colleagues alike. To be successful in leadership, you must have a vision and a purpose. To lead others well, you must share your experience and your knowledge.
Focus on Your Patients
You are a nursing professional to help and care for others, and it is important that you always focus on your patients. When you focus on your patients, and you cater to their needs and requirements, you grow as a nursing professional. You see where development needs to happen, and then you directly apply this to your own role and career. If you are not focused on your patient’s needs and care, then you will not be proactive, and you will simply be going through the motions within your daily role, and you will eventually find that this holds you back from achieving more.
Uphold Fantastic Standards and Levels of Care
You want to offer the best standards of care at all times. In fact, to improve your nursing career, you have to improve the level of service you are offering to all patients. When you uphold high standards (and levels) of care, you set a standard for other professionals to follow. You lead by example, and this is something that will help you seek out a promotion or even take on further responsibilities.
Network and Find a Mentor
Who you know is important in any sector, and within the nursing sector, who you know could just help you land a new role or position. Networking as a nursing professional is critical to your career and success. Meeting new professionals from all areas of nursing will help you to broaden your horizons and, of course, expand your reach. Alongside networking, you may find it beneficial to reach out to a mentor. A mentor can provide invaluable work experience and knowledge that can help guide you through a career move or career development.