5 Top Tips for a Successful Career in Nursing

January 13, 2024
4 mins read

5 Top Tips for a Successful Career in Nursing

By Careers Desk

Monday, April 8, 2019.

Healthcare is still the fastest growing industry despite the many uncertainties and changes happening on the market right now. The demand for healthcare professionals continues to rise, especially now that hospitals and other healthcare institutions are working hard to meet the growing demand for better healthcare services.

A career in nursing can be a very promising one to pursue, particularly since there are multiple paths you can take. Even better, a nursing background allows you to go all the way to the top with your career; it is worth noting that many administrators today started off as a registered nurse. To help you push your nursing career forward, here are the top tips you need to know.

Grow Your Network

Networking is just as important in nursing – if not more important – as it is in other fields. As a registered nurse, you want to build a strong network within your healthcare institution first. Becoming a great team player, connecting with doctors and other healthcare professionals, and establishing a reputation as a capable nurse are great ways to start.

You also want to expand your professional network beyond the boundaries of the hospital or institution you work in. This is where becoming a member of an organization, attending association events and gatherings, and establishing a stronger online presence comes in handy.

Both of these efforts need to go hand in hand for you to have a strong professional network. A strong network will lead you to more opportunities, and the professional network that you establish and maintain today will be the network that supports your career in the future.

Invest in Education

Earning a higher degree is very important if you are serious about pushing your career forward. A Master of Science in Nursing degree is a good investment to make. A Doctor or Nursing Practice is also incredibly valuable depending on the career path you want to take.

The two degrees actually differ from one another. When you compare MSN versus DNP from reputable universities like Baylor University, you will notice how MSN degrees prepare you for practical work in the field, while the DNP degree adds a layer of leadership to help you excel further.

You don’t have to abandon your nursing career to pursue an MSN or continue with a DNP degree. Thanks to online courses from universities like Baylor, you now have complete control over your education. You can study in your own time and complete the program you choose at your own pace.

Work with a Mentor

A good mentor is the next thing you want in your professional life. A capable mentor will not only improve your practical skills as a nurse, but also sharpen your ability to manage a team of nurses and medical professionals. With a managerial position as one of your objectives, finding a good mentor is how you push your career forward.

There are two ways you can find a good mentor. Administrators and managers in your current healthcare institution make for great mentors. They are easier to approach, and they will be more than happy to take you under their wing if you show a willingness to learn and a drive to move forward.

Formal mentorship programs are also available. These programs are not as flexible as finding a good mentor you already know well, but you still get plenty of opportunities to learn from the best. Formal mentoring programs also come with an added benefit: placement opportunities to help you advance in your career almost immediately.

Let Your Work Shine

As a nurse, one thing you should always strive for is professionalism at the highest level. While healthcare as an industry is growing rapidly, it is still a tight-knitted industry. The quality of your work will eventually determine how far you can go in your career. Settling for less than stellar performance every time is not acceptable.

You also have ethics and rules to follow. No matter how ambitious you are about moving forward in your career, doing things the right way and staying true to the nursing ethics is the only way you can succeed in this field.

As for regulations, you now have more resources to help you better understand the laws governing the field of nursing. I’m not just talking about your conducts at work either. Nurses – and healthcare professionals – are expected to follow the rules even outside of work; a bad Facebook post or a personal mistake affects your career more than you realize.

Make Leaps

Last but certainly not least, always be ready for big leaps. Nursing is a very tight field in a competitive industry, so you need to have that extra drive – the willingness to work harder to advance in your career – in order to gain access to more opportunities.

If you have been working as a registered nurse for a while, maybe it is time to start reviewing your options. Will moving to a new, better healthcare institution help? Are you ready to invest in a graduate or post-graduate degree? Do you have what it takes to qualify for managerial positions?

Continue evaluating yourself and the state of your career. Continuous evaluation and learning are both key elements to your success as a nurse. Find ways to improve personally and professionally, and don’t hesitate to make big decisions whenever necessary.

One last secret you should keep in mind if you want to advance in your nursing career: maintain balance. Work-life balance is how you maintain focus and perform better at work. The better you are at maintaining that balance, the better you’ll be at doing your best in both personal and professional settings.

With these tips and tricks in mind, pursuing a bright career in nursing will not be a difficult challenge to overcome. You have more career paths to choose from, plenty of opportunities to seize, and more ways to improve yourself for higher (managerial) positions. Take a closer look at your career and find ways to start improving; you will land that nursing job you have always wanted sooner than you imagine.

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