How to Take Your Nursing Skills to the Next Level
Helping patients day in, day out is just what you do… being a nurse is just who you are. No matter how much you love your job, however, there will come a time where you think, what now? After having devoted so much of your life to the healthcare profession, it’s only natural that you will, one day, consider what you can do to advance in your career.
Before you can step up the career ladder, however, you’re going to have to take your nursing skills to the next level. To see how this can be achieved, be sure to read on.
Get an advanced degree
As a registered nurse (RN), you will have already obtained an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. If you truly want to sharpen your skills, though, you’re going to have to go on step further… you’re going to have to step back into education and enroll yourself upon an advanced degree course.
In order to hone both your practical and critical thinking skills with regards to patient needs, treatments, and interventions, the exact course that you enroll upon should be a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Many national and international educational establishments offer online Nursing programs RN to BSN, including Carson-Newman University, so you have plenty of choice when it comes to finding the exact course for you. No matter where you choose to study, however, one thing that you can be sure of is that, upon your graduation, your job prospects will increase tenfold. Your salary will be liable for a rise, too, and you’ll even have the opportunity to apply to work at Magnet hospitals.
In order to propel your nursing skills and subsequently your career forward, quite simply, going back to college or university in order to obtain an advanced degree is a must.
Take on leadership roles
If it is your goal to one day be charged with running a whole nursing department, then, sooner rather than later, you’ve got to start cutting your teeth in leadership roles. By doing so, you will garner a better understanding of what it takes to focus on not only your own performance but also the performance of others. You will also put yourself in a far better position should you ever apply for an in-house promotion.
To take on leadership roles in your hospital, surgery, or practice, try asking your superiors if you can pitch in with more tasks, even if they’re not bedside related. Sooner or later, they’re going to see how dedicated you are and reward you for your perseverance.
When you are, finally, entrusted with a leadership role, make sure to:
- Align your behavior with your goals and values
- Learn to communicate on all levels
- Focus on the satisfaction of others
Build a network
The more people you know, the more you will learn and the more opportunities you will find coming your way — it really is that simple. It should be a no-brainer then for you, being a nurse wanting to sharpen your skills and take your career as far as it can go, then, to build yourself a strong network.
This doesn’t just mean getting friendly with the nurses and doctors who work alongside you, either. This means branching out and making further-reaching connection in the world of healthcare. In this instance, you have a number of options:
- Get in touch with others via LinkedIn (just make sure that your site looks professional and says everything you need it to see about you and your nursing capabilities)
- Join healthcare associates
- Head to job fairs
By branching out in this sense, you will stand to learn way more than you would if you pigeonholed yourself to your place of work.
Educate yourself in a number of areas
You may be incredibly good at what it is you do day in, day out, but that won’t make you a great nurse. What good is being able to, say, prescribe treatment or medication if you cannot first communicate with your patients? Using this particular instance as an example, you should devote your time to learning how to talk to patients in an engaging manner, as broadening your skill set in this sense will make you a far more well-rounded worker.
To take your skills as a nurse to the next level, you’re going to have to heed the above advice. From seeking more education to becoming an all-rounder, you must put all of what you have read into practice.