Working as a nurse can be both rewarding and very exhausting. The field also has a serious issue with burnout, which has only grown worse in the last couple of years as demand for professional nurses skyrocketed. It can feel a bit disheartening to be stuck in the same position for a long time, especially if you know you’re qualified for more. Moving through the ranks as a nurse requires you to be proactive and put effort into making people notice you. And in some cases, you have to put your foot down and make it clear that your expectations aren’t being met. Let’s take a look at some options you have for accelerating your progress in this profession and improving your prospects on the job market.
Learn to Communicate Better
Many people wrongly focus too much of their energy on skills directly related to healthcare and patient treatment. While those are obviously important, they’re not all a nurse needs to succeed in the field. Communication skills can be just as important, and in some cases crucial to resolving an issue and helping a patient correctly. You will also be subject to frequent outbursts by patients, and you will get a lot more of that compared to the average physician. It’s important to learn how to deal with those situations and minimize conflict.
Deepen Your Knowledge
Of course, you won’t get far without understanding the healthcare aspect of your job well enough, so while focusing on good communication skills is important, you must also constantly polish your knowledge on various subjects related to patient treatment. A lot of new developments keep happening in that field on a regular basis, and it’s important to set some time aside for personal improvement if you want to avoid falling behind. Stay in touch with colleagues as well – they can occasionally provide you with some invaluable insights into the industry and current practices that might be relevant to you.
Get Familiar with Modern Tech
No matter what specific field of healthcare you’re in, there’s no way to avoid the huge advancement of modern tech into the typical workflow. Nursing is no exception. Those without at least some affinity for modern tech are at risk of getting left behind, especially in some advanced facilities that utilize the latest solutions on the market. You don’t have to be a tech wizard – far from it. But having at least some basic understanding of the solutions you work with, and the ability to identify the appropriate tool for every problem you face, will go a long way towards making you a more attractive candidate on this market.
Improve Your Leadership Abilities
If you want to move up the ranks as a nurse, improving your leadership abilities is one of the best ways to secure some attractive offers. Even if you don’t aspire to actually become a leader in your field, this will still help you identify the critical aspects of your work and point you in the right direction for developing your own skills. A major problem for some nurses is that they are already overloaded and don’t have a lot of time on their hands as it is, so taking the time to obtain an extra degree can seem completely out of reach. But online DNP leadership programs at institutions like Baylor University have changed that situation significantly, and it’s now completely feasible to earn a degree while working fulltime, even in a more demanding position.
Read Up on Privacy Laws and Other Related Frameworks
It’s amazing how many nurses still underestimate the importance of the various privacy laws that govern their work. And in some cases, this can lead to some serious issues for those who fail to follow the regulations. If you haven’t yet taken the time to familiarize yourself with the various privacy laws involved in your work, this should be your top priority. Those frameworks have been strengthening quite a lot in recent years too, making it even more important to ensure that you have a deep understanding of how they work.
As we mentioned above, the nursing profession is very prone to burnout, and this has been a problem in the field for a long time. Many nurses with a lot of experience under their belts have been leaving in masses, especially in the last couple of years. It’s sometimes impossible to avoid this problem, especially if you work in a busier facility with a lot of patient traffic. But if you don’t put some conscious effort into preventing burnout, this can become a serious problem with long-lasting consequences. Make sure to take some time for yourself every now and then and pay attention to factors that could be contributing unnecessary stress to your situation.
Attend Trainings and Seminars
Nursing seminars have been a bit of a controversial topic in the professional community, with some claiming that they aren’t worth the time to attend. But others will immediately disagree, pointing to various positive experiences they’ve had with these events. If you’ve never attended a seminar or special training course at least once, you should give it a try just to see what it’s like. Maybe it will turn out that it’s not your cup of tea. But you’ll at least know for sure, and you won’t keep questioning this later down the road. Plus, those events can be great opportunities to build some contacts and expand your professional network, which can be quite important for an aspiring nurse.
There are many ways to improve your career prospects in this field and ensure that you make some real progress instead of being stuck in the same spot for too long. But it requires some active effort on your part, and you’ll need to make some changes to your habits along the way. If you find this work rewarding and are serious about staying in the field though, there’s no circumventing this – you’ll have to put some work into maintaining your job security. You can always get an online RN to MSN program degree to advance your career as well.