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Nursing Career Advancement: 5 Ways to Stand Out



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Being a nurse is both a lucrative profession and a morally satisfying career choice. It allows you to make money, gain respect, and help others at the same time. Now, while nurses are always in high demand, this field is more competitive than you would expect it to be. That is why it’s so important to learn how to enhance your attributes, so that you stand out in every single job application.

Here are the top five tips to help you grow professionally. Other than just enriching your CV, these tips will also help you become more marketable and allow you to develop some long-term solutions for your career needs. Let’s check it all out!

1.    Volunteer

Sometimes, it’s hard to diversify your CV. That is why you might want to consider volunteering. That will help you enrich your CV, as well as demonstrate a couple of things about you. First, it will show that you’re not afraid to work. It will also show that you’re passionate about what you do (enough that you’re even willing to do it for free for a period of time).

Volunteering means giving something back and volunteering in an organization that requires nurses is always a good thing. It’s one of the simplest, most noble ways to improve someone’s life. It can also be used as a platform to enrich the lives of the less fortunate.

Keep in mind that mentoring opportunities are not easy to find. Sometimes, the in-field experience and tips that you hear while volunteering can help you grow as a professional. Overall, the reasons are numerous and any one of them would be good enough.

2.    Learn more

How can you make your CV more impressive? The simplest way to do so is to add more skills to it. There are a lot of esteemed medical certificate programs out there that you could greatly benefit from. Now, each of these certificates adds a bit of extra weight to it.

Your willingness to learn on your own will never go unnoticed. You see, for a lot of organizations, the issue of their talent’s professional growth is a huge matter. Sure, you can send your staff to the best of courses or hire the most esteemed professionals to help them out. The truth is that there’s not much one can do unless they’re willing to commit. By self-improving, you’re already making a powerful statement.

Also, keep in mind that as a registered nurse, there are so many career paths you can take. Each of them might require an extra skill, an extra certificate, etc.

3.    Pick a specialization

Previously, we’ve mentioned that you have different career paths in front of you. Well, by choosing a specialization, you’ll take a step in the right direction. You will increase your potential earnings by quite a bit. You will also get more focus.

The sooner you start getting professional experience the better but when it comes to specialization, it’s the specific experience that counts. As a general nurse practitioner, the fact that you’ve spent two years working in a retirement home won’t sound as impressive. What you need is to pick the right field and commit to earning this specific experience. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there.

Picking a specialization also means that you can speak from a place of higher authority. You clearly know more about the subject matter than the rest and you have the resume to prove it. Also, being a specialist also means being much harder to replace.

4.    Find a mentor

As a nurse, you have a specific type of job that the majority of people will have trouble understanding. You need someone who understands what you’re going through; you need a mentor. Joining a great organization, talking to veterans, and having someone to sponsor your career advancement are all really, really important.

The mentorship program benefits both the mentor and the inexperienced nurse. When it comes to the first group, it gives a chance to fortify their knowledge by passing it onto someone else. To a newcomer to the field, a mentor is an endless well of knowledge. It might take time until the relationship of trust and admiration is established but this too can make a world of difference.

Now, mentorship in nursing can take a lot of different forms. Sure, it is always a reciprocal relationship but it can also be more or less hands-on, depending on the approach. Needless to say, this program also makes a huge difference in the self-confidence of mentees. After all, they have someone to watch their backs.

5.    Build your network

Over the course of years, you will meet a lot of people from your industry. You will connect with doctors, nurses, and even some of the patients will be able to teach you a thing or two about healthcare. Everyone you meet has either something new to teach you or an opportunity to provide.

Joining a society, an organization or just a group of nurses is incredibly important. Nowadays, you have the power of the Internet available and you might want to start using it to your benefit. Look at it this way, just exchanging experiences with other people from your industry can help your career immensely.

Naturally, just building your network won’t do the trick – you also need to learn how to use it at the right time. Annoying people every time you think you might need a favor is not a good idea but, then again, unused contacts are a wasted resource.

Final thoughts

While there are some paths that are considered standard for certain careers, no one is going through the effort of dragging or pushing you alongside it. The key thing you need to understand is that your own career and professional development are your own responsibility. Knowing the right course of action is just one piece of this equation, you also need to act upon it. So, don’t be afraid, make sure that you are motivated enough, and start executing the plan to the letter.

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