Nursing: 7 Secrets to Help You Climb the Career Ladder

by / ⠀Career Advice Health & Fitness / October 27, 2022
Nursing and healthcare professionals are some of the most important resources in the country. Here are seven ways to help you stay motivated.

Nurses and healthcare professionals are some of the most important resources in any country. They do such an amazing job of keeping the population healthy and thriving.

But when you do the same job over and over again, day in and day out, for years and years, you can start to lose your spark and passion.

You can feel stuck, and your care becomes more routine and robotic. It’s a demanding profession. Feeling tired and worn out is normal. But don’t worry, here are seven secrets that can help you reignite the fire in your belly by helping you climb the career ladder in nursing.

1. Set clear goals for your nursing career.

Having something to work towards is motivating and encouraging.

If you know where you want to be one year, five years, or even ten years down the line, you can make moves now to make sure that you make it there, especially with many specialized nursing degrees online to choose from. Having big goals like progressing from being a registered nurse to being part of the nursing leadership team or the chief nursing officer is amazing. Or maybe your goals look a little more tailored to the kind of lifestyle you hope to adopt in years to come. For instance, many make it their goal to make the transition to travel nursing in the next however many years of their career, to provide specialized care in areas that need it the most.

Whatever your nursing career goals may be, don’t just think about your main goals, but also think about what you need to do to achieve them. It can be useful to write it all down and break up your goals into smaller goals with shorter time frames so you can see yourself progressing. This is especially true when looking to unlock your career potential with high-paying travel nursing jobs.

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2. Seek a nursing mentor.

There is nothing more valuable in the professional world than having a mentor.

Pick someone that has the experience and expertise to guide you to where you want to be, especially in the nursing field.

As a nurse, you encounter completely different situations. You experience an absolutely huge range of scenarios on a daily basis, some that even the longest-serving nurse will have never even heard of.

Having someone with extensive experience and knowledge in the area that you aim to be in to ask questions, seek guidance, and provide advice is such a valuable asset to help you make steps up the career ladder.

3. Accept constructive feedback.

Feedback is a useful tool when you are trying to grow, learn and progress. It lets you know the areas that you are excelling at and the ones that seem like they need a little bit of work.

Feedback is not there to bring you down or make you feel like you are doing a bad job. It’s there to help you continue to learn and become the best healthcare professional possible, so don’t take it personally.

Use the feedback you get to improve your practice. Write down the things you need to do to improve. That way, you can remember them and work towards achieving them during the next shift.

If professional feedback isn’t being given to you regularly, ask for it. Be proactive and show that you want to learn and develop. You’ll find yourself a little higher up that ladder in no time.

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4. Fail to succeed.

Nobody is perfect. There are things that go wrong all the time, especially in nursing.

Don’t shy away from failures. Raise your hand, admit it, learn from it, and correct it. Will you be making the same mistakes twice? No.

The best way to grow and improve your practice is by trying. Success is never going to be a straight line to the top. You have to make some failures along the line in order to succeed. It is how you handle these challenging moments that will get you noticed and recognized as being capable of a higher position.

Ask for guidance, find an effective solution, implement it successfully and learn from your mistakes.

5. Specialize in your nursing career.

There are so many different paths to take in the nursing industry! They all deal with different aspects of health or patients.

Becoming an expert in a specific field could help you move up the career ladder that much faster. There will be fewer people in the running for those higher-end jobs.

Find an area of nursing that you are truly passionate about, where you feel comfortable, and have the potential to really excel and pursue this.

If this is the route you decide to go down, studying for your Doctor of Nursing will heighten your career prospects. Baylor University’s online DNP CNM (certified nurse-midwifery) allows graduates to enhance their careers with exemplary leadership and interpersonal skills, ready to climb that career ladder.

6. Be proactive!

There are constantly new developments in the world of health, medical, and patient-centered care.

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As a nurse, especially one who is looking to progress into a higher role, you have to keep up to date with practices and theories.

Be proactive with your growth by attending training and events both inside and outside your place of employment. Show that you are committed and passionate about your role. Always look for opportunities to develop and further your practice.

Additionally, be proactive on shift by anticipating patient needs, assisting colleagues, and completing tasks. Do this when you notice they need to be done rather than when asked.

7. Ask for opportunities.

If your workplace isn’t offering any training or advertising events and networking opportunities, ask for some.

When you know what will help you climb that career ladder, ask for it. If you want more training in a specific area because you feel like you need to boost your confidence and it will greatly improve your clinical practice, say so.

If you are eager to take on more responsibilities because you feel like you are capable of handling them professionally and successfully, volunteer and put yourself forward. Make it known that you want to progress up that career ladder.

Demonstrate that you are a hard, reliable worker that deserves it.

Being stuck at the same level for years on years, no matter what career you are in, can be disheartening. It can slowly dimmish the flame of passion you may have once had. Instead of sitting still and just plodding on through your daily tasks, take control, know your goals, and lead your career in the right direction.

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