7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

Nursing is an incredible career with rewarding rewards. You’ll meet all kinds of people and work in different fields. But it would be best if you had nursing career goals in mind. Remember, you will not be working in this field for the rest of your life. Set goals, work on them, and achieve them. 

Why should you have career goals?

Having your first nursing job is exciting. And while it is good to have a job, you must also have career goals. Why? Career goals help you stay focused. It will keep you from getting stuck on a cycle where everything looks and feels the same. Goals are your finish lines. They make your job more exciting. It gives you something to look forward to, steps to follow, and progress to make. 

As a nurse, your career goals may vary. But as you go through these goals, be sure to have achievable ones. What kind of career goals should you have as a nurse? Here’s what you need to know.

#1. Having an Advance Degree is a Plus

Furthering your career is always a wise decision. Advancing your career in nursing can boost your resume, increase job opportunities and security, and even help you earn more money. An Associate’s Degree is good but consider working towards your Bachelor’s Degree. It will allow you to work in magnet-status hospitals and offer you management positions. It will also open doors for leadership positions in nursing administration and management. That said, a Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing is helpful to have. 

Advanced practices are also an excellent option to take. This path requires you to have either a Master’s or a Ph.D. It will also give you more one-on-one care relationships with your patients. 

Choosing any specialty is one advantage of having a higher or advanced nursing practice. It will also give you better hours and a pay raise. Sometimes, nurses in this field become physician’s assistants or even pursue being a doctor. The most common paths for advanced practices are:

  • Nurse practitioner 
  • Nurse Anesthetist 
  • Nurse Midwife 
  • Physician Assistant

#2. Upgrade Your Nursing Certifications

As your nursing career grows, so should your certifications. Certifications are helpful in all stages of your nursing career. Whether you are new or already working as a nurse, this could put you in a good position. It will also give you an advantage over other candidates, especially when applying for a particular area you are interested in.

If you aim to work in a specialty area like ICU or other intensive care units, increasing your knowledge and credentials is the best way to do it. 

Be always on the lookout for ways to increase your knowledge. Specific certifications can also increase your competency as a nurse, and the more knowledge and skills you have, the more valuable you are. 

Many hospitals offer classes in-house for nurses who wish to obtain advanced certifications. All you have to do is sign up and start your journey from there. 

#3. Volunteer to boost your career

There is a constant need for nurses to volunteer all the time. Many clinics, hospitals, and other facilities need the help of volunteer nurses both in the United States and abroad. This is the best time to do some volunteer work. Nurses who volunteer internationally are highly appreciated in developing countries. There is a greater need for them in countries that need medical help. 

The excellent news about volunteering is you can start doing them even as a nursing student. As a registered nurse, volunteering can help boost your career. It is also a gratifying experience that no textbook or classroom can teach you. So, list volunteering as one of your career goals in the nursing field. You may enjoy it in the future. 

#4. Learn advanced technologies

The use of medical technology is constantly evolving, and nurses working in medical fields must adapt to these changes. These technologies could be portable patient monitors or telehealth services – all used to create, update or access patient files. Nurses must learn to use these technologies; mastering them can benefit your career in many ways. 

How can you stay updated with advanced technologies? For one, you can read free blogs for nurses. There are also many apps that nurses can use and familiarize themselves with the latest technologies used in patient care. Subscribing to journals and magazines for nurses is also helpful. They keep nurses updated with the latest technologies in healthcare. If you want to take it a step further, joining professional organizations for nurses can also help you. 

#5. Specialize in a specific nursing field

Nurses are the Jack of All Trades in this industry, but it is always wise to master one trade. There must be a reason why you decided to be a nurse. Maybe a family member inspired you to be one, or you have a passion for working with children. Either way, having a specialization helps you advance your career. If you are thinking of an area to specialize in, consider the following:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Cardiovascular 
  • Dialysis 
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics 
  • Holistic care
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Medical-surgical
  • Neonatal 
  • Neuroscience
  • Obstetrics 
  • Oncology 
  • Orthopedics 
  • Pediatrics or children’s healthcare
  • Psychiatric or mental health care

#6. Improve your communication skills

Nurses must communicate well with patients, families, and colleagues. And improving your communication skills can boost your career and growth as a professional nurse. 

Strong communication skills can boost patient health outcomes and enhance professional relationships with co-workers, patients, and their families. But beyond oral and written communication, nurses must also be good at active listening. It is your job to care for patients, take orders/directions from doctors and be part of a nursing team. 

Effective communication also includes patient education, compassion, awareness of people’s cultures, and presentation skills. 

#7. Climb the professional ladder

You can stay as a bedside nurse or change your career path. If you want to step away from bedside nursing, you can do that, but you can start small and work your way up. Start with a charge nurse position. As a charge nurse, you can handle different patient issues and are resourceful. You will also manage nursing staff, create shift schedules, and solve disputes during your shift. These roles are your precursor role in becoming a unit manager. 

Unit managers must have at least five years of nursing experience and administrative work. Sometimes, hospitals may require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to qualify. 

Administrative positions remove nurses from the bedside and direct patient care, but big pay raises and banker’s hours come with that. If you want a thriving nursing career in the future, consider aiming for such a position. It will be an excellent option to keep open. Hopefully, these tips will help you reach your goals for your nursing career. 

 

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