Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers that a person can choose to pursue. From the manner in which they work directly with their patients day in and day out to the impressive level of knowledge that they must possess in order to perform their duties, nurses are truly among those who serve as the backbone of the medical community.
Furthermore, nursing as a profession is one that provides a variety of specific career paths that you can choose to pursue. From working as a registered nurse (RN) in a clinical setting to becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and essentially working independently of physician supervision, there are a variety of ways in which a nurse can choose to take his or her career.
That being said, there are a few things that any nurse looking to have a successful career will want to have regardless of the specific role they wish to fill. While each of these things might mean something different depending on what particular job in nursing you are pursuing, they are nonetheless important to have for any nurse.
If you are looking to have a successful career in nursing, here are three things that you will want to acquire and utilize at some point or another.
1. The Right Level of Education
As with most jobs that are of a medical nature, the right education and certification are essential for any nursing job out there. Whether you are looking to be a successful RN or transition into the educational side of nursing yourself, the right level of education is absolutely necessary.
These days, there are so many degree options that a nurse can consider. You even have a few options on how you can start your career as an RN. You might wish to become certified as quickly as possible by earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or you might hope to set yourself up for advanced degree options down the line by earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Either route will allow you to become a qualified RN, so you should choose the level of education that suits your personal circumstances.
As far as advanced degree options are considered, there are a variety of programs that a nurse can apply to once they complete their BSN. There are master’s degree programs that allow you to specialize in a particular area of medicine as well as doctorate degrees that help you take your career even further. You can tailor your education to fit your particular career aspirations.
You should bear in mind the fact that earning an advanced degree while continuing to work as an RN is a challenging yet completely realistic path to take. Many nurses find it helpful under such circumstances to earn their degree online from schools like Carson Newman nursing so that they can reach their full potential in their careers without missing out on valuable work experience in the field.
2. A Mentor
Many nurses who are able to build a successful career for themselves will freely admit that they were only able to do so with the right amount of professional support. A mentor can be an excellent source of such support as you work to build your own career and find your professional path.
Mentorships are a highly respected aspect of working in the medical field. It is common knowledge that the medical field, in general, is better off when like-minded professionals are able to share their experiences and knowledge with one another in an effort to bring about better patient outcomes. One manner in which this has been done for a very long time is through mentorships.
Finding a good mentor for your nursing career might be as simple as applying to a mentorship program. It might very well be the case that the hospital in which you currently work has such a program in place for professionals looking to connect. There are also more general mentorship programs that are not associated with particular hospitals that you might consider applying to.
There are also ways of finding a mentor in a less formal manner. Perhaps you already have someone in mind who has accomplished a great deal in their nursing career and that you already look up to from a professional standpoint. That person will likely be more than happy to assist you with guidance and advice that can help you to build a successful career for yourself.
3. Particular Professional Skills
When it comes to building a successful nursing career for yourself, there is only so much that you will be able to learn in the classroom and on the job. There are other skills that you will need to acquire through your own personal, professional development. Such skills as leadership, communication, and even perseverance are not things that come naturally to everybody. Nevertheless, they are skills that you will need in order to become a truly successful nurse.
Communication skills can be some of the most difficult professional skills to acquire. That being said, a lack of excellent communication skills is something that can cause some serious issues within a medical practice. Not only do you need to have the ability to communicate properly with the physicians and other healthcare professionals that you are working alongside, but there is also a different manner in which a nurse should be able to communicate with patients.
Over the course of a career, it is easy enough for a nurse or any other medical professional, for that matter, to become a bit jaded. It is easy to forget at times that for some patients, their experiences with you might very well be their first-ever experience in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Being able to communicate to such patients with empathy and kindness is entirely necessary no matter what area of nursing you wish to work in. Above average communication skills will serve you well in your efforts to build a successful nursing career.