By Natalie Sarmiento
Did you know that the healthcare industry is one of the biggest and fastest-growing workplaces in Australia, making it one of the most highly demanding & competitive fields. Making a name for yourself as a nurse is important within your career and can ultimately be the difference between moving forward to maximise your potential as opposed to sitting on the fence and waiting for work to come in. If this sounds of interest to you, then you may be considering if there are ways to advance your career as a nurse. Today’s article will be exploring this avenue, offering you some helpful tips that can be implemented into your working life.
1. Set Goals
2. Explore Speciality Areas
3. Branching off into different fields
4. Networking Is Your Ally
5. Find Your Mentor
6. Continue Your Studies
7. Your Next Steps
No matter what field you decide to work in, guaranteeing future success is only possible if you set realistic & achievable goals. As nurses & healthcare workers, goals are essential in giving direction & purpose, no matter how small these goals are. Start off small and plan out your goals for one shift. Maybe talk more to your colleagues and let your supervisors know you’re willing to pick up more responsibilities. Taking initiative is key. By setting clear goals for yourself, you will be able to stay focussed, expand your ever-growing knowledge, motivate yourself and clarify your future aspirations. As you achieve these smaller goals, you’re able to see what you are capable of and start making bigger plans and ultimately find success and advance your career.
Explore Speciality Areas
Across the nursing profession lies a vast number of speciality areas that you may discover when you work across different facilities, providing you with chances to learn & grow. Everyone is different. You may find that you pick up things faster in one area, but struggle to understand in another, and that is ok! As humans, it is natural to make mistakes before you find passion & success. Once you’ve worked in different healthcare settings and explored all avenues, you may find your specialised field. This can make you more qualified in advanced positions within your chosen field which offers new and exciting opportunities to advance. Furthermore with speciality areas, you may be called on for extra work that others may not be able to do which gives you even more opportunity to work.
Branching Off Into Different Fields
Similar to finding your specialised area, it can be beneficial to explore different fields on offer to visualise what your future career may look like. Whether it’s becoming a nurse practitioner or delving into midwifery, working in a variety of facilities and nursing units (which is very common in nursing agencies) lets you see what is on offer and find what you most enjoy. The experience you garner from these areas is certainly something supervisors value as it shows your adaptability, grit & determination to succeed. Exploring the field’s spectrum is beneficial to yourself too as it lets you see what kind of environment you’d be most comfortable in which you can take onboard into your future.
Networking Is Your Ally
Networking is a very important part in nursing work culture, and as daunting as it is, it is a unique chance to learn new things and broaden your career path. No matter who you meet in the workplace, try to introduce yourself, ask questions, be engaged and remain in contact with those you would want to keep in touch with – you never know when potential opportunities may arise! There are also a variety of ways to network outside of the workplace. Whether it’s attending conferences or interacting with others through social media (LinkedIn is your best friend) never pass up the opportunity to grow your network. At the end of the day, networking also provides a chance to make new (perhaps lifelong) friends which can make your overall working experience more enjoyable.
Find Your Mentor
A great way to move ahead of the pack is to find a mentor who can teach you all the ins & outs of the nursing game. If you’re struggling with an overwhelming workload or there are some things that are difficult for you to understand, then it’s completely normal. Mentors understand because they’ve been where you are and have experienced these things – maybe even more than yourself. They can provide career advice, empathise with you, advocate for you, support you and be your ally. At the end of the day, they want to see you advance your career and wish nothing but the best for your future endeavours. A mentorship is a relationship that is vital and requires full participation from both sides. If you’re currently struggling to find one, perhaps talk with a trusted colleague or supervisor who has achieved the same goals that you aspire to reach.
Continue Your Studies
Have you ever considered continuing your studies? In an industry that keeps on advancing, it’s really important that your knowledge and skill levels continue to evolve as well. The decision to return to your studies can be a difficult one, but you should always weigh your options. Within university, there are a plethora of courses available – from completing your masters degree, to transitioning over to medicine. Regardless of your situation, there are always new things to be learnt, especially within a world that keeps growing & changing. If you are unable to commit to further university studies, there are other alternatives. Be on the lookout for volunteer work, online forums or weekly meetings with your colleagues, there are always methods to expand your industry knowledge. It’s these types of opportunities that allow you to advance your nursing careers.
Your Next Steps
We hope after reading this article, you have been able to find a sense of clarity and are inspired to take these tips into your working life. From setting realistic goals to continuing your studies, whatever it is you choose, we wish you success in your future endeavours.
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