Nursing is one of the most widely sought-after careers in the US. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, there were more than 4 million Registered Nurses (RN) and upward of 900,000 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Following these numbers, it can be easily inferred that while nursing is popular, it is also incredibly competitive.
Therefore as a nurse, it only makes sense that you would want to stay ahead in your profession and well above other healthcare experts in this niche.
But how do you do this? Nursing is a broad field, and numerous factors influence your success trajectory. So to help you smoothly climb the ladder of success and make it easier for you to touch new milestones, here’s what you need to do:
1. Look for Ways That Boost Your Career
During your career as a nurse, you’ll find many opportunities that can help you grow professionally. These include certificates, online degrees, and workshops that make your CV impressive. Furthermore, the knowledge and experience you gain from these programs make you better at your job. So, if you’re looking for a starting point, you should check out the UTA online nursing program; this is a lucrative bachelor’s degree that gives you the clinical and theoretical knowledge to work closely with doctors and patients.
Furthermore, you should also invest your time in books for nursing professionals. The more you invest time learning, exploring, and exposing yourself to the nursing culture, the more you will thrive.
2. Never Hesitate To Ask For Help
Being a qualified nurse doesn’t mean you’ll never need help. The healthcare industry is one of the busiest in the world. At one time, you may be shuffling through numerous cases of different intensities. In such cases, it’s okay to lean on others and ask them to assist you. It doesn’t make you seem like an unprofessional medical practitioner; instead shows that you’re a team player and trust the professionals around you to take care of your patients.
Likewise, if you don’t know a particular diagnosis or are unsure what the patient has, it’s okay to say you don’t know and let another nurse take over for you. If a patient has a question you cannot answer immediately, let them know you’ll look into their issue and get back to them. Being a nurse is not about being right all the time; it’s about being professional, exhibiting honesty, and doing your work with minimal errors and precision. You cannot allow a temporary lapse in judgment to endanger the lives of your patients.
3. Make Time For Yourself
Nurses are known for pushing aside their health and wellness for their work’s sake. Given that your career is so demanding, it’s understandable why you have no time for yourself. But, constantly neglecting yourself can lead to burnout. Once you hit this point, it’s hard to pick yourself up. You may feel fatigued at work, have extreme exhaustion, and even experience agitation as you try to complete your tasks. This is why you must find time for yourself in your busy schedule.
Giving yourself the space to relax and rejuvenate is also great for your mental health. You will feel less stressed, anxious, and aggravated when you check into work the next time.
Ten minutes of yoga and aerobics can help you eliminate pent-up energy and relieve stress. Self-care calls include getting adequate rest, wearing sensible footwear, and keeping yourself hydrated as you tend to your patients.
4. Have A Mentor
Everyone can use guidance. As a nurse, you must have role models who inspire and motivate you to improve. In the medical profession, a mentor can give you practical advice on how to make better career moves. Think of your mentor as a compass pointing towards the true North. Your instructor can be anyone from a nurse practitioner to a doctor. As long as the advice they offer you is beneficial for your profession. Therefore if your mentor tells you to attend a seminar, co-author a research paper or apply for jobs across state lines, you should consider their recommendations seriously.
Mentors speak from a place of experience and knowledge. They know the industry better than you do, so they can help you make informed choices about your career. However, at the same time, if you feel skeptical about what your mentor is advising, you can always question them and do your research before you follow through. A mentor is here to guide and assist you, not to dictate and control your career. But don’t needlessly discard their advice if you feel it can benefit you.
5. Get Better At Working With Patients
Nurses interact with patients the most out of any other healthcare professional. This is because, as a nurse, you must prepare the patient for the doctor, which involves taking their vital health signs and asking them questions about their health. While some patients are forthcoming, others are not. But no matter what type of patient you get, you need to know to handle them without worsening the situation. If your patient is not cooperating, you can step away and ask a doctor to intervene.
However, you cannot pick fights, refuse treatment, or mimic their behavior. When talking to your patients, use clear enunciations, speak slowly, and use layperson terms so they understand what you’re saying. You can also take a moment to get to know your patient better; there’s no harm in telling a joke or making small talk before you start the clinical aspect of their checkup.
Nursing is a highly competitive field in the US for the right reasons. This profession is hugely prestigious and pays well once you can climb the corporate ladder. However, to get to this level, there are numerous hoops you need to jump through to make your nursing career stand out. Being a nurse is not simply about hustling but requires finding a balance between your job and your personal life, which eventually allows you to flourish.