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3 Options to Consider When You Want to Take Your Nursing Career to the Next Level

Even though many people outside of the medical community still view nursing as a rather one-dimensional career path that is limited to assisting a physician in a clinical setting, there are actually a variety of options available to nurses when it comes to practice and career advancement. Nurses are essentially the backbone of the healthcare system as it stands today, and without their work and influence across the spectrum of healthcare specialties, the world of medicine would not be where it is today.

If you are a registered nurse (RN), you might be wondering just what career advancement opportunities are available to someone in your particular circumstances. Ultimately, with enough hard work and dedication, you can take your nursing career as far as you would like.

It is crucial to note that the most advanced nursing roles are reserved for those who have obtained a large amount of experience and hours working in the field, continued professional development, in addition to specific advanced degrees and certifications. The best way to know what your particular vocation is in the world of nursing is to gain first-hand experience with the types of specialties that appeal to you. In this way, you can better determine what sort of path you would like to take.

In the end, if you ultimately decide that you would indeed like to take your nursing career to the next level, you will have your fair share of considerations to make so that you can be sure to choose the right path for you. With that in mind, here are three great options that you can consider when you decide that you would like to take your nursing career to the next level.

1. Pursue an Advanced Degree

While it is the case that there are a countless number of excellent options to choose from when it comes to the type of nurse that you would ultimately like to become, it is essential to keep in mind that to pursue such options, an advanced degree will most likely be necessary. An advanced degree might be in the form of a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a Doctor of Nursing.

When it comes to deciding on what your career path is going to be, you should take into consideration the amount of time that you are willing and able to spend earning your advanced degree. Like doctorate programs, some programs are naturally going to be more challenging and take more time to complete than others. However, when you know that your path involves earning such a degree, you can pursue it with confidence and perseverance.

It is vital to bear in mind that you will not be eligible to apply for advanced degree programs unless you first obtain your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. While this is by far the most popular degree choice for those wishing to become an RN, it might not be the one you made when you first started out.

Thankfully, you don’t have to waste much time in earning your BSN if that is what you need to do for your future. There are a number of excellent online accelerated BSN programs to choose from in this regard. You can earn your BSN in no time so that you can take your nursing career to the next level.

2. Grow Your Professional Network

The world of medicine is one that thrives on the concept of medical professionals working with and networking with one another. There are numerous benefits to be had when healthcare professionals make the effort to network with one another, as they can share their ideas and experiences with each other and newer members of the team. Better patient outcomes can be achieved, and greater advancements in the world of medicine can be brought about.

Aside from these greater benefits, there are natural advantages that you can enjoy from a career perspective when you opt to network with your fellow healthcare professionals. By communicating with others who have advanced their own careers, for instance, you can learn just what it takes to further your own career along and achieve more.

Because of how busy most healthcare professionals are, it can be difficult to envision just how you can grow your own professional network. However, there are some easy and natural ways to accomplish this goal efficiently. For example, many healthcare professionals attend healthcare conferences to participate in continuing education opportunities required for license maintenance.

Professional organizations have been designed for healthcare workers of certain specialties to be able to connect and learn more. For instance, most nurses choose to join the American Nurses Association, a more general organization for nurses of all types. There are also more specified organizations like the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.

3. Obtain Applicable Certifications

Even with advanced degrees and a solid professional network, you might find yourself struggling to take your career to the next level. Depending on the specific specialty you have decided upon, you might need to obtain other applicable certifications to set yourself apart from the field.

These are certifications that you can most likely obtain without having to go back to school. The clinic or hospital system you work for might already have training programs in place to help you to obtain the certifications that you need to take your career to the next level.

If you aren’t sure where to turn, you should look into the specific board or organization that oversees the specialty that you would like to pursue. There are many online options to consider as well when you are looking to become certified in a certain area.

It is a good idea to consult with someone in your professional network who has obtained the things you would like to achieve in their career. By learning from another professional’s experiences, you can find yourself farther along on the road to career advancement.


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