Nursing has made many advances as it relates to education and training. In their training, nurses are required to complete numerous practicum hours in clinics or hospitals they are assigned to in addition to the hours spent learning about, and studying, every aspect of the human body. Nurses today command a respectable salary because unlike in times past, where nurses completed minor tasks related to prepping patients and monitoring their progress, nurses today administer medicine, in addition to other important tasks. While the salary is very competitive, one of the major rewards in this field is the opportunity for career advancement.
Ever since Florence Nightingale, the nursing career has been romanticized in fiction and film throughout history, but nursing is backbreaking work. From having to lift patients to being on their feet all day, and sometimes night, this can make a shift grueling, not to mention having to work a non-consistent schedule with shifts beginning at all times throughout the day. Nurses often find that while the end of the shift might be over, their work is not done, making for an even longer work day or night. However, all of these negatives are canceled out by the fact that nurses are so appreciated by their patients and the organizations for whom they work, that they are internally rewarded and rewarded by patients who might give them small gifts in appreciation for their dedication and diligence to their work. Other appeals to working in this field include learning and applying knowledge about the human body, but more importantly, the opportunity for career advancement and mobility.
People already working as nurses and who plan to move up the ladder into administration can do so in the following ways.
- Adopt a very professional attitude in your work and toward your patients. Some of the behaviors that reflect professionalism are being reliable and arriving on time for work. Be thorough with your work because you are working with people in the healthcare setting, which means you deal with not only facts related to health, but also the emotional aspect of helping patients deal with their ailments.
- Find a mentor within the ranks of administration and get advice on how to move into nursing administration and other best business practices that make you stand out as a potential candidate for a desired position.
- Seek out the nursing community within and outside your place of employment. Also, join any professional organizations that might help you network within the nursing community. The American Nurses Association, for example, is a professional organization where young nurses can build relationships.
- Look at ways to get certified in areas of interest. Currently, twenty-six certification exams, offered through The American Nurses Credentialing Center, are available to those who want certification.
- Finally, and more significantly, nurses need an advanced degree to move into administration. Depending on the type of nurse, enrolling in an on-site program might prove difficult, as a nurse’s schedule is not consistent. However, many online programs like Maryville’s DNP degree might appeal to someone needing the degree to move into administration but not having the time to go the traditional route.
Other skills that are very important for advancement in this field relate to content knowledge and skills needed to perform the job. Because the population in the United States is so diverse, larger cities and municipalities with large ethnic populations need nurses who are fluent in other languages. Being bilingual not only opens doors for a person, but it also can translate into earning thousands of dollars more a year, as some districts pay those who speak another language more. Nurses also need to have a certain level of proficiency using computers to complete tasks related to their jobs. Having advanced knowledge in specialty areas as well makes you a versatile employee, but becoming certified in other areas can open doors in other parts of nursing. Of all of the skills gained through nursing, critical thinking is one you will need to succeed in this occupation because of the mental work required in helping others overcome health problems.
For those with a passion for nursing, this field, like many in social services, is one that is a calling. To dedicate yourself to this profession means dedicating yourself to acquiring all the knowledge needed to perform the job, as doctors and other professionals rely on the expertise and professionalism of nurses to help assist patients. More importantly, this desire to help others can translate into a career that lasts years and provides career advancement.