You have a lot of opportunities to achieve more as a nursing professional, and you can make an impact on so many patients. When you look at expanding your scope and you look at changing what you are doing, you are future-proofing your role and your career. You are expanding your skillset, and you are improving and enhancing your education. However, do you know where to start the process, and do you know which direction you want to move in and why? Asking questions early on in the process and establishing where your passion and drive lie will be beneficial to future career plans and moves.
Establish What You Are Currently Doing
So, firstly, what are you currently doing? Are you a registered nurse working in the emergency ward? Or, are you looking after seniors, perhaps providing end-of-life care? What are you doing in your daily role and routine, and what do you enjoy about your current role and duties. When you can establish your starting point, you will find growth much easier. Start by working out what you are doing within your role and what you would like to change, or perhaps even do more of. For instance, if you are working in a maternity ward, would you like to have more contact with mothers and newborn babies, perhaps looking at midwifery services? Or, would you like to pursue a pediatrics-based role? When you can establish what you are doing and offering, you can then turn your efforts on moving forwards.
Reignite Your Passion
To ignite your scope and realize your ambitions, you need to reignite your passion. If you do not have any passion for your role and duties, then you will never get the most out of your role. You will struggle with daily roles and responsibilities, and eventually, this will have an impact and effect on those that you are looking after and caring for. To reignite your passion, you need to remember what drove you into nursing. Was it a personal experience you had? Was it a vision that you had? Or was it the chance to make a difference in the lives of others? Reigniting your passion is essential. Without passion, you cannot push yourself or your career. You will struggle to change, and you will never embrace growth. So, take a step back, and find out why you love nursing and what you want to give back to others. Once you have this, you can then put your mind to anything and achieve your goals.
Time to Explore Your Options
Your options and future opportunities will not just land at your feed. You need to make time to explore your options and establish what you truly want. If you do not create time to explore what is out there, you may find that your career becomes stagnant. This may then leave you feeling emotionally and physically stressed and drained. Of course, this is not going to be beneficial for your wellbeing, or the care of your patients. To carve out the time you need to seek assistance and support. You cannot find the time when you are at work, and on duty, so you will need to find time in your downtime. To get this time, you will need to delegate tasks and duties to others. Having a solid support system, especially during times of growth and development, will be crucial for you and your plans.
Looking at New Specialisms
When you have created time to explore new nursing options, you need to then look at the specialisms that are on offer. Are you currently a specialist nurse, or do you work over several areas or departments? Are you content and fulfilled within your specialism, or do you feel that you would have more drive and dedication to another area? When you are exploring specialisms, you may find it useful to gain experience where you can. See if you can undertake voluntary experience in a specialism, and see if the duties and responsibilities on offer are appealing to you.
Creating a Career Plan
After evaluating your options and weighing up what you have to offer, you then have to start creating a career plan. To take your nursing career further, you have to have a plan of action. Without a plan, you will struggle to achieve your objectives, and this will leave you feeling unfulfilled. Within your career plan, you have to focus on setting objectives and goals. When you set career and nursing objectives, you can then establish the path you need to take to realize them. If you do not set objectives, then you may struggle to achieve career success. As well as setting objectives, you also need to create a timeline. If you want to change your role or achieve more within a certain timeframe, you do not want to be waiting around for several years for this to happen. To ensure that this is not the case, you need to give your objectives and plans a deadline. Set timelines and timescales that are realistic and achievable.
Invest in Yourself
To achieve your career goals and objectives, you must invest in yourself. Invest your time, your energy, and your efforts into creating a new career that you want, and deserve. If you are not prepared to invest in yourself, you will find that others will struggle to invest in you too. When you invest in yourself and your career, you can be sure that you are giving both your employers and your patients the care and dedication that they deserve. If you are not investing in yourself, then you will find that you will sell yourself short. You will struggle to make the changes that you want, and you will never have the impact you need.
Education is Valuable
Of course, to achieve your career goals and objectives, you must focus on your education. Your education is valuable and essential to your new roles and to future roles too. When you invest in your education, you increase your knowledge and your awareness. This can then be put directly into use within a new role. Because your education is so valuable, you need to look at advancing as much as you can. Look at doing a second degree MSN because this is something that you can do virtually. Invest in a masters, and invest in advancing your education because it will be put to use in future roles, and it will also help you stand out from other candidates too.
Expand Your Skillset
Your hard skills, together with your soft skills, are what make you the nursing professional you are today. However, where is there room for improvement, and where is there room for growth? There will be areas of your skillset that need improvement, and there will be areas that need re-learning. Taking charge of your skillset and polishing it is going to be beneficial to your role and your career. Becoming a better commuter or becoming more engaged are just two soft skills that you will find beneficial. Similarly, improving and enhancing your education and knowledge about a particular area of specialism is a hard skill that will certainly help you push your career that bit further.
Continuous Training and Development
Training and development will be beneficial to your career, and it is something that you must embrace as soon as possible. Enhancing your skills and seeing continuous development and training as essential within your career will ensure that you get to see and reap the benefits. When you stay in control of your training and development, you can embrace new developments and changes, and you can be sure that you are a true nursing professional who ensures your patients are getting the support they need at all times.
Becoming an FNP
When you are looking at expanding your scope and reach, you may wish to look at becoming an FNP (family nurse practitioner). An FNP is similar to a doctor. However, they have more of a connection and impact on a local community. An FNP will join a family unit and look after that family unit as it grows and evolves. Whereas a doctor will just see patients on an ad-hoc basis. An FNP will be supportive and instrumental in how a family or patient within a family receives care. They can also schedule and administer medicine, and so this means that they are not too dissimilar to a doctor. An FNP will form a bond with the family units that they work with, and they will work to make a tangible and visible difference to those within the community. To qualify as an FNP, you will need to look at undertaking a masters to get the credits that you need. This can be completed in just a couple of years.
Joining Nursing Organizations
Being connected to other nurses and those within the profession is important. You want to be able to share your feelings, your experiences, and even your knowledge with others. When you can share everything with other nurses and nursing professionals, you can see things differently, and you can take advantage of a wealth of information and knowledge too. To be connected to other nursing professionals, you need to join nursing organizations where you can. These organizations may be local within your state, or they may be national. You may find that they are set up as a union, or you may find that they are more like a group of close colleagues. Joining at least one nursing organization will be beneficial to you and to your career because you will have access to support and guidance when you need it. Most nursing organizations offer membership to nursing professionals with all backgrounds and levels of experience, and this diversity may well be beneficial to you and your future too.
Trying to push forwards by yourself is not necessary because there are people within your industry that want to help you succeed and grow. These people are, of course, mentors, and they can help you grow into the nursing professional that you want to be. Mentors have a vast degree of experience, and their knowledge and awareness of the industry and the nursing profession can help you achieve your career goals and objectives. Mentors can guide you through tough periods within your career, and they can also help steer you in the best direction. To take advantage of mentorship, you have to find a mentor that you click with. You will be spending a lot of time with your mentor, and you want to be sure that you can connect with them. Do not rush getting a mentor. Instead, wait to be matched up with one. When you find a mentor you can work with, you will see that the benefits and advantages you will get from having a trusted and valuable mentor far outweighs any negatives that you may encounter.
Increased Job Security and Safety
When you focus on expanding your scope within your nursing role and within the nursing sector, you make yourself much more valuable to employers. Through education, training, and self-growth, you mold yourself into a much better nursing professional. Being a better all-around professional within the nursing sector will then mean that you have increased job security and safety. When you feel safe and secure within your job and within your role, you will be unstoppable. You will be able to make the changes that you want to, and you will certainly be able to have the impact you are seeking. Job security and safety can leave you feeling positive, and it can also increase your mental wellness and wellbeing. The security and safety of your position moving forwards should not be underestimated.
When you push your career further, you must ensure that you focus on job or role satisfaction. If you are pushing yourself too hard, you will lose the love and respect you have for your industry. So, take time to appreciate the career you have built and are building, and be kind to your wellbeing and health to ensure success and growth are attainable and sustainable.