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6 Tips to Advance in Your Current Role

6 Tips to Advance in Your Current Role

By: American Nurses Association

Clip on your badge, slide in your bandage scissors and penlight. It’s another day on the unit. You love your job, you’re satisfied with the bedside role, and you can see yourself staying here for the next decade.

But the voices you hear are saying that you shouldn’t be satisfied, you shouldn’t be happy to stay here for years. They send messages like: Go back to school. Advance your degree. Get a certification. BSN, MSN, DNP, CCRN, and on and on; the pressure to keep improving and learning doesn’t stop. These advices aren’t wrong or bad. They just don’t hit where you’re standing right now.

What the dedicated and happy bedside nurse needs is a way to advance without getting away from the bedside or changing positions. Here are some simple tips.

  1. Identify areas of need for improved skills and/or knowledge. Whether this is brushing up on ACLS or learning how to place an IO, soft skills like communication or negotiation or assertiveness, or personal development such as improving your hydration and nutrition. You need to know where the gaps are before you can begin to fill them.
  2. Check out formal and informal leadership positions within your unit. Would you enjoy being a charge nurse, nurse mentor, or nurse preceptor?
  3. Consider what parts of your job are the most satisfying and rewarding. Are there ways that you can do more of this? What education, skills, or certifications would equip you for this?
  4. Who do you admire? Who would you like to be like “when I grow up”? Talk to this person and ask them for recommendations on education, including classic articles, webinars, and classes. And don’t overlook the simple power of asking about their philosophy of life. Often, this is more crucial to who they are and how they practice than any specific knowledge they could impart.
  5. Now that you have some notes for where you would like to go, sit down and map out a blueprint for getting there.
  6. Check in with your manager and tell her/him what you are considering. (Be sure that they know that whether you want to stay at the bedside or are considering a move away, so they can steer you toward the right resources.) Find out if you qualify for financial assistance. You may be surprised to find just how many resources are available for the asking.

Many books and other resources provide tips for becoming a charge nurse, nurse mentor, and nurse preceptor, but they are typically higher-level-thinking tips and not practical, real advice. We are excited to offer books that addresses these personal and professional options and goes into detail about some of the more practical advice for successfully evolving into a formal or informal nurse on your unit—from learning how to be an effective charge nurse to learning how to precept and mentor new nurses, and much more.

What’s Next? The Smart Nurse’s Guide to Your Dream Job or Lead Like a Nurse in Every Healthcare Setting are books specifically directed toward professional development from the practical point of view of a bedside nurse. And now for a limited time through December 31, take 30% off this book and others (Use Offer Code: BOOKSALE30).

Categories: Career Advice, Leadership / Management

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