A nursing career is one of the most rewarding careers out there, and there are many variations of jobs within the industry. The world of nursing is always in need of more patient-driven individuals who want to help people’s lives each day. While working in nursing isn’t an easy job, it is one that reaps a whole load of benefits. If you are interested in or are already pursuing a career in healthcare, then here are 10 tips to make sure you are successful.
1. Choose Your Desired Sector
There isn’t one job labeled ‘nursing’; there are plenty of divisions that you could fit into, but first, it takes embarking on research to find out what you want to do. This could take some time, especially if you are not familiar with the different roles. Luckily, choosing one route doesn’t mean you are cut off from the rest! If you change your mind during your education path, then all that happens is you alter your course after gaining knowledge. After all, knowing more will always come in handy down the road! All you need is a focus to begin with, and see where you go from there. Some nursing careers include:
- Registered Nurses
- Nurse Anesthetists
- Nurse Educators
- Nurse Practitioners
When choosing your specialty, make sure you are aware of the education needed and if you are prepared for the career.
2. Gain as Much Work Experience as Possible
In the world of nursing, work experience is key. If you are offered an internship, take it! Don’t let opportunities slip you by, especially when they will help you advance your career. The more experience you have, the better your CV will look, and the more chance you will be hired at the end of your education. You will also have more connections within the nursing industry, so you might end up starting your career through a bit of work experience you did as a student. On top of all this, working on the job will also provide you with a much-needed confidence boost once you begin your nursing career.
3. Take the Time to Look Through Courses
Don’t just jump into the nearest course to you; take some time to read through their details and decide which one fits you best. Take into account the course length, the distance, your commitments, and the modules they teach. Don’t limit yourself to one type of nursing school; there are other routes you could take. If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree in an area other than nursing, then you should consider an accelerated nursing program online. There’s more than one path and course to becoming a nurse, so make sure you find the path that suits you and your lifestyle the most.
4. Dip Your Toe in Different Areas
When studying, it’s best not to confine your learning to one specific area. Even if you plan on specializing in one sector, knowing about more general areas of nursing and medicine will greatly help you once you enter your career. You never know if you will change your mind, and, sometimes, you might be needed somewhere other than your specialty.
5. Find a Mentor
Mentors provide nursing students with valuable knowledge and guidance throughout their time in education. If you can, find yourself a mentor as soon as possible. As they have already been through nursing school and have progressed through their careers, they can pass on their knowledge to you and help you blossom. Listen to their advice and use them wherever possible, as they will be a crucial part of your learning experience.
6. Expand Your Research
Don’t limit yourself to your courses’ modules – expand your knowledge beyond that. Whenever you can, research more into the nursing and healthcare industry. There is always more to learn, and there are always new practices and results from labs that change the healthcare industry. Keeping up to date with this not only shows your professors that you are serious about nursing, but it will also benefit you once you step into your nursing career. You will be more likely to climb the ladder if you get into the habit of keeping up to date with the newest advances in healthcare.
7. Focus on Grades
If you’re planning on getting into nursing school, your grades are important. This is because of how competitive nursing school is, and they generally only accept the best. Of course, if you shine in other areas, then perfect grades aren’t a necessity, but it’s always better to do the best you can to increase your chances of being accepted.
8. Learn Leadership
Even if your plan isn’t to pursue a leadership role in your nursing career, obtaining leadership skills will benefit you during nursing school and beyond. There may be times when you will have to lead a group, and you should have the confidence and communication skills to do this well. If you are planning on climbing the ladder, then leadership skills are essential. Ask if you can take a leadership approach during your studies to build on it.
Knowing how to network well will make all the difference when it comes to finding a nursing job. Even if you get the best grades and you know all there is to know about nursing, finding a job will be hard if you don’t know anyone in the industry. Make sure you make yourself known when you do your work experience, and work as hard as you can to stand out alongside that.
10. Make (and Keep) Nursing Friends
The one part of nursing school that will keep you going is your friends. It will be hard at times, and it can get competitive, so having a group of friends around you will save you when you’re struggling. You never know, one day one of your nursing friends may offer you a job, or you might find yourself working alongside them! It’s near impossible to do it on your own, so finding nursing friends will ensure you have the support you need on your journey to working in nursing.