Career Progression Tips for Nurses

Career Progression Tips for Nurses

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Training to become a nurse can be a tiring but rewarding experience. After all, you are a nurse because you care about people and wish to ensure that your patients are feeling happy and healthy. You wish to improve people’s lives so that they can flourish and live free from illness or diseases (or if they have a chronic illness and/or disease, they can learn coping mechanisms). Usually, nurses are selfless individuals. However, that does not mean nurses cannot consider their own careers, look for ways to advance, and gather new skills that can lead to career progression.

As a registered nurse, there are several ways you can progress your career. Not only can this be beneficial to your own wellbeing (better pay and a more specialised job that can hone in on your key interests in healthcare), but it can also allow you to care for those patients that interest you the most. For instance, if you enjoy the company of children and want to safeguard them and ensure that they are fighting fit, then you may wish to specialize and become a paediatrician.

Not sure how you can progress your career? Perhaps you are unsure as to how you can find the time to do this while also balancing such a demanding career. If so, read on for some tips on how you can progress your career and become the nurse you aspire to be.

Adopt a More Proactive Approach

We get our dream job, love what we do, and can suddenly find ourselves becoming happily complacent after a few years. This could be because we become habitual and enjoy a routine, and when something isn’t horrible or “broke”, we tend to not try and “fix” it. However, taking a more proactive approach when it comes to your job can not only unlock new opportunities for you, but it can also help you discover whether you wish to expand your horizons and even potentially specialize in a certain area of nursing.

You can become more proactive by taking ownership of your career. Approach and befriend your colleagues or those who have a different role to you that you find interesting. You may find that they can provide you wish a deeper and more clear insight into the role, helping you understand whether it is something you wish to pursue. Plus, they may be able to offer you advice on how you can go about landing that role (e.g., which specifications you may need, etc.).

If you ever decide that you would like to specialise your nursing career, make sure to do your research. This could be as simple as you heading to the internet and looking up the job specification and seeing whether it matches with your wants and needs.

Do You Wish to Specialize?

There are numerous specialisms you can go into when it comes to nursing. For instance, you can become:

  • A certified midwife nurse
  • Neonatal nurse
  • Pediatric nurse
  • Theater nurse
  • Geriatric nurse
  • Family nurse practitioner

The opportunities are endless, and once you have the base nursing degree, you can always build on your current skills quite easily by applying for additional courses and undergoing further education.

Usually, advancing your career and becoming certified in a specific field of nursing will greatly help advance your career – but it can also help advance your paycheck which is always a plus. Take your time when deciding on which specialism you would like to focus on, however.

Look at Nursing Blogs

If you are feeling a little bit lost and deflated, unable to decide on what you wish to do with your career, why not look up and find some nursing blogs? These blogs could inspire you and offer insight on what could be the next step in your career.

Nursing blogs can be great for a number of reasons. Not only can they inspire you and offer an insight into certain specialisms, but certain trustworthy nurses who are considered experts in their fields and who have the badge of being an industry leader can offer insight on recent developments that are happening within the healthcare sphere.

Here are the best nursing blogs you should keep an eye on and read in your free time.

Look Up Further Education

The best way to progress your nursing career is to look up further education and see what degrees are available to you so that you can expand your horizons and improve your knowledge. Further education can help you develop skills and allow you to specialize. Plus, it can help you secure a higher-paying job (if the money is important to you). Carson-Newman University offers graduate online nursing programs that allow registered nurses to train and specialise so that they can become a Family Nurse Practitioner. This could be the next step in your career and provide you wish better tools and knowledge that allows you to perform your job even better. Click here for info.


Networking is always valuable, no matter which industry you are in. All you need to do is ensure that you are networking properly and are meeting with the right people. You can network by:

  • Attending events and job fairs
  • Asking your superior about any upcoming conferences you could participate in
  • Atten local RCN brand meetings
  • Have an online presence (e.g., create a LinkedIn profile)

Whenever you meet new people and make a connection, be sure to exchange details so that you can get in contact with one another. However, you should also remember that networking is a two-way street, and you will also have to offer something of value to the person you are wishing to network with. A career in nursing is rewarding, however, it is also a lot of work that can leave you feeling frustrated and unenergized. While this can become overwhelming at times, remember that you are in this profession because you care, and if you wish for a change of pace because you think it would offer you better job satisfaction, then there are also numerous ways you can progress your career in nursing.