Nursing is one of the most rewarding and lucrative careers in the healthcare sector. The responsibilities of a nurse can be overwhelmingly stressful, with extended hours and lack of personal freedom. However, if you continue to advance your skillset, academic learning, and experience, you can enjoy financial stability, space, and flexibility.
As a nurse, there are two major types of skills you must focus on soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are focused on our personality traits, such as patience, compassion, kindness, and empathy. Some of these are inherent aspects of our personality, while others are cultivated with time and effort. Hard skills relate to our academic learning, technical skills, and specializations that help us perform to the best of our abilities.
It’s easy for your career to remain stagnant and devoid of opportunities if you don’t take the initiative to pursue advancement. As a registered nurse vying lucrative, high-paying opportunities, it is crucial to focus on refining and enhancing your skillset.
This article will walk you through the skills and qualifications that will help you pursue success and growth.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Academic Learning & Advancement
Your academic learning and specialized skills have the strongest weightage on your resume. They will determine your career path, expertise, income potential, and worth within a healthcare organization. As a registered nurse, it is crucial to continue advancing your education and pursuing higher academic degrees. Keep in mind that there are some certifications that you will have to obtain at the beginning of your career and renew a couple of times, like the PALS certificate.
To reach the pinnacle of success and prestige as a nurse, you should aim for a doctorate. A doctorate will allow you to reach your actual earning potential and open up opportunities to innovate and refine practices. You can explore scholarship opportunities, conduct impactful research, and explore teaching positions at prestigious nursing schools.
You must be wondering how long is a DNP program. It depends entirely on the kind of schedule you want to create to manage your career and education. Even if it takes 2 to 3 years of your life, it will be the best career-advancing decision you could make. A doctorate will allow you to achieve clinical excellence and esteem amongst your colleagues and peers.
A doctorate will allow you to explore avenues for specialization so that you can carve out a niche for yourself. For instance, are you focused on innovating public healthcare systems and advancing patient care processes? Or perhaps, you are more focused on improving treatment outcomes and in-hospital patient care.
Discovering your specialization is akin to finding your calling; it will define your career. By pursuing a profession in nursing, you can effectively leave your mark in the field.
All success-oriented professionals, regardless of their profession, must focus on building leadership skills. Nursing is a career path that thrives on leaders who can inspire peers and colleagues towards mutual goals. These goals could be enhancing patient care and treatment, reducing cost and driving efficiency, and challenging unethical policies.
As a nurse, cultivating leadership qualities will help you find your voice and learn how to use it in organizational settings. It will encourage your peers to look towards you for advice and collaboration during challenging times. More importantly, it will help you gain prominence in the eyes of senior management and executives. Naturally, this will increase your opportunities for promotions and leadership roles.
Cultivating leadership skills, such as consistency, reliability, compassion, motivational engagement, and problem-solving abilities will prove monumental in driving your success and growth.
Stamina & Endurance
Nursing careers come with long working hours, overwhelmingly heavy workloads, and highly stressful work environments. It is primarily why nurses are associated with compassion and kindness and hold high esteem in every society. Registered nurses are continually running up and down hospital galleries and spending hours on their feet while attending patients.
To actively provide physical and emotional support to their patients, nurses must cultivate physical endurance and emotional stamina. Stamina is undoubtedly the most crucial skill for a nurse, both mentally and emotionally. Demanding jobs can be excessively draining, leading to reduced life quality.
Nursing professionals deal with human suffering, pain, accidents, trauma, and life-threatening catastrophes every single day. It is crucial to cultivate emotional and physical strength to maintain focus and concentration on one’s career goals.
Empathy & Compassion
Nurses must fuel their services with empathy and compassion to deliver the best care a patient deserves. Empathy is a vital quality and skill cultivated by tuning oneself to others’ suffering and hardships.
However, professionals must cultivate empathy without burdening themselves with grief and encumbering emotions in nursing. It would help if you channeled your strength to deliver quality results from empathy and compassion towards patients.
Compassionate nurses can understand the suffering of patients and their family members and help them cope effectively. They provide a kindhearted and comforting ear to listen to their concerns and address them with kindness. Your compassion and kindness are the two winning qualities that will set you apart in your profession and set a strong example.
Patient & Family Awareness
As a registered nurse, it is crucial to cultivate patient and family education to improve care and treatment outcomes. Nurses not only manage patients, but they also deal with their families in a wide array of settings. Whether they work in hospitals or provide patient-care at home, nurses are deeply involved in the process.
Nurses must be focused on patient and family education when a patient is discharged to prevent relapse or complications. Nurses must consult families regularly to discuss patient care, symptoms, treatment, and lifestyle changes. Nurse professionals are responsible for educating patients and families on diagnosis, medications, and more.
Their involvement with the patient and family is crucial to improving treatment outcomes and preventing returning to the hospital.
When one has an increasingly stressful and challenging job, each day can be a struggle. Nurses often find very little time to themselves, and in the first years, their personal lives get compromised. So, if you’re struggling to keep up with your goals, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. The important thing is never to lose sight of your career advancement goals.
Set realistic and achievable milestones to map out your progress instead of disappointing yourself with strict deadlines. Put in the hard work and dedication one day at a time, and start pursuing your objectives. Balancing a career and education will be challenging, but success never comes easy.
Once you’ve achieved your doctorate, the world will be your oyster, and you can define your career growth and potential!