Gaining success as a nurse and landing that dream nursing position is within your reach using these seven strategies from International Nurse Coach Farah Laurent, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPXP, NPD-BC, TCRN, CPEN, CEN.
1. Believe in Yourself & Promote Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard for others to believe in you. So let’s go!
Stop those negative self-limiting beliefs. Instead, read positive affirmations daily to help you remain positive and focused. You have the knowledge, skills, and attitude to achieve anything. So, go ahead goal getter. If you believe it, then it will come, and it will manifest!
You may be shy to promote yourself, but it’s a MUST!! Whether during an interview or if you want that promotion, you better bring it. Bring that confidence. I call it “Brag & Swag.”
Follow the 3 Ps of Interviewing
From your stylish wardrobe to your vibe, walk, and entrance!
Position yourself for to gain success as a nurse by researching and getting ready for the interview. In the physical sense, be aware of how you sit, from your posture, to where you sit at that table.
This is your chance to sell, sell, sell yourself, so be ready with your elevator pitch. You want the job. So, you better bring the energy and that fire!
2. Continuous Education & Growth Mindset
There is always room to grow and to improve! Nursing is a lifelong learning career.
You must keep learning, reading, and growing, whether a new nurse on the block or a veteran rock star. Seek out opportunities for growth and development. Conferences are a great way to learn, network, and learn about the latest and greatest in healthcare.
3. Positive Attitude & Gratitude
People love being around positivity, so keep it positive. Have a “can do” attitude and take the initiative.
I love to say that everything is “figureoutable.” Lead with gratitude and be thankful. Saying thank you to someone and letting them know you appreciate them truly goes a long way. Be open to opportunities because opportunities in nursing are endless. Be ready and open to receiving abundance.
4. Know Your Worth & Advocate
Know your value and worth. Do your research about the salary/wages, and be ready to articulate your value. Learn different tactics for negotiating wages/salary/perks.
Does the company have opportunities for growth and promotion? Learn how to advocate for yourself, your colleagues, and your clients.
5. Set Core Values & Goals
Do you know what your core values are? What is non-negotiable? These are key factors to gain success as a nurse.
Research the company or organization and see if your values align. Set your goals and have short-term and long-term goals. Write down your goals yearly, monthly, and weekly. Then, track your progress and keep it moving.
6. Be Kind & Practice Emotional Intelligence
Be kind. Nursing and healthcare can be stressful at times. However, you must learn how to adapt and respond. You cannot change people, but you can control how you react. Do not let others take away your joy! You are in control! You have options and choices! Exercise your Emotional Intelligence!!
7. Surround Yourself with Positive, Successful People
Lastly, positivity is contagious so surround yourself with a positive group. Seek to have multiple mentors and coaches and invest in yourself and your growth.
Remember, only stick around people who will help encourage, empower, motivate and elevate you.
It’s difficult to imagine there was ever a time that health care workers were not in demand. As the population grows and people are living longer, it is becoming a struggle to keep up with even the most basic requirements of the country. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a 16% growth in health care employment opportunities by 2030, which it states is faster than any other industry. Throw into this the pressures of the pandemic and a widening skills gap, and you have a great many understaffed facilities.
While this is a concerning state of affairs, it also presents opportunities. Whether you’re about to graduate from college or have already started your health care career, there are chances for advancement.
We’re going to take a moment to review a few of the elements you should be focusing on as you forge your future in health care.
Clarify Your Goals
To advance your health care career in an empowering way, you need to make sure you’re not simply reacting to the industry’s needs but have a personal plan of action. This begins with clarifying what your career goals are.
This doesn’t necessarily have to begin with a specific job title. Treat clarifying your goals as a process of discovery. Consider first what you want from your job. Aside from the opportunity to help people, which is something shared by most health care workers, think about what areas of the industry interest you the most. This could be a field of care or the types of skills you’re interested in using on a day-to-day basis. Another part of choosing a career path is the lifestyle it provides you. Aside from a higher salary, you may be more interested in a role with a safer environment. Or you may be prioritizing more flexibility or control over your schedule, like travel nursing.
As you narrow down what you want from a career, it can then be useful to move on to what doors specific qualifications can open for you. If you’re already in nursing, following a doctor of nursing practice course can give you access to various lucrative leadership positions. Some of these careers, like family nurse practitioner and psychiatric health nurse practitioner, may be familiar to you already. Others may be slightly more unexplored, like being a nurse educator or taking on administrative positions. Looking further into what options each qualification could offer not only highlights careers but also gives you a road map to bring your closer to the role.
Consider Your Current Skills
It’s important to remember advancing your career isn’t just predicated on learning new skills. One of the great things about having established yourself to a certain extent in the health care sector is you’ll likely already have some transferable abilities. As such, you should take the time to review what these are and where they might be considered valuable.
Your technical skills may be the most obvious place to begin here. After all, these are usually the aspects denoting your suitability in certain medical fields. However, it can be easy to overlook just how vital and attractive your soft skills can be in a variety of roles. If you’re a registered nurse, thinking about which abilities you use in a typical day — digital tool usage, organizational processes, empathy, and leadership among them — can be a useful place to start. It’s also worth talking to colleagues and friends in fields you’re interested in pursuing to understand what soft skills are in demand.
Having a good handle on your range of skills is also an important component in shaping your resume in a way to capture the interest of the right health care industry employers. It’s worth considering that, contrary to other professions, employers in nursing have a preference for skills-led resume structures. As such, you need to professionally format your resume and make it easy for applicant tracking systems (ATS) to ascertain you have the relevant hard and soft skills for a role and pass you through to the human decision-makers. Avoid bulking up your application with a lot of irrelevant skills and experiences. This can just confuse matters and lead to you missing out on the next step of your journey.
Benjamin Franklin’s expression, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail” may seem a little hackneyed. However, it can be appropriate when you’re trying to advance your career in health care. There are some forms of preparation that can help set you up not just to gain the position you want but also to confirm you’re targeting the right career.
One of the most important forms of preparation is gaining a practical sense of the position you’re pursuing. Let’s face it, no job in health care is exactly as the standard job description would have you believe. When you’re already working in health care you’ll likely have contacts that can help you to shadow a professional in your intended field and get a real idea of what the work, atmosphere, and pressures of the environment are like. This can either solidify your commitment to following your path or help you avoid working yourself into a role you’ll be miserable in.
Once you’ve clarified that this is the career you want, one of your next areas for preparation is the interview process. Getting nervous or not having access to the right responses is a common way people trip up. Even in health care, most interviews will include a selection of standard questions; some surrounding your behavior on the job, others about your personality and workplace fit. Take the time to look into the ideal responses to these and practice these in a way that is genuine and relevant to the role you’re applying for. This may well be your best chance to make a good impression, so make the most of it.
The combination of the growing demand from patients and the challenges of COVID-19 has opened job opportunities in health care. When you’re advancing your career in the field you must take care to understand what your goals are and how you can utilize your current skills to define a meaningful path for yourself. These steps, alongside some key preparations, can help make certain your progression is successful.
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