The To-Do List: Growing and Evolving In Your Nursing Career


The key to success in any career is in the planning. Careful and detailed plans to advance your employment, whether as a brand new nurse, or a seasoned professional, take a bit of thought and dedication. Your professional goals for growing and evolving in your career can absolutely be realized with methodical, and fastidious planning.

For registered nurses, the outlook continues to be overwhelmingly positive in the next year. Employers are seeking qualified nursing professionals to answer the sometimes-desperate call to fill patient care roles in communities across the country. Now is your time to excel at your nursing career, and to go further than you ever thought possible. 

The Sky is The Limit

If you’re already working in your preferred specialty, there are certain certifications you can obtain. These certifications will add to your resume, and experience, as well as your bank account. You can plan your trajectory to be bigger than before by growing and evolving your nursing career through education. If you aren’t an RN-BSN, you may opt to go back to school for your BSN. If you already have your bachelors degree you may want to go back for an advanced degree, such as an MSN, and begin training to become an Nurse Practitioner. 

For those who are looking for a change, perhaps a different specialty, or even working as a travel nurse, the time is now. Begin focusing on making your transition, either through advancing your education, or changing employers, or even partnering with a staffing agency so you can get a taste of different employment opportunities.

4 Steps  to Growing and Evolving Your Nursing Career 

As you plan for your future, keep your goals in clear focus. Here are 4 steps to help you in growing and evolving your nursing career, for 2019, and beyond.

Clearly Identify Your Goals

The nursing profession itself is constantly advancing and changing , so you may find your individual goals growing and evolving in your nursing career. Having a clearly defined idea in mind is key to keeping you on track. The career you have chosen will no doubt change, so your goals for the foreseeable future may not be the same goals you had when you started out. Specialties, such as oncology, trauma, and neurology introduce new protocols regularly, it seems. Read and research as much as you can to help you stay on track. Talk with those who are where you want to be, and consider asking them to mentor you.

Check-in With Your Goals Often as Your Develop a Strategy  

Use your own skills to help you achieve, and plan your nursing career goals. Use the SMART method to set your goals. Make goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Assess your goals, immediate and long-term, diagnose issues and impediments. and implement a plan to help continue growing and evolving in your nursing career.

Break it Down

 It can be overwhelming to approach a goal which is sizable, such as going for your advanced degree in order to become an NP, and it’s easy to become discouraged as your goal feels so far out of reach. By breaking it down into smaller, less-intimidating units of goals, which are easy to see and ensure the process is rewarding every step of the way. For example, if your ultimate goal is to work in a specific specialty, you might begin by signing up for any certifications you may need, finding a mentor within that unit, or speaking with someone in that specialty who can help you understand the process of getting your foot in the door.

Stop and Evaluate

As the process unfolds while growing and evolving your nursing career, you need to monitor your progress. Try to become as detail-oriented (not a difficult task for a nurse to develop) as possible so that you can see where your progressing, find out what stumbling blocks you’re encountering and determine the areas in which you need some help. A detailed journal can help with this part of the process. You may find, as you plan your nursing career, a bullet journal helps. Many who set long-term goals find this method of journaling helps them stay on track. 

Your Exciting Career

You are called to nursing and that means growing and evolving in your nursing career. This field is filled with twists and turns in answering the needs of healthcare. Life is a series of changes, and your career as a nurse is no different. You grow, learn, and develop your skills in order to be the best for your patients. Why not have a plan?


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