Nursing Profession Development
Being a nurse is a challenging and rewarding profession. You can help people in their most vulnerable moments, and the work can be emotionally fulfilling. However, it’s also important to keep learning about your field so that you’re able to provide the best care possible for each patient. Here are some tips for how to grow as a professional nurse:
1) Create SMART Goals
Before you set your goals, it’s important to understand the difference between a goal and a resolution. A resolution is a wishful statement that typically uses words like “I will” or “I want to.” It’s not necessarily tangible or specific enough to act as an effective motivator for change.
A SMART goal has five key characteristics: Specificity, Measurability, Accountability, Realistic Timeframe and Targeted Effort. The acronym SMART helps us remember these characteristics by using S for Specificity (the first letter of the word) and adding the rest of the letters in order from MOST important trait down to LEAST important trait (T).
2) Get a Mentor to Guide You
Getting a mentor can help you develop your career and navigate the obstacles that come with it. A mentor can offer support, advice, and guidance on how to do things in an ethical way. They will also help you learn new skills by teaching or by showing you how they solve problems. You’ll have someone to talk to when things get tough, so if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or confused about something at work, they’ll be there for you!
A great way to start looking for a mentor is by asking fellow nurses who are at least five years ahead of where you are in their careers what kinds of mentorships worked best for them and why those relationships were successful. Then use these tips as inspiration for how YOU might approach mentoring yourself:
3) Participate in Nursing Conferences
Conferences can be a great way to learn about new trends in nursing, network with other professionals, find ideas for the future of your career and share your own. Nursing conferences are also a great place to meet like-minded individuals who are passionate about improving the care provided to patients.
If you haven’t attended any nursing conferences yet, you should consider it as a way of staying up-to-date with current research findings and best practices.
4) Pursue Continuing Education Opportunities
Continuing Education Opportunities
Continuing education is an important part of nursing profession development. Below are some resources to help you learn more about continuing education, including programs, courses and opportunities:
- Nursing Organizations. Many nursing organizations offer resources for nurses to fulfill their CE requirements through conferences, journals and workshops in a variety of topics related to the field of nursing. These organizations include:
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) – https://www.aacn.org/about-us/our-mission/continuing-education/Pages/default.aspx
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) – https://www.aanponlinelearningcenter.com/#!courses/c1k7s
- Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)- http://www.ccmeinfoforhealthcareprofessionals/. This organization accredits all continuing medical education providers that meet its standards
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE offers online webinars and free self-paced learning modules on various topics relevant to current issues within the practice setting as well as certification exams for advanced practice nursing degrees such as nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist credentials
5) Become Board Certified in Your Specialty
- Become Board Certified in Your Specialty
The ultimate goal of any nurse is to be board certified in her field, which means that she has met rigorous criteria for certification and received approval from a national governing body. What does this mean for you? A lot! The benefits of becoming board certified include:
- Increased salary potential
- Greater job security (hospitals are more likely to hire and retain nurses with advanced degrees)
- Higher quality of care (because you’ve been evaluated by peers who know your field well)
6) Continue Learning With Formal Training and Certifications
- Take an online course. If you’re looking to take your career in nursing to the next level, consider signing up for a formal program that will help you expand your skillset while providing valuable training and support.
- Take an in-person course. There are plenty of courses available online these days, but there is still something special about being able to interact with other students and instructors face-to-face.
- Take a certification exam or continuing education course (CE). You can get certified through organizations like the American Nurses Association by passing their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), Medical Assisting National Board Examination (NMA & NMBE) and/or Certified Nurse Assistant Certification Examination (CNAC).
- Take a refresher course or workshop if you’re feeling rusty on any specific area of expertise such as administering medication correctly or performing CPR properly.
7) Take Up New Leadership Roles
The best way to develop your leadership skills is by taking on a leadership role. You can start small with leading projects, or even just taking charge of the team when someone’s not around. If you’re still in school, try running for student government or becoming president of your nursing club.
Be a lifelong learner
An important aspect of being a lifelong learner is to be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. You should be curious about your work environment and willing to try new things if they make sense. Be willing to accept challenges and learn from others in your profession, as well as from mistakes that you make along the way. If you have past experiences that can help others learn something valuable, share them!
Nursing is a lifelong learning profession. You need to keep up with the latest research and innovations in your field, as well as continue your education by taking on new roles and responsibilities at work. Nursing can be challenging at times, but if you stay motivated by creating smart goals, seeking guidance from mentors or experts in your specialty fields, participating in conferences and workshops hosted by professional organizations like ANA or NANDA-I, pursuing certifications that are designed specifically for nurses (such as certification from ANCC), working towards board certification status through BONCABP; all these steps will help take your career to new levels of success!