When you are working as a nurse, there may be lots that you want to achieve. To achieve this, you must focus on progression. Progression can take many guises. Making it happen takes energy, determination, and drive. Realizing your full and true potential as a nurse will only happen when you focus on progression. So, what does progression look like to you?
Why Progression is So Important
Firstly, you must start by establishing why progression is so important to you. If you do not know why it is valuable or important to you or to your career, you will inevitably suffer from a lack of drive and motivation. So, is progression important because it allows you to earn more money for doing the work that you love? Or is it important because it allows you to move into another area of nursing, such as leadership?
Setting Out Goals and Aims
After establishing why progression is key to you and to your career, you then have to start taking action. Setting goals and aims will help you take steps in the right direction. For example, setting a goal of becoming a nursing leader within the next three years is good, and then breaking it down further into aims is even better. Aims and goals will help you achieve more, and they will help you stay on course with your future plans. Progression as a nurse can happen naturally, but it can take a long time, so don’t hesitate or wait, and take charge of your future.
Have a Vision to Work Towards
What is your vision as a nurse, and has it changed over time (or is it likely to change)? To progress successfully, you need to have a vision, and alongside this, you need to create a vision statement, and you need to know what you are working towards. Without a vision, you will have neither clarity nor direction, and of course, both of these aspects are crucial for successful progression. So, what does your vision look like moving forwards? Does your vision focus on improving patient care and treatment? Does it involve you empowering and perhaps training other nurses?
Your Chance to Have an Impact
As you progress, you have a chance to have an impact. You can have an impact on the lives of patients, on the treatment they receive, or even on the working conditions of colleagues and fellow employees. As you progress, you will see where you can have a direct impact. When you see how you can have an impact, you must then choose how to proceed. For instance, would you like to progress and have an impact as a nursing leader? Or would you like to step into the role of an educator?
Realizing Your Full and True Potential
To make progress happen at any level, you need to realize your true and full potential. Even if you have been in the same role for a while, you will still have room for growth. You need to see where your strengths exist, and you need to see how you can exploit opportunities. You have a lot of potential to offer, and you have to realize what you need to do to bring this into your role and career.
Investing in Yourself
For progression to be sustainable and workable in the long term, you need to invest in yourself. When it comes to investing in yourself, you need to continue with your education and also look at building your skillset. When you are continuing your education, you need to focus on specialist providers and programs. For example, a University of Indianapolis DNP degree will give you the knowledge and awareness you need to become an advanced practice nurse. To successfully invest in yourself, you have to know what you are working towards. Unlocking your potential is easier to do when you have a path to follow.
Finding New Roles and Responsibilities
One way you can pursue progression is to explore and find new roles and responsibilities. For example, new roles may exist within your current workplace, or they may exist in a neighboring state. Exploring new roles and responsibilities and taking on new responsibilities will give you the chance to expand your potential and remit. When you find new roles and responsibilities, you could see explore other avenues you may not have even considered before.
Building Your Experience
Progression is more sustainable and achievable when you factor into the equation experience. Expanding and building your experience can help you unlock more opportunities, and it can help you build your professional network too. New experiences can help you seek out opportunities you may not have thought about before, or they could give your career a new direction and purpose. When you are building your experience, you have to think about what you want to get out of each role you undertake. When you are focused on what you will gain from experience, you can then be sure to make it as worthwhile as possible.
Finding and Keeping Your Motivation
As you are progressing with your career, you will encounter low periods. These may be periods where you feel demotivated, or they may be periods where you feel like you have lost your purpose and direction. Finding and keeping your motivation as you are progressing with your career is important. There will be tough times ahead, and there will be long days, and you need this motivation to pull you through. If you are struggling to rekindle your motivation, think about what drove you to become a nurse in the first instance, and see if you can fall in love with the profession all over again.
Using a Mentor for Guidance
To reach your goals and achieve your aims in your career, you may find it beneficial to use a mentor. A mentor will have experience, and they will have knowledge that they can share with you. A mentor will have seen a lot and been through a lot too, and their experiences can help to shape and even define your career.