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How to Get a Promotion as a Nurse

Whether you’re just starting out in your nursing career or you’re an experienced healthcare professional, it’s always a good idea to be thinking about the future. Your current role will always be your priority, but there is nothing wrong with making plans or simply researching how you could progress further down the road. The field of nursing is much broader than many people assume and the invaluable skills, knowledge, and personal qualities nurses possess can be applied in a variety of settings. Whatever stage you’re at in your career, there are some simple ways to increase your chances of being promoted to a senior nursing role.

Senior Nursing Roles: The Options

While most (if not all) nurses will start in a healthcare organization or hospital ward caring for patients through specific procedures and processes, this is not necessarily how they will spend their whole career. Nurses in more senior positions can practice medicine to a higher level and may even be able to authorize diagnostic investigation or make referrals. There are also senior roles which involve more managerial responsibility, including staff training, research, policy development, and maintaining the standards of patient care. For an example of a senior nursing role, take a look at this Director of Nursing job overview.

How to Make Promotion More Likely

Excel in Your Current Role
To move on to a role with more responsibility, you need to ensure you are more than competent in your current position. If there are gaps in your knowledge or others around you have superior experience, takes steps to rectify this to ensure you’re amongst the best of your peers.

Networking is one of the most effective ways to develop your professional skills, gain new knowledge, and make vital connections with influential people. When you do meet people with careers you wish to emulate, take the opportunity to ask them about their career path. They may also have information about the career, which may make you rethink your ambition and pursue a new direction. Networking regularly will also make it more likely that you’ll hear of promotion opportunities when they open up.

Continue to Study
A great way to separate yourself from other candidates for promotion is to enhance your resume with further study and qualifications. If you are interested in specializing in a particular area of healthcare, you should make an effort to gain relevant accreditations. There are great benefits to online study which enable you to fit the course around your work schedule.

Maintain Professionalism
Your professionalism and work ethic will be crucial to your career progression chances. Teamwork, collaboration, politeness, reliability, and efficiency are all absolutely necessary when working as a nurse. If you ever find yourself confronted by something you don’t know how to do, always ask for support or advice. This is particularly important if you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed in your job.

Go the Extra Mile
This ties in with professionalism, but you also need to find ways to stand out in the crowd. This could be by taking on extra responsibility, volunteering for extra shifts, asking to observe more advanced procedures, and offering your help to others who are struggling. You will be an asset to the team and top of the list when the opportunity for promotion arises.

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