How Registered Nurses Can Take Control Of Their Career And Move Up The Ladder

As a practicing female Registered Nurse, it can often feel as though the medical field itself is a boys’ club, at least where the higher-level jobs are concerned. History has shown that traditionally more men have become doctors than women, but times are changing. All you have to do is look at the statistics released in 2017 from the Association of American Medical College and it paints a much brighter picture for women. 2017 marked the first time that women enrollees were greater than the men. Of the enrollees in 2017, 50.7% were women.

This shows a clear indication that the tides are changing and that women are now getting opportunities to move up the career ladder like never before. But how can you take advantage of this shift in thinking? How can you, in fact, take control of your current career and work at moving up into a more high-level position? The following tips and advice can act as the starting point and motivation you need to put your career on a new and very exciting path.

Go Back to School

Easily one of the best ways to take control of your career and open new doors for your future is to further your education. Going back to school can provide you with a wealth of knowledge, new skills, and insight into practices and trends, and truly make you a more well-rounded individual in the healthcare industry.

Take for example the DNP FNP online program available through Baylor University. This program is meant for actively practicing RNs, such as yourself, and is meant to give you the knowledge you need to become a leader. 

This Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner program can truly excel your career to the next level, especially when you factor in the shortage of nursing personnel currently playing out across the country. This degree will prepare you to take a leadership role in the field, and even an independent practice in the area you have specialized in.

Highlights of the online program include:

  • No GRE or MAT required
  • Courses run a total of 15 weeks, and there are three terms each year
  • The majority of the coursework is completed online
  • On-campus immersion is available, which helps to give an even more in-depth experience
  • Clinical placement services are available to you
  • Online programs offer flexibility where your own schedule is concerned, allowing you to continue working
  • Online programs can be more affordable

Actively Seek Out Ways to Better Your Skills

As the saying goes, in life we are never truly done learning, and nowhere is that truer than in your career. The medical field is one that is constantly evolving, finding new discoveries, adding new treatments and practices, and is far from stagnant. With that said, there are constant opportunities for you to better your skills. That could mean learning brand new skills or just perfecting the ones you already possess.

The best way to better your skills is to seek out opportunities and seize them. Sure, that means added work on your plate, but it’s important to keep your goal in mind of career upward mobility. The more skills you possess, and the better you are at them, the more you have to offer to your employer.

As an RN you are responsible for the following:

  • Recording and evaluating patient symptoms
  • Helping during surgery and exams
  • Lab work
  • Dressing incisions and wounds
  • Reviewing treatment plans with patients
  • Supervising other nurses

Each of these areas can be perfected and built upon, allowing you to become more effective in your job.

Choose a Path You Want to Focus On

It’s also a good idea to do a little soul searching and ask yourself what paths/streams of healthcare interest you. What areas do you feel passionate about? Sometimes it’s about opening your eyes to the many roads that are possible.

As an RN you can choose to work in various places such as:

  • Hospitals
  • A physician’s office or clinic
  • Nursing home
  • Military base
  • Home health care services
  • Travel nurse

Consider Finding a New Place of Employment

Sometimes it’s more about the job environment that is holding you back than anything else. If the hospital, clinic, or office that you work in doesn’t allow for opportunities and career advancement, then it may be time to move on. In order to work up the career ladder, you need to be in an environment that encourages personal and job growth.

Get Yourself a Mentor

Another great way to start moving up the career ladder is to get yourself a mentor in the healthcare industry. Ideally, you want to find a female mentor so that she can truly understand what you are going through as a woman in the field.

How can a mentor help you? Here are a few reasons:

  1. They can act as a sounding board when you are trying to work out problems
  2. They can share their own experiences and lessons with you
  3. They can help you to improve your skills
  4. They can help you to spark ideas
  5. They can provide you with motivation and inspiration
  6. They can help with career growth by filling you in on opportunities
  7. They can help with networking

Give It Your All 

If you are going about your job without passion and not really connecting with your patients, co-workers, and your responsibilities, then realizing your full potential can fall by the wayside. It’s only once you embrace your career and focus on working toward bigger opportunities that you can take proper control of your future.

Make Your Career Future a Priority

As a female Registered Nurse, it can sometimes feel as though there isn’t much available to you in terms of career advancement and growth, which is why it’s so important for you to know what is required in order to move up that ladder.

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