How to plan your nursing career path

Nursing is an ideal career for those who want to influence the lives of others around them. The primary role of any nurse is to ensure that patients receive the care they deserve. There are many ways that a nurse can help, but most nurses choose to advance their careers by specializing in a specific area of healthcare. Whether you’re a nurse who wants to progress further in your profession or a nurse-to-be gathering career advice for future planning, we’re here to guide you through how to make the most out of this career.

Here are some essential tips that could potentially help you to form your nursing career plans.

Explore the various paths in nursing

Nurses work not only in the setting of a hospital, but also in educational institutions, nursing homes, ambulances, and much more.

Here are the top five career opportunities that are available to nurses:

  1. Registered nurse: A registered nurse looks after patients by monitoring their vital signs, diagnosing, and prescribing the required medication. They may also need to take part in surgical procedures.
  2. Clinical nurse: These nurses have a master’s degree in their area of specialty, which includes pediatrics, emergency care, neuroscience, cardiology, etc.
  3. Nurse anesthetist: To reduce a patient’s discomfort during surgery, it is a nurse anesthetist’s duty to administer the proper anesthesia to them.
  4. Triage nurse: Unlike an ER nurse, these professionals examine an incoming patient in the emergency department. Their duty is to assess whether the patient requires immediate care or can wait until it is their turn to be seen.
  5. Nurse midwife: Other than providing assistance to a woman through childbirth, a nurse midwife also supports pregnant women through each trimester and in after-care.

Move to the next stage of college education

A great way of stepping into the nursing field is to first earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

If you already have your BSN degree in hand, getting a master’s will enable you to have your feet well-planted in the nursing world. For those nurses looking to reach the furthest level of advancement in their career, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is what you should be looking for. After specializing in your area of expertise through this degree, not only do you get to earn more, but you also become eligible to get leadership positions available around you.

If it is not feasible for you to add a full-time nursing program to your schedule due to your current priorities, you could go for an online degree such as the Wilkes University DNP program. This improves your time management skills and allows for self-paced learning in an era when virtual communication and online collaboration are thriving.

Find a mentor

During your journey through the nursing field, it is worth creating a meaningful connection with someone who has plenty to teach you from the ups and downs they have faced while progressing through their career. If that isn’t possible, there are numerous well-established nurses with a prominent online presence who you can engage by marketing yourself as a nurse on social media.