Five steps to advance your Nursing Career

nurse and patient

Nursing may appear a facilitative job to some, where they merely assist the healthcare system and experts. However, it is more than that, and there are several possibilities to advance in this career, given one is passionate. 

First of all, nurses are an inevitable segment of the healthcare industry. Proficient nurses are better aids to doctors during routine and challenging medical procedures. They also contribute to alleviating patient suffering and minimizing their stay at the hospital by accelerating their recovery and preventing hospital-acquired infections. This way, they help reduce patients’ expenses and hospital stays. They can also minimize hospitals’ workload by providing primary care services and preventive education. In addition, nurses can detect treatment obstacles through their research skills. In the same way, furthering in nursing can expose you to several lucrative opportunities. 

However, all of this is only possible if you envision your career on a progressive track rather than sticking to lower-level responsibilities. Thus career advancement is essential for nurses, just like other higher-level professionals.

The following sections discuss some ways you can advance in your nursing career.

Acquire higher education

Though your nursing career can start from an associate degree in nursing, it may not be enough to take you to great heights in your career. You can earn a license to pursue an entry-level position, but many hospitals prefer a four years’ bachelor’s degree over two years of an associate degree. Thus after joining as a registered nurse, you should advance academically. 

It may seem overwhelming to carry out professional activities along with studies. Several institutes offer flexible routes to pursue higher degree programs. As such, the Online Program for Registered Nurse to BSN is one of the best opportunities for working nurses. These programs allow working nurses to fulfill degree-related assignments at their own pace. They can save time by attending lectures and discussions without any travel requirements. They can even utilize their breaks or the daily commute to carry out assignments and quizzes. Once you have accomplished this milestone, you will have more to contribute to the field and patients’ lives. In return, you can enhance your socio-economic well-being as well.

cardiovascular system

Dismantle the comfort zone

Take on new responsibilities and challenge yourself beyond your comfort level. If you keep yourself at bay and shield yourself from challenges, you cannot progress in this field. It is because hospitals are battlefields where unpredictability is a constant factor. In such circumstances, you cannot anticipate your responsibilities by the book and schedule. 

There can be situations where you have to perform outside your expertise and schedule, and imagine your involvement is crucial for the survival of patients. It means you should not give in to your fears but take a confident step forward for the sake of patients. Your determination will not only make a significant difference to the patient’s life and well-being but even your own. Encounters like this boost your self-confidence and equip you for future emergencies.

Widen the scope of your expertise

While on the clock, nurses are perhaps more occupied than doctors. From assisting doctors to checking vitals, and then briefing patients for the future course falls on nurses’ shoulders. Thus as an entry-level nurse, you should always seek more exposure and responsibilities to hone your skills. As such, if you are a midwife-nurse, it does not mean you should not widen the scope of your expertise and serve in a pediatric ward. 

Higher exposure improves your expertise, and you can assist specialists in the general and emergency wards. The diverse skillset also facilitates you to take on training responsibilities for new nurses. Thus you can perform mentorship and other administrative duties as well. In essence, you can augment your competence, patients’ care quality, and economic returns on your efforts. To do so, you can pursue short certification courses, specialized training, and relevant work experience.

Consider switching jobs and organization

Every nursing practitioner starts from a position that can hardly fulfill their basic requirements. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to make their ground in this rapidly evolving profession. If you continue to serve in one organization, you have to transcend the career ladder step by step continually. This is because organizations prefer the seniority principle when planning for promotions. It means there can be several other aspirants for the upcoming promotions with more experience, and you may not even qualify for the nomination against a limited number of vacancies. 

nurse toys

However, you can skip that long waiting list and explore vacancies in other organizations. The nursing staff is always on demand in any healthcare facility, given the increasing burden of patients. If you switch from your present job and organization, you can avail yourself of a higher-level position. Associating with a new accredited healthcare setup can be a good option. All you have to do is defend your application through your previous work. It means you can only anticipate your future employer’s preference if you have the required experience and education. Thus before making such a move, ensure the likelihood of your success.

Seek a career guide

In an evolving field like nursing, you cannot master everything quickly. It takes time to understand the peculiarities of the job. If you depend upon your awareness and exposure, you will waste more than achieving. Thus seeking guidance is always crucial to minimize your struggle and the distance to your aspirations. 

In this endeavor, your senior fellow nurses can offer further insights into the ground realities for career advancement in the existing healthcare industry. You can also consult with your supervisor or the experts you assist regularly. Their expertise and fields may be different from yours, but their years of exposure can help you identify potential paths for advancement. 

You can also seek professional career nursing guides and discuss your confusions. They can offer you relevant and updated advice. They can also help you plan the future course of action based on your requirements and affordability. The internet is another medium to research and observe the experiences of like-minded professionals and nursing leaders. In the end, you will be able to weigh the odds and evens of your career advancement comprehensively.


No doubt, nursing is a dynamic profession, and in such a field, you can only ensure your relevance through constant career advancement. Your present education and professional expertise may not be enough to help you achieve your ultimate goals right away. However, if you stay connected and active on the ground, you can achieve your career objectives over time, and trust us, it’s worth it.