How to Give Your Nursing Career a Jump-Start in 2020

Published on: Jan 9, 2020


You may think that someone in a growing field such as Nursing would not need tips on how to advance their career.  The United States is running short of qualified nurses.  However, anyone can get “stuck” every now and again.  Recent graduates may have a tough time getting their bearings as a new nurse, but there are many ways to give your career a jump.  They can also be applied to any established nursing career.

Regardless of the point you are in your nursing career, it’s important to remember to keep your momentum going by keeping up to date on industry trends.  To push themselves beyond the role of bedside caregiver.  Here are a few tips that may help move you further along your career path.

1. Study, Study, Study

One of the trends we saw last year was that nurses with a BSN are in high demand.  If you are already well in your career, going back to school can be painful thought, but this is an investment in yourself that will pay dividends.  Then, what do you do once you earn a BSN? Get your masters.  The more you know the better you will be at your job and the more desirable a candidate for institutions looking to hire.

2. Specialize

Picking up from the previous tip, there are many specialties within nursing that you can focus in on.  Choosing a specialty helps steer the decisions you make on the types of continuing education to pursue.  When interviewing with a specialized physician or medical facility that matched your niche, you will be a more attractive prospect compared to a non-specialized nurse.  Choose a specialty that resonated with you or pick one that has sustained growth over that past few years.

3. Network

At one time creating a professional network took a lot of work and exchanging of contact information.  Platforms, such as LinkedIn, have made this process as easy as clicking a button.  These days, the easiest way to get your foot in the door at a healthcare institution that you want to work for is to know someone on the inside to refer you.  Besides, you can amass a rather large knowledge bank of nursing and healthcare professionals to learn from and guide you.

Doctors walking and talking outdoors at hospital

4. Get a Mentor

What’s a good way to figure out how to move ahead in your career?  Build a close relationship with someone who has already tread that path.  Mentors will and should be the cornerstone to your professional network.  Besides knowing a lot about your specialty and career path, they can also offer advice on how to handle any hurdle you come across.  The earlier in your career that you find a good mentor the more you will get out of it.  Regardless of your experience level, find a mentor that you respect and get along with.  Rapport is key.

5. Be Your Own Advocate

No one will celebrate you better than you.   Practice taking pride in the work and successes you have had in your career and make them known.  You need to able to stand out from the crowd and every gold star you’ve earned to this point counts, especially to a hiring manager.  However, you need to learn how to promote yourself in way that entices attention and not come across as bragging.  It’s a subtle balance that takes work and comes easier for some than others. Know your skills and strengths and be able to speak to them concisely. Here are a few tips that may help move you further along your nursing career in 2020.