How can you advance your nursing career and why is that even important? You may be perfectly happy in the job you are currently in and have no desire to advance your career path. That's great, but why not be prepared in case you decide later to advance, or worse, are given no choice but to move onto a different path?

Being prepared is the best cure for the unexpected! Here are some tips for career advancement:

  1. Join and participate in your local nursing organizations. I do not say this only because this move can assist in career advancement. There are many great benefits to joining your local nursing organizations. One of them is networking and meeting people that may help you in the future. Don't underestimate the contacts you make.
  2. Take advantage of career ladders. Even if you don't want to advance right now, start taking advantage of the career ladder programs offered at many hospitals and large corporations. These organizations have mapped out everything you need to do to advance; including setting up schedules and free events to help you reach your goals. All you need to do is go for it! You may not want it now, but if you decide in two years to advance at your current location, you will already have met the requirements if you start today!
  3. Take advantage of free educational opportunities. Many hospitals and other companies employing nurses offer free in-services and/or funds for education. Don't let these opportunities pass you by! You can't use the "I can't afford it" excuse anymore. And you should no longer use the "I don't need that class" excuse. When it comes to nursing education, especially if it's free, you can never get enough!
  4. Never stop learning. Have you heard that learning is a lifelong process? Well, it's true. If you want to continue advancement in your nursing career, you will need a higher degree of education. I began college courses when I was in the military 26 years ago. I never stopped taking college courses until last year when I earned my MBA. And I plan to go back to school after the dust settles on my book project.