You are ready to make a change, and you are ready for change to happen. You have been focusing steadily on maintaining your career, but up until now, you have never really focused on career progression. There has always been something else to do that has consumed your time. However, now you have the time you need to pursue your career. You need to grab opportunities and openings with both hands because if you fail to focus on career progression at this stage of your career, then, unfortunately, you will get left behind. If your career is not at the top of your list right now, you know that you need to make it a priority to be able to move to the next level. If you get left behind at this stage of your career, then you will see your peers doing better than you, and you will see them taking opportunities that could have been yours. You will find it difficult to catch up to where your peers are if you do not maintain the pace that has been set.
Why Career Progression, and Why Now?
You have invested a lot of time, patience, and effort into your role as a nurse so far. However, you may feel that there is something missing or lacking. You may feel that your career has become stagnant, and you may feel that you are stuck in a rut. If you do not focus on career progression regularly and you try to do it sporadically, then you will be in for a nasty shock. When you start looking at ways and opportunities to progress, you begin looking at ways to improve and strengthen your skills and attributes. When you focus on strengthening yourself as a nursing professional, you ensure that you give the highest level of care to patients at all times. Investing in yourself right now is a good thing to do, and it is something that will set you up for the future for further career progression, and again, for further roles and opportunities a little bit further down the line.
1. Increased Job Satisfaction
Being in a position or role that you thoroughly enjoy doing day in and day out is worth a lot. Getting up and enjoying going to work is positive, and it is something that you should be aiming for (if you don’t have it already). If you are stuck in a nursing role that doesn’t reflect who you are any longer, then it is time to make a change. Focusing on career progression gives you the chance and the opportunity to find something that you once again enjoy doing. There are lots of reasons as to why your current post or role might be leaving you feeling dissatisfied, and one of these might be poor retention of staff. If there is a high turnover of nurses and other auxiliary staff within your workplace, then you might find it difficult to settle, and you might also have trouble bonding with team members, who may be leaving as quickly as they arrive.
You may also be feeling like you are not giving high-quality care to all of your patients, especially if you are being switched around regularly. As a nursing professional, you want to provide the best level of care at every opportunity, and if you are not given the chance or the opportunity to do this, then your job satisfaction, along with your job enjoyment, will drop rapidly before tapering off completely.
2. More Responsibility
You are yearning for more responsibility, and it is not happening in your current role. When you focus on career progression, you focus on increasing your workload and increasing your responsibilities in the process. Having more responsibility quite often comes over time, but if you feel that you are being overlooked for internal positions, then it may be time to start looking elsewhere at external providers. When you progress your career, and you jump up the ladder, you get more responsibility in the process. So, if you are currently a nurse practitioner, but you want to be responsible for others and their workloads, you may well look at becoming a senior or lead nurse. When you take on extra responsibilities, your pay and remuneration package will increase in line with your new role and title.
3. Better Annual Salary
Everybody loves more money, right? But within nursing, money is not the main driving fact. Of course, you did not train as a nursing professional to get rich – you trained to make an impact and to make a difference. A better annual salary or enhanced remuneration package would provide you with more disposable income, and it would provide you with more opportunities to do what you want when you want to. For instance, if you want to progress your career and go from a nurse practitioner to a family nurse practitioner, then you can expect a higher salary as you have increased duties and responsibilities. A family nurse practitioner salary is competitive and is increasing almost yearly due to a poor supply but strong demand for FNPs. Of course, an annual salary should not be your main driving factor to push forwards, but it is a top consideration that you should not be overlooking. Being fairly compensated for the work that you carry out on a daily basis will leave you feeling rewarded and valued.
4. Advanced and Enhanced Learning
As a nurse, you are always learning, growing, and developing. When you progress in your career, you start naturally looking at higher-level educational programs and also one-off programs that boost your skillset. Progression within your career allows you to see and seize opportunities that you might not have even thought about taking before. To push forwards, you need to know what you are talking about, and you need to have a strong enough knowledge, background, and awareness to deal with any scenario. New role openings and new job postings let you know what areas you need to be focusing on, and they also provide you with the ideal opportunity to brush up on your learning and to even look at pursuing new programs and areas of interest. If you did not go forwards with career progression, then your education and your learning would come to a halt, and this would then affect your nursing strength and abilities. Continuous learning and development will help shape and mold you as a nurse, and it will also help you improve any areas of weakness.
5. Increased Opportunities
When you progress within the field of nursing, you get access to increased opportunities. Now, this could be increased learning opportunities, or it could be increased working opportunities that potentially offer better wages. Increased opportunities gained through career progression would give you the opportunity to realize your full potential. For example, in the role that you are in at the moment, you might not have the time to pursue new opportunities which benefit you and your career, which you might well have found in a new role or position. Increased opportunities can allow you to take advantage of another skillset you have, or they could offer you the opportunity to find a more suitable workplace, perhaps somewhere that is closer to home or maybe even easier to get to.
6. Making an Impact and Leading Change
When you are sat on the sidelines waiting for opportunities to land in your lap, you are effectively wasting time and energy. Within career progression, you get the opportunity to lead change, and you get the chance to make an impact, especially if you have left one role as a nurse practitioner but started one via way of a promotion, such as to a family nurse practitioner. Within a new position or role, you may find that you have the opportunity to get into leadership. Within nursing leadership, you get to directly influence and involve other nurses and leaders, and this is something you may have been waiting for and something which may allow you to implement the type of care policies and levels of care that you have wanted to see for some time. When you lead change and you make an impact, you change the face of healthcare and of nursing, which can be seen as a hugely positive thing.
Deciding to Take a Leap
If you have been dissatisfied for a while, or you feel that you have been stunted or held back within your current role, then you must remember that it is not too late to take a leap. Leaping into action, looking at promotions, and establishing what is important to you and why will help you make that commitment, especially before it passes you by. When you take a leap within nursing, you are not taking a leap into the unknown, so do not be hesitant to jump in with both feet.