Are you looking to begin a career in nursing? Many people have aspirations of becoming a nurse as this is a role that commands great respect, you get to make a positive difference to the world, and it can also be lucrative with plenty of room for growth. There is also currently a shortage of nurses, with the market expected to grow in the coming years, which means that now could be the perfect time to embark on a career in nursing, whether you are a young person looking ahead or someone looking for a career change. Read on to discover the main steps to take in order to get started and to find early success as a nurse.
As with anything, a good place to start is with research, and the internet is a brilliant resource for this. You should spend some time reading about what nursing involves, the benefits and drawbacks, what qualifications are needed, and anything else that you can find. You could even join online communities and ask any questions that you have, which can be a great way to see if this is a field that sounds right for you. You should also research the different fields that there are and determine what path interests you, whether you want to work in mental health, as a family nurse, geriatrics, or in A&E.
Volunteer at a Hospital
Many people like the idea of being a nurse, but it is a career that is not for everyone because you are working in a high-pressure environment and are surrounded by sickness and sometimes even death. This is why it is always a good idea to volunteer or find some work at your local hospital so that you can get used to being in this kind of environment – it is also always helpful to have some experience on your resume and to start developing a network (more on this later). While you are at the hospital, you should speak to as many nurses as you can to learn what the role is like and to pick up any helpful tips.
Earn a BSN & Get Certified
If at this point you have decided that a career in nursing is for you, the next step will be to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). There are accelerated courses that you can take to speed this process up, and this will also involve clinical placement where you can hone your skills and network. Upon completion, you will then need to get licensed, which will involve passing the NCLEX-RN exam, which is a computerized test that would then allow you to start practicing as a nurse once you pass.
Once you are qualified and licensed, you will then want to start looking for work. There is a shortage of nurses in the US at the moment, so it should not be too challenging, but as with any job, you will need to make sure that you work on your resume and interview technique so that you can stand out and find success. You will have some clinical experience by this point, so it should not be too much of a shock to the system, but this can be a challenging line of work, and it will take some getting used to, so do not worry if you struggle in the early stages.
Find a Mentor
If possible, you should try to find a mentor early in your career as they can be a tremendous source of support during these difficult early days. A mentor can offer advice, help you to avoid common mistakes, lift your confidence, and also introduce you to their network, amongst many other benefits. People often find that they settle much faster when they have a mentor, plus it can be a great way to learn how to manage both your professional and personal life from someone with plenty of experience in the field.
Many nurses will want to advance their careers and have a greater impact on primary care. You can do this by continuing to study, and it is thought that family nurse practitioners (FNPs) will help to fill the primary care provider shortage in the coming years. This means that a master of science in nursing – family nurse practitioner program could be a great choice. You can find out more about this on this website. Additionally, online study can make it much easier to fit into your schedule, so this can be a great way to advance your career while still working.
Stand Out From The Crowd
In order to succeed as a nurse and advance your career, you also need to stand out from the crowd, and the best way to do this is to go the extra mile at every opportunity. You need to provide support to your fellow nurses, spend time with your patients, show a passion for what you do, and always keep up to date with any developments in the field of nursing. You also need to come in with a positive energy each day, which means that you need to know how to look after yourself and make the most of your time off.
Much like any line of work, it is also helpful to have a large professional network, which can be important for improving your reputation and opening new doors. This means that you should be looking to network as much as possible, which will include networking both online and offline. In addition to this, you must also maintain relationships and be willing to do others a favor if you want to benefit from having a large professional network.
These are the key steps that you will need to take in order to start a career in nursing and find some early success. Nursing can be a great profession and incredibly rewarding, but it can also be challenging, and you need to make sure that it is right for you before embarking on a career.