Starting a career in nursing is a commendable thing. Nursing is a highly rewarding career, but it does demand a certain level of resilience and compassion. Where some people are suited perfectly to the role, others ultimately decide against it. However, for those who have their heart set on commencing a career in nursing, regardless of what that looks like, you have to start somewhere. Here are eight tips for kickstarting your nursing journey and finding success.
1. Have a Goal
The first thing you need when thinking about starting off as a nurse is a clear goal for where you want to go. There are hundreds of routes when it comes to nursing, so having some idea of where you could specialize and how you want to provide services is always beneficial. It takes a while to build experience and status, so having something to aim toward while you are growing is motivational too.
2. Understand the Different Routes of Acess
To become a nurse, you have to know where to start. There are various routes of access to nursing, and you have to figure out what fits best with your personal and professional agenda. If you are looking at how to become a nurse quickly, there are a few options to explore. This is especially true for those who have a bachelor’s (or similar) level of qualification already in place. That means, a lot of the educational side of things is already in place and you will be in a better position to commence the practical nursing knowledge side of the development journey. Realistically, there are three core trajectories for people in this context.
• PNC Path
A Practical Nursing Certificate takes around one year to complete. It requires a level of higher education before you can be accepted into the program and is a stepping stone into landing a role in a hospital or alternate setting where nurses are needed.
• ADN Path
The Associate Degree in Nursing is also a popular path. There is often a practical element where you get hands-on core nursing experience, alongside an educational theory element too. This will take about two years to complete.
• BSN Path
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a higher intensity than the other two mentioned courses and provides a more refined definition of nursing experience both practically and theoretically. It is more in line with a traditional College degree and combines hands-on learning with book learning.
3. Talk to The People in the Role
Nurses are the best source of information for what this job entails. They will have the most honest, in-tune information about the hours, responsibilities, training demands, and anything you want to find out. If you are able to sit down with some active nurses or even a retired one, you will be able to get the answers to all your questions in a truthful narrative. This is often invaluable and can be of great assistance when deciding on your next steps.
4. Think About Your Personal Development Too
There are lots of required skills that make a great nurse. You will only progress and find forward motion in this role if you work on your professional and personal development as well. Things like communication skills and general interpersonal interactions are great, but what are the core skills that make for a great nurse?
- Communication, definitely.
- Impacting conflict resolution in a range of circumstances
- Emotional regulation
- Assertiveness and confidence
- The ability to question yourself at all times
5. Connect With Your Motivation
Why do you want to be a nurse? If you have no answer to this question, you’re probably stepping into the wrong career. However, most people will be able to give a clear answer or three in this area. It is one of those roles that you step into wholeheartedly because you want to and because it sparks your passion. It is not something you train in just because you have nothing else to do. It requires a certain type of brain and a distinct mindset in order to be professionally successful.
6. Have a Support Network Within The Nursing Community
You will need a team around you who understands the demands of your role. Having fellow nurses, doctors, and healthcare staff by your side is invaluable. These are the people who will help you grow, and who you will help in return. They are your team, your advocates, your support channels, and a collective wealth of experience to draw upon. Moving in similar circles is representative of growth when it comes to nursing and other niche professions such as this. That isn’t to say that your whole life should center around healthcare, your external relationships are important too and can even be integrated. It’s all about striking a balance and surrounding yourself with motivational support.
7. Stay Up To Speed With Healthcare News
It is hard to progress in your nursing career if you don’t know what is topical and what isn’t. Your development is dependent upon the wider socio-economic climate and movements, so staying up to speed with healthcare news seems sensible. If you know what’s happening, you can be on the ball and responsive. This is arguably the better option than being blindsided by a change in policy that you didn’t see coming.
8. Use Social Media
There is a strong nursing presence on social media, specifically Twitter. Why? Because professionals lean on other professionals and nurses who want to help each other. If you have a question and need an answer, you can tweet it and get 1,000+ responses within a few minutes. If you need advice, there are millions of retired and current nurses there to support you. It’s not for everyone, but even if you are just an observer from the side, multi-media content has its uses across a range of contexts and is definitely worth your time.
Kickstarting your nursing career demands different things. You have to stay an active participant in your development and learning while also building a community. Knowing your options is great, and so is having a goal to work around.