Ways to Grow Professionally in Nursing

Most people make their resolutions for themselves during new year.  Too often, people try to set goals that are sometimes unrealistic and so they end up failing even early on.  This probably would implicate that it’s not necessary to wait for the New Year to start a resolution.  It is always the right time to make a resolution so long as it is planned and one is decided to pursue or fulfill it.  Nurses must consider advancing their career and finds ways to grow professionally as well as personally.

The following are a few of the many ideas that can guide nurses in growing professionally:

  1. Advance educational attainment.  After finishing an associate or bachelor’s degree, nurses must advance their education through academic programs such as master’s and doctoral degrees.  Earning these not only equip the nurse with advanced knowledge but also commensurate to higher salary, and higher regard and respect.
  2. Learn new skill.  While nurses may be assigned in specific specialties, nurses should not limit their potentials in routines or procedures confined in their area of specialty.  It is always best to have an advantage.
  3. Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).  Learning is a lifelong process and so nurses must continually update themselves with the latest trends and evidence-based practices in nursing and the field of healthcare.  CEUs taken up may be in the area of specialty or in another area.  These CE programs are also offered online making it more convenient for nurses to take up.
  4. Collaborate and become a better team member.  The practice of nursing is not in isolation.  Nurses must always collaborate with members of the health care team, contributing to decision making regarding the client’s needs and concerns.  Nurses as team members may also recommend appropriate intervention to improve client care and participate actively in client care management including audit.
  5. Be a preceptor to someone.  Nurses have been once students and novice nurses.  Guiding or providing assistance/ supervision to students, new nurses, new staff, and colleagues indicates professional competence and devotion to help others grow.
  6. Become a specialist and be certified in a specific area.  The roles of nurses are expanding such as that of clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetist, forensic nursing, adult nurse practitioner, etc.  Certification in a field of specialization demonstrates professional commitment and being certified in a field of specialty demonstrates a desire to provide quality of care
  7. Aim or assume managerial role.  With adequate experience and educational preparation, nurses manage the nursing workforce in the hospital/institution and leads the achievement of excellence in nursing practice.
  8. Participate in a nursing organization.  This facilitates camaraderie and professional exchange of information through sharing of insights, experiences etc.
  9. Encourage someone to be a nurse.  There is a shortage of nurses in the US and you are helping the profession by encouraging someone to take up nursing and be a nurse.
  10. Conduct research.  Nurses ought to contribute to the body of nursing knowledge.  What better way to do this than conduct research and disseminate its findings.  By conducting research, nurses enrich the existing body of knowledge and through evidence-based researches, the practice is updated or improved.

The above suggestions may be modified to fit for the nurse’s lifestyle.  It all works well and ends well when it is planned and there is commitment.   Growing professionally is not just a commitment to oneself, and to patients but also to the profession.

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Byron Webb Romero, RN, MSN

Finished BSN at Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Master of Science in Nursing Major in Adult Health Nursing at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. Currently working at Manila Doctors College of Nursing as a Team Leader for Level I and II, Lecturer for Professional Nursing Subjects, and also a Clinical Instructor.

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