Research shows that lifelong learning is the standard for new nurses in healthcare today. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends it and most nursing schools and healthcare organizations work to support these aspirations in new nurses.
Nurses should practice both personal and professional development throughout their career. Let’s look at five of the best way new nurses can achieve their goals of career development.
Stay in School or Go Back ASAP
After graduation, many nurses are choosing to return to school to continue their education. The same is true for nurses that have been in the profession a few years. Nurses go back to school at all points in their career; some nurses choose to go back after they’ve been working a few years. No matter the situation, going back to school is the new imperative for nurses seeking to advance their career.
Take Continuing Education Classes
Depending on the state you live in, continuing education unit (CEU) hours may be required for re-registration for your license. Gathering these credits is easier today because many local, regional, and national conferences offer these credits. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations provide support to nurses in their efforts to stay current on these credentials. Many will pay for or reimburse you for the class. These courses can also serve a second important function in your life; they can help you grow personally as well as professionally. Just practicing the skills it takes to juggle life, work, and additional coursework will improve your time management and leadership skills.
Attend a Residency
Many teaching hospitals now offer residency programs for nurses to participate in a year after they start working. New nurses often lack practical on the job skills. Many of these programs meet regularly and are important to young nurses because they provide support at a crucial time in their careers. New nurses can discuss some of the struggles they have as they enter the profession, gain mentorship, and learn new skills. These groups are highly recommended for a positive ROI when seeking new skills.
Join a Committee
Shared governance committees are important structures within a hospital. Committees like these are made up of nursing teams that work to establish and implement best practices in a hospital unit. The work these committees do is very valuable, from developing policies and procedures to working on initiatives to improve the work-life balance of clinical teams.
Obtain a Certification
There are dozens of certifications that match nursing specialties. The benefit to new nurses is that these certifications typically reward them with additional compensation, particularly the ones that are considered “board certified.” Some of these certifications are specific to the types of roles you’d like to take on, for example, a Certified Childbirth Educator.
Professional development is a critical part of the nursing profession. It can help nurses improve their skills and uphold their professional competency, keeping current on areas like patient care, medical techniques, and treatments.
If you’re a nurse that would like to improve your professional experience by seeking new responsibilities, talk with the MAS Medical team today.