Certain jobs are vocations. The people who work in them are passionate about helping others and are ready to go above and beyond to make the world a better place. Though vocations definitely appeal to those who find care work and other philanthropic work something that is essential to their sense of fulfillment, that does not mean that you cannot or will never get stressed.
Nursing is a great example of how the demands of the job can burn out even the most passionate of people. The good news is that you are not forced into a situation that burns you out indefinitely. There are so many ways that you can further and improve your nursing career.
Revamping your nursing career may feel like a huge step, but it doesn’t have to be. Change and improvement are an essential part of the human condition. Even if we feel like we have it good at the moment, factors will change, and sooner or later, we, too, will need to move forward.
Changing your career and moving forward with your goals does not mean that you are a bad nurse, even if your future is moving out of direct patient care. There are so many different roles available for nurses, and finding the right fit for you and how you can take that next step for you is essential for your own wellbeing and sense of fulfillment.
To help you revamp your nursing career, use these top tips.
Using the eNLC to Its Full Potential
One of the best ways to revamp or refresh your career is to give yourself a new start. Finding a place that feels like home, where you love the community, the environment, and your home, is invaluable. If you do not enjoy where you live and have always dreamed of a different setting, then it is time to make that change. You cannot look to your career when your personal life is where you are in desperate need of a refresh first.
The good news is that nursing is in demand practically everywhere. You can find work wherever you go, especially when you consider the potential implications of telehealth on nursing.
If you live in an eNLC state, your options are even larger. Most states in the US are eNLC participants. This makes it easy to move from state to state within the eNLC and continue working as a nurse without a problem. Don’t tie yourself down too quickly. Find work as a travel nurse and explore the different towns or areas that you are interested in. Once you find a place that you want to make your new home, then you can start to look at more stable work.
Consider Advancing to a Master’s Degree
If you are not working as an APRN at the moment and have started to feel burned out and bored at work, advance your career in a new specialization. This is relatively easy to get started if you have a BSN and have been working as an RN for this past while. If you have an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, however, you will have to earn your BSN first before you can move forward.
The good news is that there are ways to do this without having to earn the BSN separately. You can enroll in an ADN to MSN program that allows you to earn your BSN along the way. This specialist Nursing Career course can help you make huge leaps forward and finally get you ready for specialist work you enjoy.
Consider Earning a Doctorate Degree
The MSN is not the highest that you can take your qualifications. You can earn an EdD, a PhD, or a DNP. The right route for you will depend on your goals and what you want to do with your career in the future. As the roles that these degrees open up tend to move you away from working directly with patients, they can be the perfect way to transition your career as you get older and are less inclined to be on your feet all day or work long hours.
The DNP is a practice-focused doctorate program that you can use to prepare you for a leadership position within healthcare. It is a doctorate, and you will be learning a combination of skills, both practical and theoretical; but most of all, you will be positioning yourself as a leader in your field. The overall objective of the DNP is to help prepare you so that you can improve healthcare overall by updating practice, policy, and scholarship in healthcare and particularly within nursing.
With a DNP Nursing Career, you will be prepared to open your own clinic; work in a leadership role in a hospital, and so on. Having a DNP can help you stand above your peers; and better prepare you to make the significant changes that healthcare needs.
It takes less than two years to complete a top DNP online program; and you can continue to work as an APRN while you study. The DNP is designed for working APRNs and covers topics from nursing informatics to biostatistics to diversity and social issues. The goal of the DNP is to prepare you to make big changes in healthcare for the better, and to do, so it covers multiple angles.
The PhD is the research-focused doctorate program that you can enroll in. Rather than prepare nurses for the highest levels of nursing practice; it prepares nurses at the highest level of nursing science. The goal of those with a PhD in nursing is to further the discourse and advance the science of nursing as a whole. Though it may seem like other experts are already on the job; it cannot be stressed enough how important nurses have been in establishing essential healthcare practices. It was nurses, after all, that first started to wash their hands. Florence Nightingale is often credited for establishing several hygiene protocols as standards during the Crimean war.
The first person credited with the discovery of the disease-fighting power of handwashing was surgeon Ignaz Semmelweis. He did not make this discovery on his own. In fact, his discovery was concluded simply by watching midwives to understand why the mortality rate amongst midwives was lower than births in the hospital. The surprising reason at the time? Doctors did not wash their hands between patients.
Despite coming up with this theory, he was largely discredited; and it wouldn’t be until the 1980s that hand washing would become a mandatory practice in American hospitals.
This is a very basic example of how nurses throughout history have worked to improve and change the course of healthcare and care practices as a whole. The objective of your PhD is to contribute towards healthcare improvements via research. You will be able to work solely within research, in an education/research capacity; or other research-based positions that allow you to put your knowledge and experience to use in theoretical ways.
This is a special doctorate that is specifically designed to prepare you for a future in teaching. It is similar to the PhD, but rather than prepare you to work both as a teacher; and within research, it is solely designed for educators. If you don’t want to research and find it daunting but do like the idea of teaching the next generation of Nursing Career, the EdD can be a good fit.
A Few Unique Career Options for Nurses
You always have options as a nurse. You never have to give up nursing as a whole; but you may need to change where you work and how you work. Many nurses find it far better to work as a travel nurse; as it allows them greater control over their schedule and, in many cases, a higher pay because of it.
Alternatively, you can relocate and work in clinics, research centers, health centers, schools, and so on. You can even work outside of health care on health and safety teams. You can work on the set of a movie or television series as a set nurse. Also, You can work at concerts and festivals as part of the health and safety team.
If you don’t want to work with patients at all any longer, then you can get into leadership; teaching, research, policy-making, consultancy, and more. There are so many businesses, organizations, and people who need experienced nurses both practically and as leaders.
Furthering your qualifications will immediately make you a much more attractive candidate no matter the role you are interested in and also allow you to bring in a higher salary. Sometimes it will take time to build up the necessary network to really let your new career take flight; but regardless, you will be able to make a mark for yourself.
There is too great a need for nurses and too few nurses for you to ever have to give up your dreams. You will need to work at it and, of course, learn more about yourself and what you want; but it is doable, and you will be able to revamp your nursing career in the process.