The power to make your nursing career stand out from the competition is in your hands. Higher education through a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program can give you the expertise and training to make you an ideal candidate in any healthcare facility.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the nursing industry will grow 19 percent by 2022. Even with more job opportunities, BLS also suggests that nurses with diversified skills and more education may have better job prospects. It's essential to find innovative ways to stand out on a nursing team. A few ideas on how to do this include contributing to a cause, leading a team, getting certified, or spearheading research.
Live Leadership Qualities
An effective nurse leader has a distinctive set of personal qualities: integrity, initiative, courage and an ability to handle stress. This individual is often admired in their efforts to think critically, set goals and skillfully communicate and collaborate.
A nurse’s daily actions can speak volumes about leadership abilities. Some convey their leadership abilities by mentoring young professionals and going the extra mile to help new nurses acclimate to their new positions. These actions motivate and inspire a nursing team, fostering respect and accomplishing necessary patient care goals.
When one goes beyond the minimum standards for quality care, individuals become indispensable to any team that understands the importance of decisive action. By cultivating these decision-making skills, teams and management may naturally defer to nurses for consistent input on patient care or training others. Under constant pressure to perform, some leaders believe reflection is a waste of time, but looking into hindsight helps make effective and fruitful decisions moving forward.
Sacred Heart University offers a signature core curriculum called The Human Journey for nursing students. These four courses taken at the undergraduate RN-BSN program level blend an integrated understanding of the arts and sciences, giving nurses a well-rounded education that will help them view the world in a global perspective as well as each patient as an individual, all the while understanding how to become a leader in the day to day processes to impact each entity positively.
Get Involved in Industry Advocacy
The impact of nurses extends far beyond the bedside and nurses have the ability to distinguish themselves by becoming a catalyst for change. Positive differences can be made by understanding health policy, giving patients a louder voice for their rights, promoting the nursing profession or strategizing on ways to improve the healthcare system.
To accomplish this, networking may play a critical factor in an ever-connected world. Attending major conventions, smaller conferences and even online events can prove beneficial to meet professional colleagues, find new opportunities, discuss
Joining a professional nursing organization at the local or federal level proves beneficial to nursing professionals. According to research published by Nursing World, exposure within these groups is the key to staying connected, influencing health policy changes and are essential to maintain a healthy profession that advocates for the needs of patients, nurses and society as a whole.
Nursing professionals can also reach out to lawmakers or submit a call to action regarding causes. They can also submit well-researched articles to nursing publications for press. These forms of advocacy allow individuals greater visibility within a nursing team and may act as a resume booster. The initiative to get involved and affect change demonstrates a passion and dedicated work ethic.
Obtain Advanced Certifications
Everyone in the healthcare equation, from patients, employers, nurses, benefits from certification as a mark of excellence. Obtaining a certification in a nursing specialty is a significant way to show employers various skillsets and advanced healthcare knowledge. It also speaks well on behalf of the individual, demonstrating rigorous quality standards in education and practice.
Employers value certification and continued education as it elevates their competence and quality standards to patients. Patients also benefit from a nurse’s certification as they are the end user of this advanced knowledge and care. The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses found that certification is directly linked to better care. The American Board of Nursing Specialists also outlines approximately 60 different types of specialized certification programs that nurses can pursue to expand their professional opportunities.
Certification Benefits for Patients:
- Americans prefer hospitals that employ nurses with specialty certification. Three in four (73%) said that, given a choice, they are much more likely to select a hospital that employs a high percentage of nurses with specialty certification.1
- As healthcare becomes more complex, it is increasingly vital to assure the public that healthcare professionals are competent.
Certification Benefits for Employers:
- Certification provides ongoing validation of specialty experience, knowledge and skills.
- Certification creates more satisfaction in the workplace. Nurses with high job satisfaction from a supportive and professional workplace environment are less likely to change jobs.
- Employers who embrace and support nurse certification are more competitive within the healthcare market.
- Ongoing education and experience better prepares him/her to make informed decisions that encompass a larger scope and reduces a nurse's exposure to risk.
Certification Benefits for Nurses:
- RN licensure measures entry-level competence. Certification validates specialty knowledge, experience and clinical judgment.
- According to Cary's study, published in 2001, nurses whose clinical judgment has been validated through certification believe that they make decisions with greater confidence. This study also found that certified nurses overwhelmingly report that certification enabled them to experience personal growth and feel more satisfied in their work.2
Most importantly, certification shows a nurses' commitment to their knowledge and career development, and dedication to patient care, which is critical in the rapidly evolving nursing work environment.
Patient care starts and ends with nurses, and so does the healthcare industry policies and progress. Encountering new patients and workflow challenges daily offer nurses the opportunity to observe, analyze, understand and mold the way other professionals approach patient care in the future.
These daily experiences contribute to evidence-based research. With a hands-on approach, nurses gain the experience they need to solve problems and create new efficiencies. Research efforts demonstrate initiative and commitment to improve patient care and workflow in the healthcare industry, and it also allows professional growth by supplying nurses with the most accurate tools and opportunities to continually advance a given specialty. When nurses can integrate their findings into a work environment, they validate the overall contribution to the team and profession. The American Nurses Association conveniently offers a research toolkit to help guide through the process of how to identify and research patient care studies.
Bedside practice is vital to nursing research, and in turn evidence-based research provides a strong foundation for the future of patient bedside care.
Pursue an Advanced Degree
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 43.7 percent of hospital employers require nurses to have a BSN while 78.6 percent of these facilities surveyed by AACN express a strong preference for graduates with at least a bachelor of science in nursing degree. Advanced education plays a vital role in the healthcare field. As evidence-based scientific breakthroughs occur and technology evolves, nursing professionals must stay updated with the latest innovations to improve patient outcomes, and advanced nursing degrees help give you access to the new nursing findings and care methods.
Continued education enables nurses to not only learn these new skills but also utilize them in the workplace. Through degree advancement, individuals can create new opportunities as well as the ability to specialize in an area of interest. These degrees offer a critical stepping-stone to a fulfilling and rewarding career in nursing.
The advanced knowledge and expertise acquired from continued nursing education sets professionals up for greater demand, which in turn creates increased job security. An online nursing program prepares you for new career advancement opportunities while offering the distinct advantage of studying at your own pace in a way that seamlessly fits alongside your work schedule. It enables you to preserve the strides you've made in your current career, where you can simultaneously work and learn. You'll learn how to apply leadership qualities to clinical practice, find networks to get involved, explore research methods and even delve into specialization, which is possible through an accelerated RN-BSN-MSN program. The chance to set yourself apart is within reach at Sacred Heart University.