There are many different types of nurses, and no matter what you want out of your career, you’ll find there is a path for you to take that will ensure you can get there and make the most out of what you do for a living – you can follow your dreams, in other words.
That might mean qualifying as a nurse and then doing that same job at the same level until you retire. For some, this is perfect, and exactly what they want to make them happy and give them what they need. Others won’t want this at all and will instead want to progress their careers as much as they can, potentially trying out all kinds of different options. If you fall into the second category, you might find it hard to determine when the right time is to move forward and take the next step. Read on for some advice about doing exactly that.
You Have a Clear Vision
Unless you have a clear vision about what you want to do in the future, it’s always going to be hard to know when it’s the right time to take the next step and move forward. If you don’t know where you’re going, or even why you want to do something, motivation will be missing, and that’s a key factor in getting ahead – you need to want to do whatever it is you’re doing if you want the best results.
When you create a plan, you’ll be much more able to steer yourself in the right direction and know what to do next and, crucially, when to do it. That’s not to say that your plan has to be entirely rigid and you need to stick to it come what may, of course; it’s better to be flexible because you might find a better path or a different result is a much better option. However, even a flexible plan is better than no plan at all, and it can make all the difference in determining your next steps.
You Know Your Weaknesses
No matter what you do in life, it’s probable that you’ll want to do as well as you can and do what it takes to get ahead. In nursing, if you aim high, you can see what kind of experience is necessary and how you might reach the goals you are hoping to achieve. Yet, aiming high will teach you a lot as well; it will teach you what you still need to learn and show you how much more experience you’ll need to gain.
When you’re aware of these things, it will be easier to know what areas you are less confident and competent in, and that will mean you can put work into bettering those areas. Once you’ve done that, you’ll know if you can take the next step or if there is more work to do.
Having weaknesses is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s very important to know what yours are and how they affect your nursing career. Only by taking a step back and looking more closely at exactly what you need to know more about will you know what you should be studying more closely, enabling you to strengthen your weaker skills and allowing you to move forward.
You Believe in Yourself
There is a very simple way to know that you’re ready to move on and take the next step forward in your nursing career – you believe in yourself, and you know you can do it. No matter how much experience you have or how many qualifications you’ve studied for, if you don’t feel confident in your knowledge and abilities, you won’t feel ready to move forward with your career, even if you are ready to do so.
Self-belief goes a long way when it comes to taking the next step as a nurse. Of course, you will need the experience and qualifications we mentioned, otherwise you can’t progress in the way you would want to, but without a good dose of self-belief as well, you won’t ever feel ready to take the next step along the path to success.
You’ll need to think carefully about your skills and look at all the things you have achieved. Ask others for feedback and speak to your patients. It can be hard to have self-belief sometimes when you’re trying to do your job and not thinking about anything else, but once you realize what you can do, this will help you determine where to go next.
You Take the Initiative
You might be more reactive than proactive. In other words, you wait for something to happen and then act. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely you’re ready to take the next steps in your career – if you want to be a nurse leader, or perhaps you want to study to be a travel nurse, or you want to specialize in any way, you need to be able to work under your own steam and not rely on what anyone else says. You shouldn’t have to wait for instructions to do something.
If you are more proactive – a skill that can certainly be learned over time, and that will come more easily with experience and knowledge – then it could be that you are ready to move forward. You don’t need anyone to give you instructions and can work of your own volition. When you have this important life skill, you can become a leader or a more senior nurse, or perhaps branch out on your own, depending on what your passions and plans are.
You Stay Focused
Life is busy – there is a lot to do and a lot to think about. In the 21st century especially, with so many distractions in the form of entertainment and technology, it’s easy to become unfocused on what your main life goals are, even if you are truly passionate about them. You might not even realize it’s happening until you wonder why your plans and goals have not yet come to fruition.
It’s crucial that you stay focused if you want to move forward, and unless you are focused, you’ll never feel ready to take that next step. Of course, you need downtime and time to relax, but you also need to pay attention to your path. If you find you are getting away from your goals, take some time to be objective about your life so you can figure out why.