A career in any health field is going to be rewarding. However, a career in nursing is going to give you a sense of satisfaction and happiness too. To start and develop a career in nursing, you have to take the right steps, and you must have the right approach. Starting in any career can feel quite scary and nerve-wracking, and balancing your emotions, your feelings, and the workload can give you pressure and stress like you have never felt before. However, once you have started on the track to a new nursing career, you will find that things will get easier, and they will, of course, get more enjoyable. So, what should you be thinking about when embarking on this new journey, and how can you make everything just that little bit easier on yourself?
Table of Contents
Why The Nursing Sector?
To begin with, you have to think about why the nursing sector is right for you. The more pros and positives you can think of at this stage then, the easier you will find the whole process of change and transition. The nursing sector can allow you to meet patients from a diverse range of backgrounds, and it can help you to help and assist those who need it the most. The nursing sector can allow you to make a positive difference in the lives of others, even those in your community. Working as a nurse can also allow you to have a direct impact on the care that others receive, ensuring that they receive high standards/quality of care at all times.
The Healthcare Industry is Evolving
When you embark on a career as a nurse, you will see and feel hope the healthcare industry is evolving, and these changes and developments are exciting. The industry is evolving to provide more care for patients, and it is evolving to diversify the care that is provided. Being part of this change and development and being able to change and grow within an evolving industry is a privilege, and it is something that you should be proud of. The industry is evolving, and it is creating more opportunities for your future, your growth, and your development. There are not a lot of industries or sectors that change and evolve as quickly as the healthcare industry does, and this is something that should be appealing to you, especially as you are starting a new career.
What You Will Get From a Nursing Career
You know that the healthcare industry and nursing sector can provide you with opportunities for growth and development, but did you know it can also give you a great deal of self-satisfaction and happiness too. A career in nursing will give you a chance to interact with patients, and it will allow you to care for and look after patients through their worst of times. Getting a sense of pride and satisfaction after caring for others is something that you will not readily find in other industries. Going home at the end of the day and knowing you have made an impact is a feeling that will stay with you for a long time. Career satisfaction is hugely important in your life and your role. Developing a career in nursing will leave you feeling proud of your achievements, and it will leave you feeling fulfilled – knowing that you have made a real difference.
Taking Those First Steps
Now you know why the healthcare industry and nursing profession are right for you, and you know what you will get out of your career, you can then begin to take those first steps. Taking those first few steps may be difficult at first, but you must follow the right path to achieve success. The first step you must take is to gain the relevant qualifications. You cannot practice as a nurse if you do not have a specialist degree. If you already have a degree, you can then look at undertaking a fast-track program, which may allow you to qualify as a nurse in under a couple of years. The first steps you have to take have to cover your education and what you need to enter the industry.
Studying and Getting Qualified
Your education and your qualifications will play a huge role in your nursing career, and this is why it is important to focus on where you will study and what. You want to start as you mean to go on, and this means finding a specialized degree or program from the outset that suits you and that fits around your current commitments. For example, If you are struggling to choose a university based on its location, then why not look at nursing programs online as the preferable option. Studying and getting qualified is a crucial part of your success and part of your career as a nurse, and you need to invest your time and energy. Fully and committing to studying is an essential part of your journey. It is also important to remember that when you are studying, you want to enjoy the period, and you want to get as much out of the process as you possibly can.
Choosing the Best University
What you study is just as important as where you study. Not all locations and universities offer what you need, and you want to be sure they are investing in you. To ensure that you are choosing the best university for you, your studies, and your future, you need to think about what is important to you. For example, is the university’s reputation something that will sway your decision? Or, are you looking for their experience and expertise in the nursing and healthcare industry? Basing your decision on several factors will help you to choose the right place to study. If you are struggling to choose a university based on its location, then why not look at online studying as the preferable option? When you study online, you can study from the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits you. Less physical restraints on your time will help you achieve a sustainable and manageable balance between your work, home life, and studies.
Studying Online While Building Your Skillset
When you undertake your studies online, you also get the opportunity to build your skill set, too, because time is now firmly on your side. Your skillset in nursing is one of the most important things (together with knowledge and experience). When you invest in your skillset, you invest in yourself and in your future too. Evaluating your current skillset and seeing where there is room for improvement is essential. For example, are you an excellent communicator but perhaps a poor listener? When you can focus on developing and building your skillset early on within your career, you can then take charge of your future, and you can start working towards your goals and your ambitions.
When you enroll in nursing programs online, you not only gain the flexibility of time but also the opportunity to enhance your skill set. Your skill set in nursing is paramount, complementing your knowledge and experience. By dedicating time to improving your skill set, you are making a significant investment in yourself and your future.
Finding and Choosing a Specialism
The nursing profession offers lots of opportunities and lots of specialties you can choose from. However, if you can find and choose an area of specialism in your career and in your studies, you can then take a more focused and targeted approach. When it comes to finding (and choosing) a specialism, you need to think about where your interests lie. For example, are you interested in working with children, perhaps working closely with patients within the field of pediatrics? Or, would you prefer to work with patients who may be suffering from long-term illnesses, perhaps providing end-of-life care? What is important to you, and where does your interest and focus lie? You can get a better understanding of what each specialism offers by building up your knowledge and experience, both through studying and work experience.
4 Key Qualities Every Nurse Needs
Whichever specialism you choose to focus on, you must think about the qualities and attributes you must bring to the position. All nurses are, of course, different because they bring different views and experiences to the role. However, they hold similarities in terms of qualities and attributes. There are 4 key qualities that you will find beneficial in your career and these are empathy, sympathy, understanding, and communication. At all times within your role, you will have to show empathy and sympathy – whether this is with patients, colleagues, or a patient’s family. In your everyday role, you will have to show you understand others by adhering to their needs or by following a superior’s orders. Communication will be key at all levels, and how you communicate with others will determine how successful you are as a nurse. Working on improving these key qualities should be something that you start focusing on sooner rather than later.
The Right Attitude and Approach
To get your nursing career started off the way you want to see it continue, you have to adopt the right attitude and approach. You have to be prepared to listen to others, and you have to be able to respond to constructive criticism. When you first get started in nursing, perhaps within your first year, you will feel at times overwhelmed. To combat these feelings and cope with everything that is being thrown at you, you must have the right attitude and approach. An attitude that is positive, open to suggestions, and approachable is important. If you are not seen as open, you may miss out on opportunities, and you may also not be seen as a valued member of any team you work with.
Being a Team player
As you get started in your nursing career, and as it develops over time, you will find that you will be working on your own. However, this does not mean that you will be working independently. You will need to be a team player at all times because this is how you will provide the best care for your patients. To be a team player, you have to put yourself in your colleague’s position, and you have to think about what the best solution is for everyone (even if this is not something that you always agree with).
Experience is essential within any nursing role, and the more experience that you can get, the better prospects you will have. When it comes to gaining experience, you need to consider local opportunities, as well as those that are further away. You may also want to look at voluntary roles, as well as paid opportunities. When you focus on building your experience, you focus on building your knowledge and awareness too. Experience will help you shape your career, and it will help you find the opportunities and roles that are beneficial to you moving forward.
Having a Career Plan
Even though you may just be starting your career, it does not mean that you should not focus on creating a career plan. A career plan can guide you through your first few years as a nurse, and it can help you realize your ambitions and your full potential. When you are creating a career plan, it often helps to have ideals and goals in mind. For example, Do you see yourself as a family nurse practitioner within the next 5 years? Do you want to be a senior nurse with leadership responsibilities within the next 10 years? What career goals would you like to achieve, and by when? Career plans do not have to be followed rigidly. They are there to act as a guide, and they are there to keep you on the right track.
A career change, and even entering into an industry such as nursing will prove challenging at times for you, and how you manage these challenges is important. Managing your expectations, and being realistic, yet remaining ambitious and focused is important. When you find yourself in such a demanding position, it can be difficult to manage expectations and be realistic at the same time, but it is important to do- no matter how hard or difficult it may feel at times.
FAQ’S OF Starting and Developing a Career in Nursing
How do I start my nursing career?
1- Taking Those First Steps
2- Studying and Getting Qualified
3- Choosing the Best University
4- Finding and Choosing a Specialism
What degree do you need to be a nurse?
Here are the basic prerequisites for all nursing careers: A two-year associate’s degree is the quickest way to begin a career in nursing. It should be noted, however, that a two-year degree does not qualify you for all nursing employment.
What qualities that every nurse needs?
1- The Right Attitude and Approach
2- Being a Team player
3- Gaining Experience
4- Having a Career Plan