Steps you should consider when taking the next step in your career

Steps you should consider when taking the next step in your career

Does success simply require being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people—a matter of luck or circumstance? Whether you are a recent graduate or a nurse with years of experience, the next step in your career is in your hands. Here are some of the most important things you should have in mind when stepping further in your career:


The first step to achieve any goal is to have motivation. What motivates people to complete a task determines the quality of the harvest they will reap. Determine what’s your motivation for wanting to advance in your nursing career and that will determine the success you will have.

Take a moment to see what stage of your career you are.

Are you completely happy?

If so, I humbly ask you not to continue reading the rest of this article. Happiness in life is a joy that is often neglected, and I encourage you to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

If not, please continue.

Why do you want to advance in your nursing career? What will that do for you? What will help you do for others? It will make you happy? How will it affect your family? Will it change you? Will it make you feel better? I want something else?

Answer these questions. Think seriously about the answers. Critical thinking is not a new idea for nurses, however, it seems that nurses often do not apply these skills to their own lives and goals. There is no established path for anyone. If you are an RN, LPN, nursing student, C.N.A, APN, BSN, MSN, A.D.N, CRNA, and so on, the next step in your career is your responsibility and you should be preparing yourself to succeed.

Take a minute, breathe and think.


Depending on your current academic situation, there are a variety of continue education options. As nurses, we owe our patients to be informed about current trends, new technologies, and policies. Many states require CE credits to be able to practice. Consequently, there are several resources that are available online to obtain continuing education credits, as well as a large number of reputable institutions that can expand your practical knowledge and critical thinking.  

Remember, we must not stop learning. My goal, and the way I know that I can help more patients, is to be aware of the medical trends and keep my knowledge updated, making sure to get involved in technology changes. What is your nursing goal?

Positive attitude

We all know that there are many problems in the healthcare industry, however, we need to be defenders of our profession. If we want to be seen as professionals, we have to see ourselves as professionals. Talk and tell people what you do. Do not focus solely on the emotional and nursing care aspects, but talk about how we use our minds to solve problems, use evidence in our practice, and maintain personal standards with little or no direct supervision.

If you notice a problem, do not ignore it. But also, don’t complain. Do what you do for your patients, think critically and solve the problem! If you are going to express your opinion on a topic, you should try to offer solutions and be a means to change. Do not limit yourself to making a list of problems without trying to offer solutions.

Tell yourself that your patients will receive the best care possible. Tell yourself that it will be a resource for your peers and a leader in your field and that it will motivate positive change and excellence in nursing.

The power of Networking

Who you know is important. Whether it’s a casual smile in the hallway or a handshake to your Executive Director, you never know when you can be in the competition for the breakthrough and that simple smile or handshake can make a difference on the next step in your career. This does not mean going outside and making all managers feel comfortable, this means that you have to make yourself accessible and be outgoing with those who can make or break you in your profession.


Integrity is often not emphasized in nursing. This is our greatest asset. I am not talking about how nurses are constantly classified as the most reliable professionals. This is part of it since honesty and ethics play an important role in maintaining integrity. I am talking about being true to yourself, to your standards, to the needs of your family, to the rights of your partners, to the rights of your patients, and not to make sacrifices that are not necessary or beneficial.

Respect those around you, but be a resource to them if they decide they may want more. Educate students to be the best nurses they can be. Help them to see that not every day is a bad day. We are all in this together, after all.
The next step in your career can be the most important one, so be mindful of the choices you are making today.

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About the author

Sam Attal

Sam has been working in the healthcare industry for 5 years, she lives in Georgia with her husband and 2 dogs. She freelances as a content writer and loves to read about medical trends and share the knowledge around.

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