Just starting out as an aspiring nursing professional? You’ll want to read our top tips for achieving your career goals on your path to becoming a qualified nurse.
Of course, completing your nursing qualification is just the beginning. You’ll also need to get the most out of your professional placements, and also, learn how to sell yourself as a potential candidate when applying for your dream role.
Keen to learn more about mapping out your career path as a nurse? Follow our step-by-step guide to success.
Step One: Get Your Qualification
If you’re aiming to land a job as a nurse, you’ll need to get the right qualifications! The great thing about studying nursing? There are so many different nursing courses you can choose from.
To fast-track your nursing career, consider completing a Master of Nursing. Why a master’s degree, though? Essentially, studying any discipline at the master’s level will take your existing skills and knowledge to the highest possible rank (excluding becoming a PhD candidate, of course). As a nursing student, taking on postgraduate study can help propel your career to new heights. Interested in becoming a leader in the field? A postgraduate nursing qualification can give you a competitive edge above the rest.
Even if you don’t want to pursue higher forms of education, though, you still need to obtain the requisite qualifications to become a nurse. This is because there are fundamental skills you must acquire through formal training and education to be able to perform your job effectively.
Step Two: Complete Those Job Placements
The next step in your nursing career journey is to fulfil your job placements. These will usually be conducted in hospital settings or, in some cases, private medical clinics. Placements are a mandatory part of getting through nursing school. As a nursing student, completing your placements will allow you to gain vital on-the-job training and exposure to the industry. You’ll also meet and make valuable contacts with others in your field.
Of course, it pays to be on your best behaviour when on placement. Arrive early, be proactive, and take initiative. Learn to follow instructions and help make decisions when needed. You’ll also need to learn how to work collaboratively with your teammates. To get the most out of your nursing placement, consider it as an opportunity for growth, as well as both personal and professional development. This is your chance to act like a sponge and soak up all the skills, training and knowledge you possibly can.
Step Three: Land Your Dream Job
Completed your qualifications and finished your nursing placements? Now, it’s time to land a job!
First, do your research into the types of environments you want to work in. Do you prefer a smaller, private clinic setting, or does the prospect of working in a fast-paced hospital excite you? Once you’ve done this, narrow down to specific locations you’d like to work at.
Next, start sending out your applications. You will need to prepare a resume and cover letter outlining your achievements, your skills and competencies, and also, your professional goals. As a fresh grad, it helps to send out as many applications as possible.
The method of cold-canvassing can also work in your favour. This involves approaching an employer, even if a job is not advertised. It means showcasing your strengths, and what you can bring to the company. When doing this, it’s important to highlight the reasons why you would be indispensable as a staff member, and how you would be a valuable addition to the team. In doing so, you will essentially be creating and marketing your personal brand, and promoting yourself to your potential new employer. While this may sound challenging – stick at it! It will pay off in the end, especially once you land your dream job.
When your dream is to become a nurse, it helps to chart out an action plan that will see you through your professional journey. With hard work, drive, and determination, following the steps we’ve outlined will get you far.
Most importantly, remember that you can only get out what you put in. View every opportunity as a stepping stone to get you where you want to be. And, don’t be afraid to refer back to your action plan. This will help keep you on track on your journey to becoming a nurse.