Nursing Career Mapping

Take the Long View and Manage Your Nursing Career for Success
June 3, 2017 – 12:48 pm

nursing careerIt is wise to periodically revisit how you’ve managed your nursing career, which is defined as your work path or journey. While some hospitals and healthcare organizations do a good job of providing career progression tools and professional development opportunities, YOU have to manage your career in a way that truly serves YOUR best interests. How then can you take the long view, gain control, and manage your nursing career?

The Components of Career Management

First and foremost, you need to know your wants and needs. You must be able to rattle them off comfortably at a moment's notice. You must also feel confident you've invested the necessary time and energy for genuine self-reflection and assessment.

Beyond that, you must have an annual inventory of your nursing licensure, knowledge, skills, abilities, certifications, interests, values, and work ethics. Often, this is only done in the form of a resume, which is not enough. Your resume is a "here and now" tool that looks at what you have developed so far that specifically supports an immediate goal. Do not confuse your resume for a career map.

True career management requires you to:

  • Identify the knowledge and skill accelerators available to you such as training, mentorship, promotion and transfer opportunities.
  • Map out the bigger picture of what you want out of life, how your skills have developed, and what next steps to take both now and along the way.
  • Structure your path in the form of options for career progression.

Ultimately, you want to analyze which nursing career paths are most sustainable for you. Paths can include hospital settings, community/public health settings, online nursing, consulting, insurance, consumer services, sales, education, emergency services, psychiatric, and yes, even self-employment. Which paths support what is most important in regards to other aspects of your life?

Nursing Changes on the Horizon

Healthcare reform is on everyone’s mind. As such, discussions revolve around the need for a RN, BSN and even a MSN designation. Nursing functions are also automated wherever possible.

With hospital stays shrinking, nurses are now required to work at peak efficiency. Outpatient care is on the rise, along with remote case management. Preventative care is also becoming paramount to curbing costs. Geriatrics and gerontology needs are exploding while nurse consultants are needed across a variety of settings.

Whatever changes unfold, your organization will conduct annual performance appraisals of some kind to review your progress in support of their strategic goals. This review is just one component of career management, so don't stop there. If you benefit from the exercise as well, great. But make no mistake about it—employers serve their own interests first and foremost.

Interesting facts
Thompson Rivers University is a comprehensive university located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. It offers students a broad range of courses, career streams, and the ability to ladder credits from diploma programs into full degrees. The enabling legislation is the Thompson Rivers University Act. While the main campus is located in...
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