5 Career Progression Tips for Nurses

Updated on January 28, 2021

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A career in nursing is one of the most flexible professions out there. Within the same healthcare facility, you can switch roles and feel like you are a world away from your previous job. For instance, you can switch from a bedside nurse to a nurse informaticist, travel nurse, or a health coach for an insurance company. As much as you are committed to helping patients, you should also be committed to gaining new skills, moving your career forward, and increasing your earning potential. Read on for five career progression tips. 

  1. Further your education

Many nurses make the mistake of getting stuck at the registered nurse (RN) educational levels. You are advised to use the stepladder approach in furthering your studies by combining work and school. The stepladder system in nursing allows you to work as an RN while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Check out RNtoBSNProgram.com for the best RN to BSN programs. A BSN degree prepares you for leadership roles in hospitals or medical practice. 

  1. Network intensively

Nursing is a dynamic and multifaceted industry. Learn to network with people of different workstations in and out of your organization. Networking exposes you to new ideas and industry approaches to solving modern problems. You also get to learn about new opportunities and even get mentors within your network.

The best way to network is by joining a nursing organization locally or internationally and being committed to it. You can attend their events, training, and workshops where you get to learn and meet new people.

  1. Get a mentor

Progressing in your career doesn’t have to feel like walking in the dark as there are people within your circles who have already been there and succeeded. It takes time to establish comfortable and honest mentor-mentee relationships, but it pays to have one.

A mentor provides wisdom and guidance on various aspects of your career. If possible, seek a mentor who is not a co-worker at your organization. Some organizations, such as AONL, run mentorship programs, which can be a good starting point if you feel lost.

  1. Be professional

A nursing professional should possess critical qualities such as honesty, maintaining professionalism, respecting individuals, keeping a positive attitude, and good interpersonal skills. 

  1. Research widely

The healthcare system is a broad sector and varies from one region to another. Take time to conduct some research and learn about techniques and opportunities in the other areas you can further your career.

You can use the internet, journals, professional networks, and explore career frameworks. Being informed keeps you on tabs with the latest developments in the medical sector as well.


Progressing in your nursing career should be your priority as it gives you newer job opportunities with better working conditions, higher pay, and a sense of achievement. You don’t have to stay stuck at one level. Get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, network intensively, get a mentor, and look for opportunities far and wide.

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