How To Upgrade Your Nursing Career  

Updated on March 29, 2023

Nursing is not the right career for everyone; this is important to know. It takes a certain kind of personality and set of skills to be good at nursing and enjoy it. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s challenging – there will be new things to learn every day. However, if you know that nursing is the right thing for you to do with your life, it’s a rewarding career in which you can move forward however you choose. 

This can surprise some people who don’t realize how much career progression is possible when you’re a nurse. The truth is there are many different options open to nurses who have the experience and the knowledge to get where they want to go. 

With that in mind, if you want to ‘upgrade’ your nursing career and take the next steps in your career advancement, there are some things you’ll need to do to ensure success. Read on to find out what they are so you can make a plan for your future as a nurse. 

Learn More

When it comes to advancing your nursing career, one of the most important elements is how much you know. There are always new ideas and methods being introduced into the field of nursing and medicine as a whole because inventions and innovations are taking the place of older methods. This ensures patients get the very best care. As a nurse, you need to know about these changes, and you need to ensure you can utilize the new rules and ideas in your day-to-day work; this will help your patients in the best way. 

This is why it’s so important for nurses to understand they have to undertake continuous learning. For some, this will mean going back to school, either physically or by taking an online degree. This can be ideal, as it offers a specific qualification which is proof of your learning and something you can show any future employer when you apply for advanced positions. However, this is not the only way to learn more as a nurse, and if it’s not something you are able to do, you can still push ahead. 

For example, you can read journals, blogs, and articles about nursing – this can be done for free using the internet. You can also attend conferences. You might even start a discussion group with fellow nurses to talk about the nursing industry and discuss new ideas in patient care. 

However you feel it’s best to do it, continuous learning will help you upgrade your nursing career, and it will also allow you to help your patients more, so it’s well worth doing. 

Mentorship And Coaching Programs 

If you don’t feel you have a lot of nursing experience or you’re not confident in your abilities, you’re not going to make the most of any opportunities that come your way in terms of your nursing career. This is why a mentor or a coach can be the ideal solution. You’ll get plenty of advice and information from more experienced nurses who understand your position and are willing to help you take the next steps in whichever direction you want to go. There are programs you can join that will help you with this idea, and they will do a variety of different things. 

A mentorship program could be ideal, for example. With this, you’ll be matched with a more seasoned nurse in order to gain insights and experience from them. You can ask questions, bounce ideas off them, and generally listen to their advice to avoid as many mistakes as possible while still learning what to do. This can be invaluable when building your confidence to a level where you’re ready to move forward. 

Coaching is similar, although it will often also involve one-on-one time between the nurse and the coach to ascertain your goals. In this case, it’s best to be as specific as possible. For example, if you want to try travel nursing in Hawaii, this is something you can discuss with your coach. They will be able to help you find the resources you need to ensure your dream becomes a reality.  

Shadowing is another good idea, although it’s generally for those who have not yet become nurses. When you shadow another nurse, you’ll get an in-depth view of exactly what nursing is like. You’ll know what you will be doing each day and what steps you could take in your career. This might help you not just decide whether or not to become a nurse but where you want your nursing career to go – you can make a plan that will help you stay focused.


If you want to upgrade your nursing career, knowledge and qualifications are clearly important. However, experience is crucial too, and you’ll need to combine these things to become a nurse who can choose their own career path and do exactly what they want to do. 

If you feel your knowledge is good, but your experience is lacking, and that’s what’s holding you back, why not try volunteering? You can volunteer at a variety of places, such as a local clinic, a blood drive, an inoculation center, and so on. You might even be able to visit people in their homes and help them understand more about their health issues. This kind of work will not only help the people you are interacting with, but it will help you gain plenty more experience that it might otherwise take years to gain if you didn’t take up this opportunity. You can progress your career more quickly and get exactly where you want to go. 

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