A Guide for Nurse Practitioners: How to Take Your Career to the Next Level

Nurse Practitioners

Have you recently found yourself staring face-to-face with that dreaded glass ceiling in your career as a nurse practitioner? Are you determined to smash through this invisible barrier and overcome whatever hurdles are in your way? If you are serious about progressing in the healthcare profession, be sure to put the following advice into practice.

Here are five things you must do to take your nursing career to the next level:

Cultivate many skills

Specialty nursing will demand a lot from you and throw you headfirst into a host of different situations daily. If you are to handle all of the additional pressure that you will take on when you climb your career ladder, you are going to need to arm yourself with a host of different attributes and capabilities

Before you begin to take physical action with regard to taking your nursing career to the next level, be sure to cultivate the following all-important skills:

1. Mental and physical endurance

2. Enthusiasm and optimism

3. Patient advocacy

4. Communication

5. Active listening

6. Counselling

7. Adaptability and flexibility

8. Decision making

9. Attention to detail

10. Self-confidence

Brush up on your medical knowledge

You will still be asked to care for your patients in a one-to-one fashion when you become a specialty nurse, but this will not be the only task that you are assigned. The further you climb up the nursing career ladder, the more you will be expected to diagnose illness and prescribe medication.

Are you determined to provide an advanced level of healthcare? If so, you must try to remain up to date with the latest medical knowledge. 

To achieve this crucial feat, you must:

1. Never stop reading

If you are serious about becoming an expert medical provider, you need to read high-quality sources of information whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Do not worry; this does not necessarily have to put you out of pocket — you can find free medical journals online.

2. Use medical apps

There are now many medical apps that you can download from either the App Store or Google Play. With these interactive healthcare platforms at your disposal, you will be able to brush up on your medical knowledge while you are on the go. If you’re on the lookout for an app that will help you to learn the key anatomical language, be sure to download Essential Anatomy.

3. Align yourself with like-minded learners

Learning is always better with others. If you surround yourself with like-minded individuals who also want to expand their medical knowledge, you will find it easier to remain on course with your educational goals simply because you will always have somebody there to motivate you. What is more, with a study partner close by, you will have the capacity to discuss what you have learned in an in-depth and insightful manner.

Map out your career pathway

Nurse practitioners’ best-laid plans often go awry when they fail to map out their individual career pathways. If you are dead set on reaching the pinnacle of your niche healthcare field, you simply must draw up a professional strategy for yourself. Once this roadmap is in place, you will find it easier to foresee and ultimately overcome challenges that arise as your career progresses. In turn, this will make you much more likely to achieve your overarching professional goals at a far quicker pace.

For comprehensive advice and guidance on what you must do to map out your career pathway, be sure to check out this helpful article on the matter.

Broaden your network

As a career-driven nurse, broadening your network is one of the most important tasks that you face. Here are some of the benefits that you will be sure to reap once you perform this all-important task:

1. Increased access to promotions and growth opportunities

2. Enhanced confidence in your speaking and collaboration skills

3. The ability to gain a different perspective on your work

4. Strengthened connections outside of your niche healthcare field

5. First-hand access to new, cutting-edge medical information

AGNP vs. FNP: what is the difference?

The main differences lie in the patient population that you will be serving. AGNPs are trained specifically to treat adults, whereas FNPs are known to treat a mix of children, adolescents, and elderly patients on a day-to-day basis. So really, it all depends on who you wish to serve and what kind of an impact you wish to make on the nursing field. For more information about what you can expect from both the AGNP and FNP career pathways, be sure to click here.

Once you put all of the above advice into practice and progress through the nursing ranks in your healthcare center, you will undoubtedly find yourself at an all-important crossroads in your career: do you become an adult geriatric nurse practitioner (AGNP) or a family nurse practitioner (FNP)? These are the two specialty nursing roles that you should aim to attain in your career, as they will both help you to build a legacy for yourself as an expert provider of patient care.

AGNP vs FNP: what is the difference? As stated by Texas Woman’s University, both of these nursing pathways offer bright professional outlooks. Both will allow you to reach your full potential as a nurse, and both will allow you to carry on providing one-to-one care for your patients.

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession that provides a whole host of amazing perks, such as job security and flexibility. If you want to carry on reaping these rewards for years to come, you should attempt to climb to the pinnacle of your chosen career ladder. The more authority you attain as a nurse, the more you will be sure to benefit on both a personal and a professional level.

When you decide to smash through that proverbial glass ceiling in your nursing career, be sure to put all of the above advice into practice.