When you are a nurse you can make a difference to a few patients’ lives, treatment and care. However, when you are a leader you can make a difference in the lives and care of many. Being in a position to make direct changes and being in a position of leadership is something that has to be earned and gained. Realizing your potential and pursuing a leadership role within nursing requires dedication and persistence. So, what exactly does it take to evolve your nursing career? More importantly what areas of interest do you need to focus on?
Change and Growth is Necessary
To begin the process, you have to realize that change and growth are necessary, both within the healthcare and nursing industry and of course within yourself. If you are not prepared to change and grow, then how can you expect to lead others to change and grow? Once you have realized that change is necessary, you can then begin to look at where you can make improvements to what you are doing and what you are offering in the future. Your nursing career evolves and so do you and ensuring that the two are synchronized is important for success in future leadership roles.
Retaining Your Passion For Nursing
Even though you are now focused on pursuing a career in leadership, it does not mean that you should lose your passion for nursing. As a leader, you may not be involved in the daily care of patients anymore, but you should still ensure they are at the heart of everything that you do. If you lose your passion for nursing, you will struggle as a leader, because you will lack direction. You will have trouble seeing what needs improving, and you will certainly have trouble influencing others if you are not convinced yourself. To ensure that you retain your passion as a nurse, you need to always remember why you entered the industry. Keeping in sight your goals and ambitions from your early nursing days will ensure that you do not lose sight of your future.
Have You Got What It Takes to Be A Leader
Of course, to make it as a successful leader, you have to have qualities and attributes that others do not. For example, you have to have a clear vision of what you want to happen. You also have to have great communication skills. You will be communicating with nursing and healthcare professionals at all levels and your communication skills will come into practice every day. As well as practical skills and vision, you have to develop a leadership style. Everyone has to know where they will stand with you as a leader. For example, are you going to focus on leading from the front or are you going to lead from the middle?
Enhancing and Advancing Your Education
Your level of education and your commitment to ongoing learning is going to be important in your push to leadership. If you are not committed to enhancing and advancing your education, then how can you expect to confidently lead, persuade and influence others? When it comes to advancing your education, you must focus on a program that is relevant and beneficial to your future. For instance, online nursing PhD programs without GRE allow you to focus on building your leadership styles and qualities, while still retaining a strong connection to the nursing and healthcare industry. The right program to study is just as important as anything else you do on your journey to leadership. So, take time to evaluate the options available to you.
Deciding What You Want to Achieve
While you are studying and while you are planning your future career progression, it often helps to establish what you want to achieve. For example, has your time in nursing allowed you to see where direct changes have to happen? Or has it allowed you to see where improvements can be made? To make it as a successful leader in nursing, you have to have direction and vision. Within this falls achievement. If you are not sure what you want to achieve, then how can you convince and lead others?
Finding a Position That Suits You
Not all leadership positions are right for you. Taking your time to find the most suitable position is essential. When you find a position that is suitable for you, then you can start focusing on implementing and influencing change. If a position is not suited to you, then you may find that you spend more time trying to change to fit the constraints rather than focusing on key aspects and elements of the role.
Focusing on Self-growth and Self-development
What you have to offer and bring to any role is hugely important, and to establish this you have to constantly focus on self-growth and self-development. When you know what you can bring to a role or position, you have confidence. To build this confidence, you have to work on your areas of weakness, as well as develop your strengths. Evaluating what you have to offer (on a constant basis) is crucial to your career and a leadership position. To be a leader that makes a difference you have to be assertive and you have to be in control. You can achieve this by working on yourself and working on what you bring to the table.
Seeking Out a Mentor for Guidance
To successfully evolve your nursing career, it often helps to have support and guidance along the way. Having a mentor on board gives you the guidance and support that you need. They have the industry knowledge and they have the awareness that can help you succeed. When you have a mentor by your side you can focus on development and growth. You can also focus on being a fantastic nursing leader. Getting insights from other professionals and even getting first-hand experience is valuable, and it is going to prove advantageous for your leadership career.