5 Signs of a Successful Nursing Career

A multi-ethnic group of nurses and a doctor are standing together in their hispital clinic. They are all smiling and looking at the camera.

There is hardly anything else in the life of most peoplethat they put more time and effortinto than their careers. It starts with academics and continues with higher studies, jobs and professional education for decades. So how does one know that he/she has been successful in culminating all thateffort? More specifically in sync with the topic at hand, when should nurses feel that they have managed to accomplish something substantial?

Nurses and doctors save lives as part of their regular routine, so it’s fair to say that they will always hold an important and respected position in society, irrespective of where they are working. Even then, every professional community does have specific standards by which they would define the word “success” and the following five signs signify exactly that for a professional nurse.

Satisfaction with the Chosen Field of Work

At no point can the fact that nurses work in life and death scenarios be undermined because that’s part of what makes the profession a noble one.

On the other hand, it is still extremely important that nurses perceive themselves as such. Ask yourself the following questions to understand if you are truly satisfied with your chosen field of nursing:

  • Do you feel that you are wasting your time and talents?
  • Is there a feeling of general dissatisfaction specific to the work that you do as a nurse?
  • Do you feel that you can do better in a different department?
  • Has the prospect of career growth slowed down in the last few years?
  • Is your current field of nursingkeeping you confined to sections of the healthcare industry that you want to leave?
  • Are you finding the job difficult or unsuited for you?
  • Are the schedules affecting your personal life too heavily?

These questions should, at the very least, be able to identify the reasons behind your job dissatisfaction. That will consequently help you to seek success in a different field of nursing that you find to be more suited for your needs and skills.

Are You Qualified Enough?

Education, knowledge and professional achievements inspire respect and signify success, so you should not stop your education until you are truly satisfied with what you have learned.

Now, before you choose a line of advanced nursing education, keep in mind that the right path will vary widely depending on one’s experience, skills, interest, natural inclinations and prior educational qualifications in nursing. For example, if you are a highly qualified, registered nurse who already holds an MSN degree, it’s time to consider getting a doctorate in nursing leadership and assume a top of the rung position in healthcare.

Just in case you have not considered them before, do go through the following to know why a DNP-ENL program can be exactly what a nursing professional needs to complete their education:

  • DNP executive leadership salary scales are on a completely different level; financial success is always a sign of success
  • Stagnancy for an MSN often means that they need to take up a more administrative role, which the DNP-ENL program is all about
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice is the highest pinnacle of academic and professional qualifications for nurses
  • DNP programs are designed to create nursing leaders today so that they can form policies to improve and update patientcare tomorrow

Perhaps underneath it all, a doctorate degree also brings highly revered nurses a sense of closure, which is something that we all need in order to be feel satisfied. Post completing one’s Ph.D., a nursing professional attains the highest position of academic and professional excellence in their field of work.

Do You Feel Like You are Helping?

The very profession of nursing has been created with the idea of helping people who can’t help themselves in times of illness. Therefore, in order to feel and be successful, you must also feel that you are helping in some way or the other.

Now, not everyone has the same requirements, but the principle idea here is that you should feel like you are:

  • Helping the nursing community as a leader
  • Helping your patients
  • Improving patient care as an administrative figure
  • Helping rural communities and other ill-equipped groups with medical care and guidance
  • Providing relief psychologically to multiple patients or groups
  • Performing pediatric/geriatric/general caregiving

Even if what you do as a nurse is not on this small list, it doesn’t matter. As long as you are helping a cause, a group, or even just a few individuals earnestly, you are on the path to success as a nurse.

You are Treated with Respect by Your Colleagues and Boss

Nothing speaks louder than respect when it comes to success. Notice if you are always being treated with respect by your peers, juniors and even the boss. Usually, respect is earned in the nursing profession on account of the following:

  • Educational qualifications and experience that make you more equipped to handle the job that you are doing
  • Achievements as a nurse and public appreciation
  • Diplomacy and applied emotional intelligence while dealing with everyone from patients and colleagues, to the boss
  • Dedication to the work and an excellent track record
  • Clear communication skills

Moving Forward

In any field of work, if you are not moving forward or growing as a professional, it’s known as career stagnancy. Therefore, if you are still doing the same work, at roughly the same pay that you were doing five years ago, it’s a sign that something needs to change. Growing complacent is never ideal, but particularly not so for someone in the medical profession. The more you learn and grow, the better you will be able to help your patients and those under your charge.

At the end of it all, being successful as a nurse is not as much about how others perceive you, but more about how you perceive yourself. Nevertheless, we do live in a society where how others perceive us will influence that self-image. For the most part though, as long as you keep what we discussed in mind, that sense of being successful will come.

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