Nursing Career Development: Advice from a Nurse

One of the best ways to determine whether a career as a registered nurse is right for you is to see how currently-employed RNs feel about their careers and the field as a whole. Utica’s guest blogger shares her advice here on nursing career development.

Whether you are already committed to earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing or if you are still trying to decide if this is your path, it’s always a good idea to learn more

I have a great friend who loves being a nurse. We met at my first job, and though I have since moved on, she is still there. I think she will be a legend at that hospital, retiring into her 90s. I have another good friend, another great nurse. Like the first friend, we also met at my first job. She, in the same amount of time, has worked in four different hospitals. She quit and moved on for various great reasons; husband’s job transferred them, new opportunity to advance her career, and so on and so on. Both friends have given me cause to stop and think; as nurses, is it looked upon negatively to pick up and move on to another job after two years or so in the same position?

Nursing Career Development: Advice from a Nurse

The Difference Two Years Makes in Nursing Career Development

I come from a family of business people. My dad is the one of the hardest-working men in business. He is an excellent business man, and I’m thankful for all the excellent business-related skills he has taught me. With this being said, I am the only nurse this generation out. I really don’t know of a single other family member in the nursing world. Last summer, out of frustration, I said to my dad, “I think I’m going to look for a new job.” I wanted a better home to live in, a nicer car. At that time, I thought getting a “better” job is what I needed. My dad, panicked, said “No you can’t! You’ve only been in your current job for two years! No one will hire you!” This thought is almost laughable to a nurse. Two years in my profession is looked at as major experience. Many employers will think, “Wow this chick has done two years in this type of ICU, I’m interested.” Experience is knowledge, and knowledge is good nursing.

I thought about what my dad said though. When I accepted the job I have now, I told myself I wanted to work at it for five years before I would consider another job. I wanted to hold myself accountable to my commitment. I wanted to do five years to show my passion for my work and to build my knowledge base. I must admit, I am enviousness of nurses who wear their “10 years” pin on their badge. I want that.

Now this isn’t at all to say that I can’t advance at my current job. If a charge nurse position were to become open, I would gladly consider that opportunity. However, I want to see through my commitment to my hospital and community of at least five years, if not more, with the same company.

There is absolutely something to be said about working at the same place for years. The respect you get from this is nothing to sneeze at. I work with several nurses that have a “25 years” pin. Wow. I would be proud of myself to earn the five year pin and work my way up.

I’m committed to staying with my hospital because I like my community. I remember doing my job shadow for my current position and the patients I saw that day. I remember thinking “I could do this for my life, serve these people.”

In nursing, there is nothing negatively associated with switching jobs. In fact, that’s the beauty of it! I would love later in life to try my hand at neonatal ICU. However, today I’m not at that point. My goal is to stay within my health system for my career. I am very lucky, as my health system has many hospitals, and I can stay and serve the community I love.

If you’re ready to start developing your nursing career, contact a Utica ABSN admissions advisor today.

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