Nursing Career of Your Dreams in 5 Easy Steps

How to Land the Nursing Career of Your Dreams

So you just graduated nursing school and you haven’t picked an area to work in yet. Right? You are wondering where do I even start? So many job postings. I don’t want to make a mistake! No worries! In order to land the nursing career of your dreams you must simply be true to yourself by applying these 5 important steps.
1.) Your Favorite Subject
Make a mental note of the classes you enjoy while in nursing school. Make even better mention of specific body systems you’ve mastered or even have a strong interest in. For example, I knew right away that I had a strong interest in cardiology. It was my favorite subject in nursing school. From jump street I was good at reading rhythms.
2.) Pay Attention In Clinicals
It’s always a good thing to pay attention in clinicals, after all, you will be responsible for someone else’s life soon. But while in clinicals, know what to pay attention to! Pay close attention to the different types of units you may encounter during rotations. Take note of the patient to nurse ratios on the floor, the number of nurse techs to patient ratio, charting and vital sign frequency, standard care specific to each unit, and if the nurses in general are happy on that floor.
3.) 5 Year Plan
After you decide what subject(s) is your favorite and which floor(s) has been your favorite clinical site, now it’s time to plan! Even if you are still in between specialties and not quite sure which one to choose, this step is crucial for you! This is where magic is made. This is where legends are told. This is how you’ll put yourself on track to your dream job.
For example, once I decided that I loved cardiology. I begin to research successful career paths that pertain to cardiology. If you have selected correctly, you should be able to map out a successful 5 year career path that requires no additional education. This is what I decided:
  • Year 1- Telemetry/ Stepdown
  • Year 2- Telemetry/ Stepdown
  • Year 3- CCU
  • Year 4- CCU
  • Year 5- Electrophysiology
Here’s another example:
  • Year 1- Mother/ Baby
  • Year 2- Mother/ Baby
  • Year 3- Labor and Delivery
  • Year 4- Labor and Delivery
  • Year 5- Labor and Delivery Charge Nurse
4.) Start Applying
Now that you have a general 5 year plan in place, start applying! I applied to CCU and CVICU. Both pertain to cardiology. Both allowed me to skip year 1 and 2 of my initial goals, and go straight into years 3 and 4. I got the CCU position. Unfortunately, I had to move to another state shortly after which means I had to repeat this application step all over again in a different state. No worries! I applied and landed a job on a telemetry/ step down unit at a level one trauma center in a big city. This was a dream come true! I worked there for years 1 and 2 then worked in electrophysiology for years 3- 5.
5.) 10 Year Plan
At the end of year 3, you should be preparing goals for years 5-10. These are the years where all your hard work is really starting to pay off! You are now considered an experienced nurse. During these years, you can go back to school. Get a promotion. Be an advanced practitioner. Go into management. Go into industry. Here’s what I decided:
  • Year 6- Electrophysiology
  • Year 7- Electrophysiology Charge Nurse
  • Year 8- Electrophysiology Charge Nurse
  • Year 9- Industry Representative Medical Device Sales
  • Year 10- Industry Representative Medical Device Sales
Here’s another example:
  • Year 6- Labor and Delivery Charge Nurse Enroll in School
  • Year 7- Labor and Delivery Charge Nurse Enroll in School
  • Year 8- Nurse Manager Masters Degree in Nurse Leadership
  • Year 9- Nurse Manager
  • Year 10- Nurse Director
In nursing, there are an endless amount of possibilities and career paths. You can even achieve your goals in less then 10 years. If you follow this guideline, you’ll eventually land your dream job, all the while being true to yourself.

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