Career Development: Staying Focused on Your Career Goals
Every professional needs to revisit their personal career development regularly. Both seasoned nurses and newly hired LVNs in California alike deserve opportunities to examine their individual goals. Whether you are interested in management and leadership opportunities, or want to move into specializations, there are several steps you can take to broaden your skill set and potentially earn more income.
New Nurse? Find a Mentor
If you’re brand new to the field, your immediate responsibilities are to learn and grow. There’s no greater living example of what your nursing career can become than a more experienced nurse. As soon as you start your training at a new job, start asking your supervisors and colleagues questions like:
- How long they’ve been a nurse
- Amount of time they’ve worked in the facility
- The best piece of advice a nurse gave them when they started
The more you engage with your colleagues, the more likely you will develop a trusting and nurturing relationship with an LVN or RN who will be there to guide you as you progress.
Get an Advanced Degree
Several years into your career as an LVN in California, it may be time to look for other educational opportunities to take on more advanced management and leadership posts down the road. LVNs can also take courses to become certified in a specialty including:
- Long-Term Care
- Post-Natal Care
- Wound Care
- …And (of course) more
As the United States continues to face nursing staffing shortages, healthcare organizations will remain motivated to retain staff by offering educational and training benefits. If, as an LVN, you want to transition to your BSN, your employer may reimburse the cost of your tuition. Experienced RNs could also be reimbursed for pursuing advanced degrees like a masters or a PhD and consider executive-level leadership roles.
Ask your supervisor or your company’s human resources department what opportunities exist for you.
Remain Curious and Keep an Open Mind
All of us get set in our ways the longer we stay in any career. Increasing your salary isn’t the only reason to pursue new opportunities. Typically, the more we expose ourselves to new things and the more we pursue dynamic careers, the less likely we are to burn out on whatever it is we do professionally. That’s true for everyone, but especially nurses.
Nursing is a demanding profession. LVNs see and experience things at work that most people can’t begin to imagine. You may love your current position and can’t imagine a time when you won’t be happy. Many more of you may feel exhausted and frazzled and are desperate for a career change. No matter where you are right now in your field, get into the habit now of looking for incremental ways to learn more and stay inspired.
Do simple and affordable things like:
- Read good career advice books (ask your coworkers and mentors what they’re reading!)
- Follow blogs and professional trade journals
- Attend one to two-day conferences
- Join a professional association
- Go to networking events and meet new people
Two Simple Words No Nurse Can Hear Enough: Self Care
You take care of people for a living. Make sure that you treat yourself as well as you would one of your patients.
- Get enough sleep and stay hydrated
- Do what you can to eat a balanced diet
- Take a day just to do something you love
- Treat yourself to something special like a facial or a massage
- Take as many of your personal breaks as much as you can
The bottom line: nursing offers a lot of flexibility and variety. Knowing how to keep an eye out for and developing those opportunities is just another set of skills you will gain the more time you work in the field.
Ready to begin your studies today? Shoot us an email or give us a call at 310-559-0225.