Career Advice

Options for Nursing Career Advancement (With 8 Jobs To Think About)

Nurses execute a variety of critical jobs and tasks in their varied roles during their employment. Many nurses elect to specialize in a particular branch of nursing career after having some practical experience, or they pursue higher degrees to increase their expertise and advance their careers. You can set long-term objectives for your nursing career by being aware of the potential nursing career progression options available to nurses.

In this post, we’ll go through how to develop your nursing career, why you would want to, and a list of chances for you to look into.

What you can do to boost your nursing career

There are many strategies to develop your nursing career, but some of the most popular ones are as follows:

  • Choosing a mentor to offer career advice: Getting a senior nurse as a mentor to help you find appropriate chances for nursing career progression may be very beneficial.
  • Joining groups for nurses in the profession: Numerous groups frequently hold meetings, seminars, and training courses. You can interact with nurses there and broaden your professional network.
  • Rotating among various nursing units: To obtain experience, think about revolving between the different nursing career departments and units within your healthcare organization. You may be exposed to a range of medical disciplines and patient groups during clinical rotations.
  • Obtaining certification: Some nurses are interested in expanding their careers by being certified in a particular nursing career specialty, such as oncology or acute/critical care nursing (CCRN) (AOCN).
  • Getting an advanced degree: Getting an advanced nursing degree, like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Ph.D. in nursing, is among the most popular methods to progress in a nursing career.
  • Moving from clinical work to leadership: Many nurses start on the clinical side of the profession before moving up to management. They continue to manage other nurses in such positions while carrying out their clinical responsibilities.
  • Specializing in a particular medical field: One other route to progression for nurses is to select a niche of a nursing career, such as women’s health or emergency care, and work in that field to build expertise.
  • Examining administration positions: Some nurses decide to progress their careers by choosing to leave the clinical aspect of their nursing career and pursue administrative positions at academic or healthcare institutions.

Why you should advance in your nursing career

Consider furthering your nursing career for a variety of reasons, such as:

Take on new tasks.

Most nurses love taking on new problems at work because performing the same responsibilities and tasks every day can become monotonous for a few over time. New and stimulating nursing experiences can be had by nurses who specialize in their fields, pursue further education, or move into management or administrative positions. Additionally helpful to nurses pursuing promotions or better positions are unique experiences and challenges.

Increase your pay

The possibility of earning more money as a nurse is among the strong reasons to develop your profession. The majority of professional advancement options, such as focusing on a particular nursing field, obtaining doctoral degrees, advancing your education by obtaining certificates, or moving into management positions, come with a pay increase. Along with better compensation, you might also get more perks, incentives, and overtime money.

Increasing job satisfaction

Nursing is a frequently all-encompassing profession that calls for substantial training and experience. When speaking with patients, their relatives, or other caregivers, nurses express empathy and sympathy. Long-term job satisfaction may be increased by switching to a new nursing position with more administrative or leadership responsibilities. Certain nurses also find fulfillment in their ability to guide and advise more junior nurses.

8 chances for nurses to advance

For nurses, there are numerous prospects for nursing career progression. You can gain a better understanding of the prospective alternatives for advanced prospects in your career by going over this list of typical advanced nursing responsibilities.

Options available to BSN nurses to further their education

A few possibilities are worth taking into account if you’re determined to increase your effect by pursuing a more sophisticated nursing career.

Nursing Master of Science (MSN)

A comprehensive degree like an MSN may train nurses for a wide range of specialist employment. The majority of programs provide various courses for APRN, nurse teacher, or nurse administrator training. Other courses concentrate on certain specializations based on the type of APRN you want to be.

For instance, the MSN program at some Universities provides the following specializations:

  • Family nurse practitioner (FNP) track: This curriculum prepares licensed nurses to offer a variety of acute and preventative medical care to individuals of all ages. Students of this course will be capable of applying for FNP certification by either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
  • The MSN Education Track: is intended for nurses who have a passion for educating the future generation of nurses in either a clinical environment or an institution of higher learning. This instruction may take the shape of staff training, health education, or a program to prepare nursing students. A DNP or nursing Ph.D. can also be needed for some advanced roles.
  • MSN Administration Track: This is an excellent next step for people interested in managing or executive positions like nurse director or manager of nursing. In this innovative program, business skills including financial management, corporate leadership, and people and strategic planning are combined with clinical, managerial, and evidence-based clinical experiences.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Nursing professionals can work at the greatest degrees of clinical experience by earning a doctor of nursing practice (DNP). These graduates are frequently regarded as pioneers in developing and putting into practice plans to improve the overall health of patients.

A doctorate in nursing philosophy (Ph.D.)

The greatest level of schooling a nurse can obtain is a Ph.D. in nursing. Unlike the DNP, which is practice-based, these programs emphasize science and research substantially. This terminal degree is intended for students who feel compelled to carry out a significant medical study that will benefit their nursing career.

1. Nursing schools

National average yearly salary: $68,233

Primary responsibilities: Aspiring nurses are taught about the profession by a nursing faculty member. Lesson planning, instruction, evaluation of learners through written and hands-on tests, and supervision of learners’ classroom, hospital, and laboratory training are typical responsibilities for this position. A senior medical faculty member could be required to supervise other faculty members and the teaching staff in addition to carrying out administrative duties.

2. An occupational health nurse.

National average yearly salary: $71,150

Primary responsibilities: An occupational health nurse is responsible for ensuring the general well-being and safety of all workers. Occupational health nurses can operate in a variety of settings and typically carry out tasks including making sure the workplace is secure and attending to any accidents or diseases that can occur there. Aside from developing and implementing health and safety policies for all workers, they may also instruct and advise management and staff on safety precautions for certain occupations.

3. Legal nurse expert

National average yearly salary: $88,770

Primary responsibilities: A legal nurse consultant works on health problems alongside qualified attorneys. The majority of the time, these certified registered nurses also advise lawyers on health matters and procedures, examine health records for a lawyer, and provide expert witnesses at trial. They might also work as a liaison between lawyers and nurses, do clinical research for inquiries or litigation, and assist with the investigation of malpractice claims.

4. Nursing manager

National average yearly salary: $91,548

Primary responsibilities: A nursing manager is in charge of a group of nurses. The majority of the time, nursing supervisors oversee and act as the nursing facility’s head while also performing a few standard nursing tasks. Regular job responsibilities include staffing and scheduling, mentoring new nurses, and creating new guidelines or procedures to benefit the nursing staff and their patients. Additionally, they can designate particular nursing teams or single nurses to handle certain patients while ensuring correct care records and paperwork.

5. Research nurse

National average yearly salary: $101,012

Primary responsibilities: A research nurse delivers patient safety and research help during clinical studies that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medications or medical equipment. Numerous research nurses are responsible for a variety of tasks, including keeping track of patients’ reactions, providing operational control of care delivery throughout a research trial, cooperating with other scientists and patients, and gathering patient data for research. They could also aid in writing the procedures and reports for clinical trials.

6. A nurse-midwife

National average yearly salary: $105,620

Primary responsibilities: A nurse midwife tends to the needs of the mother during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. These advanced practice nurses are also responsible for doing standard gynecological exams, helping with labor and delivery, and managing menopausal and post-menopausal conditions. Additionally, they may examine expectant parents for diseases transmitted via sex, educate young mothers on efficient healthcare techniques, and work closely with obstetricians and gynecologists.

7. Nursing practitioner

National average yearly salary: $115,870

Primary responsibilities: A nurse practitioner is in charge of all facets of patient care. Most of the time, these advanced-practice nurses can work either under the supervision of a qualified physician or without it, depending on the jurisdiction in which they are employed. This position’s typical responsibilities include conducting patient examinations, making diagnoses of illnesses or injuries, and recommending a course of therapy or drugs for their patients. Additionally, a nurse practitioner may instruct and provide counseling to patients’ families or other caregivers on how to treat and avoid illnesses and injuries, particularly chronic ailments.

8. Clinical nurse expert

National average yearly salary: $132,524

Primary responsibilities: A clinical nurse practitioner handles a variety of nursing career, advisory, and managerial tasks. The most typical employment responsibility for someone in this position is to supervise their colleagues to ensure that patients receive quality treatment. Additionally, they assess policies and practices, inform patients and families about their diagnosis and treatment options, and take part in research initiatives. To improve the overall level of care provided by nurses working under their direction and to coordinate routine patient care tasks, certain clinical nurse experts may delegate patients to other nurses.

What distinguishes a nurse practitioner from a registered nurse?

Although RNs and NPs are both highly skilled healthcare personnel who look after patients, their responsibilities and working circumstances can differ greatly. RNs usually are employed in hospitals or other medical facilities, while NPs usually are employed by private clinics. While NPs prefer to be more independent, RNs interact with and support physicians as part of their daily duties.

Additionally, NPs can prescribe drugs, whereas RNs do not. As a result, each role has a different set of educational qualifications. A minimum associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is necessary for RNs, and a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is needed for NPs. Different certificates are needed for each profession as well.

Generally speaking, NPs are compensated more than RNs in terms of pay. As a result, many RNs frequently expand their skill set and eventually become NPs.

Reasons why some RNs become NPs

RNs can improve their healthcare professions by becoming NPs. Because NPs are responsible for more tasks than RNs, NP roles often pay more. RNs who wish to make more money can expand their training and skill set by becoming NPs. Medical professionals have the chance to specialize in numerous fields of medicine thanks to the more independent work that is included in the employment of an NP. The decision to change from working as an RN to an NP is essentially a personal one, although it can be a great chance for those looking to advance their nursing careers.

Requirements to become an NP

Your route to becoming an NP will be somewhat varied based on the stage you’re at in your studies. One choice is to enroll in a college that provides a curriculum made for individuals who have their associate’s or nursing bachelor’s degree and are interested in becoming NPs. For entry into a graduate program in nursing, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing because becoming an NP requires a master’s or doctoral degree.

Therefore, if you already have an associate’s degree in nursing, the next logical step is to complete a bachelor’s program. As was already indicated, if you register at a school that provides a curriculum tailored to your needs for changing careers in this field, this is all accelerated into the program. When changing from an RN to an NP role, you may run into the following programs:

1. MSN to ADN OR from RN-BSN to MSN

The majority of these programs enable participants to simultaneously complete their BSN and MSN degrees. Additionally, students may be questioned about their areas of interest. This program typically lasts between two and four years.

2. MSN to BSN

Students with a BSN degree or higher are the best candidates for this program. Normally, it takes two years to finish. Additionally, students will be offered the option of choosing their area of NP specialization.

3. DNP to BSN

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is a good fit for BSN holders who want to advance their education. Students may choose a specialty during this degree. The duration of this program is roughly three years.

4. Online courses

If you have other responsibilities, an online course to help you transition from a nursing career as an RN to an NP may be appropriate for you. Finishing an online degree gives you a lot of freedom because you can fit your education around your schedule. Even though there are going to be clinical standards, these can be set up for your specific site.

It’s advised that NPs earn individual credentials for their area of expertise in addition to the usual educational prerequisites. These credentials will occasionally be needed. After earning your MSN or DNP in the specialization of your choice, you will be eligible to choose this option. You must pass a test to acquire your credentials. The American Nurses Credentialing Centers provide several NP specialty certifications.

How to Advance Your Nursing Career as an NP

To enhance your nursing career, do the following steps to qualify as an NP:

1. Train as an RN

You must be a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree and a certain GPA as specified by your desired course to begin your nursing career progression to an NP position. Following completion of these prerequisites, you can proceed with applying to become an NP.

2. Earn a nursing graduate degree.

You will require a master’s degree at the very least to qualify as an NP. It can take between two and seven years to get your master’s degree. The length of this timeframe will change based on the number of classes you enroll in each semester. When choosing a program, ensure it has approval from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

3. Obtain a license

After completing your postgraduate studies, you should sit for the exam required for certification by either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center. You will need to be qualified for a lot of specialties.

4. Find work as an NP

Once you’ve satisfied the NP prerequisites, you can start looking for a job. There are many additional alternatives available, but as an NP, you’ll probably work in a clinic, doctor’s office, clinic, or outpatient treatment setting. Start your job hunt by going online, contacting local job boards, and networking with people in the healthcare industry.

The 8 Difficulties a Nurse Faces and Solutions

Nursing may be a pleasant and financially rewarding profession. However, this job path has difficulties that many nurses face, from planning to managing dangerous chemicals, just like any other profession. You can handle these situations more effectively by becoming ready for them and understanding how to handle them on a professional and personal level. In this post, we go through what nursing issues are, some of the typical problems nurses encounter, and some strategies for dealing with them.

What difficulties do nurses face?

Nurse difficulties are challenging circumstances, events, or demands that are frequent in the nursing career. As a result of the unique demands of being a nurse, these difficulties include physical, psychological, and mental experiences.

8 nursing career difficulties

Below are a few difficulties that nurses encounter in their line of work:

1. Long work hours

The typical shift for a nurse is 10 or 12 hours. These shifts usually become even lengthier after all the required administrative activities and shift change processes. Burnout can result from working so long hours because it can be physically and psychologically exhausting.

Ensure that you get sufficient rest when you aren’t working to minimize burnout and retain energy throughout a shift. So that you have more time to relax and recharge in between shifts, ask relatives or friends to assist you with personal responsibilities.

2. Adjusting timetables

It can be challenging to get used to the schedule because nurses’ schedules frequently alter from week to week. For instance, a nurse might work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., then Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the following week. Sleep patterns might be disrupted by frequently shifting schedules, so you must get as much rest as you can in between shifts.

Try to plan personal appointments and other commitments during a lengthy vacation. You can also let your loved ones and close friends know when you have a few weeks of demanding shift schedules forthcoming so they won’t have unjustified expectations of you.

3. Emotional participation

A nursing career is a personal and fulfilling profession. In contrast to many other occupations, nurses develop emotional attachments to their patients’ fates, which may be a strain to bear over a long period of time.

You should establish a solid support network as a nurse so that you may discuss your experiences and emotions. After a challenging shift or after handling a distressing situation, you need to vent your emotions. To analyze your experiences and find appropriate strategies to deal with your emotions, you can get in touch with good friends, relatives, and counselors.

4. Physical requirements

The following are some examples of the physically difficult tasks that nurses frequently have to perform:

  • Aiding in the lifting, moving, and transportation of patients
  • Carrying large items
  • Standing without any breaks for extended durations of time

An injury may result from this kind of repetitive stress on the body. Always use safe lifting techniques and request assistance when necessary to reduce these dangers. Maintaining strength, endurance, and flexibility will help your body cope with physical tasks, so try to exercise frequently.

5. Contact with disease and chemicals

Nurses are exposed to more viruses and bacteria than a normal person since they care for sick patients. Their chance of getting sick may rise as a result. Additionally, dangerous cleaning and sanitizing agents that pose a health risk are used by nurses.

When handling hazardous items and patients, nurses should always adhere to safety regulations, which include:

  • Using PPE, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles, to protect oneself
  • Reading the usage instructions for all equipment and substances
  • The proper disposal of sharp things
  • Marking all containers and items properly

6. A shortage of nurses

As a result of insufficient staffing, nurses may work more forced overtime. Nurses may be required to work extra hours or additional shifts at hospitals and other healthcare facilities when there aren’t enough patient care workers for a shift.

Do your homework on the scheduling and overtime rules of the companies you are interviewing with to prevent burnout. Ask the nurses who work there about their schedules for overtime. Additionally, you might look for nurse jobs in settings like private clinics or administrative jobs that give more conventional hours.

7. Modern technology

As medical technology develops, nurses may need to routinely learn new programs and software. When coupled with already busy work, learning new technologies can be difficult for individuals who aren’t comfortable with technology.

Attend training or ask for more training if necessary to help you feel at ease using new technology. Until you fully comprehend and can use the applications alone, ask questions.

8. Unacceptable treatment by patients

While attempting to offer care, nurses may come across rude patients or patients’ family members. These actions, whether verbal or violent, can have a significant negative effect on a nurse’s workplace. Patients may not respond well to you due to misunderstandings, the effects of drugs or alcohol, or psychiatric disorders.

Always notify your manager right away if someone is acting threateningly or in a risky way. Depending on how serious the situation is, you can also contact the security team at your institution or the police.

How to deal with difficulties in a nursing career

Below are some strategies for dealing with typical problems that nurses encounter:

  • Give your sleep a top priority. It might be challenging to establish consistent sleep patterns when following traditional nursing career routines. Use dark curtains, put your smartphone away, set up a sound machine, and request that your spouse take the children away from the house to enable you to get between seven and nine hours of sleep in between shifts.
  • Ask for assistance. Speak with someone if you begin to feel overburdened or exhausted. Use services like grocery delivery, making meals, and dog walkers to help you with responsibilities, or ask relatives and friends for assistance.
  • Develop wholesome habits. To stay healthy and feel invigorated, incorporate healthy lifestyle practices such as exercise and adequate hydration.
  • Go to the doctor. Make appointments for routine medical and dental checkups and go through any suggested health checks.
  • Look for a welcoming setting. Find a job that closely matches your interests and preferred work hours. Examine additional nursing careers like leadership, management, and research.


There’s no denying your ambition and commitment to improving as a nurse. The actual issue is deciding where to concentrate your efforts. You might have a clearer notion of where you want to make an impact now that you are more informed about some typical progression options for nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions about nursing careers

  • What is nursing career advancement?

The term “career advancement” in nursing careers refers to any type of professional advancement that honors and rewards skills in both clinical and managerial nursing career practice. It gives nurses the chance to improve their competencies through continual nursing career development.

  • What is the following position after being a registered nurse?

Advanced Techniques Licensed Nurse

APRNs concentrate on guiding a plan of care, in contrast to RNs who frequently focus on implementing plans of treatment. Many times, more schooling is necessary to become an APRN, like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

  • What nursing career position has the greatest salary?

Knowing the nursing hierarchy Nursing director (CNO): At the summit of the pyramid is the CNO, sometimes known as the chief nursing executive (CNE). The managerial and supervisory responsibilities of this post often fall within the purview of the facility or agency’s CEO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *