Many nurses will be drawn to their “calling” almost immediately. They will identify the patient population and setting that they desire during their training and seek this particular practice. It is not unusual to find professional nurses with decades of experience in a given specialty or even on the same ward/unit.
Contrary to education in shaping a career, experience, can be somewhat more easily controlled. In all settings, there are differing levels of complexity. Complexity can be found in patient assignments, leading a small team of ward-based patient care assistants, or even being the “go-to” person for a specific nursing process. Choose to become a subject matter expert in one or more specific areas important to the immediate environment. Perhaps there is an especially intriguing and recurring patient care issue or technology/equipment that others find difficult or confusing to use. A nurse can be uniquely qualified to demonstrate advanced knowledge and showcase his or her talents to intervene, train, and influence care when becoming the expert resource.
It is important to note that committees make many contributions to institutional level decisions. Ambitious nurses who want to gain another level of experience can find it helpful to join and be active on committees. This is where real life experience and leadership can really make a difference. Working on a committee will confirm expertise and show value to the organization. Committee participation also provides opportunities for the next topic, Networking.
Also Read: Registered Nurse (RN) Salary Report 2015