As a nurse, you play a critical role as the primary caregiver for patients in all healthcare facilities. Studies have consistently demonstrated that positive patient outcomes and reductions in mortality and morbidity in health facilities are determined by the skills and capacity of the attending nurses. It should be noted, though, that as a nurse, your practices will often be affected by your nursing colleagues and management. Nursing as a profession warrants individuals to continually learn and expand their skills due to the critical and emergency nature of situations they must manage routinely. Hence, as a nurse, you should continually seek opportunities to learn and widen your skillset and improve your capacity as a nursing professional. If you are a nurse looking for ways to improve upon your existing skillset, this article can support your endeavor by sharing 5 ways to improve your skills in nursing.
- Advance your academic profile
Even if you are a very highly-skilled nurse, you may still find it difficult to obtain the coveted managerial roles. Research also confirms that most nurses with a high level of clinical knowledge and skills do not excel in their nursing careers and cannot reach the nursing manager and supervisor positions. The primary reason for that is that the nurses are not trained in the management and administration skills as part of their undergraduate degrees. Therefore, nurses with bachelor’s degrees should continuously strive toward their master’s degrees to reach managerial positions in the nursing arena. Similarly, nurses with a master’s degree should strive to become nurse practitioners for leading advancements in nursing. If you are a nurse with a graduate degree, you can achieve this by enrolling in online post master’s certificate nurse practitioner programs. These certifications can be attained in less than two years. The programs aim to specialize nurses’ skill capacity in a particular healthcare setting, such as women’s health, pediatrics, or gerontology.
- Acquire diverse experiences
It would help if you also looked to expand your skillset and become adaptable by diversifying your nursing profile. This can be achieved by seeking opportunities to work in different healthcare settings. Exposure to a range of healthcare settings will significantly enhance your knowledge and skills as a nursing professional. Additionally, you will also be able to develop a better understanding of different healthcare settings’ systems and operations. It will also demonstrate your commitment to nursing and patient care.
- Develop leadership capacity
Leadership skills are extremely important for advancing your career in nursing. Hence, you should seek to develop your capacity as a nursing leader. Start the process by becoming knowledgeable about the different approaches to leadership, and identify the style that aligns with your personality. However, you will learn that each approach has its benefits and consequences. It is due to the diverse range of operational settings in healthcare. Therefore, each approach to leadership will not work in every healthcare setting. Consider the autocratic leadership approach, for example. Due to this approach’s “dictatorial” nature, it is only applicable in emergency rooms where swift decision-making is required. You can also showcase your leadership skills by choosing elements from different approaches to form your unique approach.
- Learn critical thinking
Start engaging yourself in an online course and attempt exercises and case studies to test your critical thinking skills. The nursing profession highly values critical thinking skills for their role in decision-making as nurses with this skill set can be trusted to make critical decisions about patient care. It is indeed a special skill and is highly appreciated by stakeholders in nursing.
- Use nursing technologies
One sure way to improve your nursing skills is to use the new technological resources that are changing the field of nursing for the better. Using nursing technologies such as automated IV pumps or remote patient monitoring systems are now being adopted by hospitals across the board. Universities have also incorporated knowledge and usage of these technologies into nursing curriculums. Therefore, you should strive to improve your skills for operating these technologies as having these skills will become mandatory for professional nurses soon.
Whether you are a nurse, a nursing manager, or a nursing supervisor, you should continually look to improve upon your skills. You can achieve this by advancing your academic profile. If you already have a graduate degree, you can acquire a post master’s certification to become a senior nursing practitioner. Furthermore, it would be best if you availed opportunities to work in different healthcare settings to diversify your nursing experience and augment your adaptability. You should also seek to improve your leadership and decision-making skills, critical thinking skills, and technological skills. These will augment your nursing capacity and propel your chances of becoming a nursing leader or an authority in your field.