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Aug 06

What Every Nurse, CNA, or Nurse-to-be Can do to Broaden Horizons

For nurses, CNAs, LPNs, or anyone considering a patient care career track in the medical field, there are many options for those who wish to advance their education and experience. Within the medical field, the most important educational requirement is your primary certification or degree. Whether this is a CNA or LPN certification, or an RN degree, this is the basic requirement to getting an industry job. Building on your basic degree with further education is the best place to start broadening your horizons.

What Every Nurse, CNA, or Nurse-to-be Can do to Broaden Horizons

Further Your Education

Investigate ladder programs or certification options to expand your education and give you more career options. If you are a CNA, look for ways to obtain your LPN license, or look for ladder programs at local community colleges. These programs allow CNAs or LPNs to take certain classes to obtain their RN without having to take two years of schooling for an associates degree.

 

If you are an RN, consider furthering your education by obtaining the next highest degree, such as a bachelors degree or a masters degree. Certifications within the nursing field are also beneficial. Nurses who obtain a certification, for instance, in wound care, rehabilitation, intensive care, neonatal, or operating room care become more qualified to work in those types of environments.

 

Increase Your Work Experience

Keep an eye out for job opportunities in other departments or areas of the hospital that can help develop your long term value. Seek opportunities to work in more challenging or specialized fields of nursing, such as the emergency room, the operating room, psychiatric units, or burn units. If you currently work in a clinic or non-hospital environment, then making a move to a hospital is the best first step into a workplace with many potential opportunities and connections.

 

Make Connections

Just like any other field, networking and making connections is key to broadening your horizons. Seek out opportunities that would help you meet and network with others in your field. Volunteer opportunities, especially for students, are an excellent way to make new industry connections and explore new options. Join committees in your hospital and find non-profit organizations in your area. Attend conventions for physicians or conferences such as the PCMH conference, to discover new ways of developing your potentials.

 

Expanding your horizons in the medical industry is not difficult. By exposing yourself to new things, furthering your education, and continuing to develop and diversify your work experience, you can keep moving forward and growing.

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