How You Can Make a Difference in the Nursing Industry

The nursing industry needs change, and it needs difference. To meet growing changes and demands change is required, and it is required at all levels. If you can be part of this change, then you can make a positive impact on the lives of others. This impact can be felt by many and it could even affect nursing standards and expectations too. You can positively impact patients, and other nursing professionals with your knowledge, vision and experience. So, you know that you can make a difference in the nursing industry, and you want to make a difference, but just where do you start? What do you start looking at first?

Advancing Your Career

To begin with, you might want to start looking at advancing your career. If you are currently a trained nursing professional, then have you thought about what career advancement would look like to you and what it would mean. When you advance your career and you look at something such as nursing leadership, you could potentially have a greater impact on many people. The impact that you could have could be direct or indirect, it could also be widespread – especially if you push your career into a position of authority. When it comes to advancing your nursing career, you will need to set career objectives and establish just what is important to you and your career. For example, do you see yourself in a leadership position within the next 5 years or would you like to be training other nurses within the next 3-5 years? To successfully advance your career you need to set objectives because you need to establish (and maintain) focus.

Sharing Your Experiences and Knowledge

You have gained a lot of knowledge and first-hand experience throughout your time as a nurse, and it is valuable to share this with other nursing professionals. When you are sharing your experiences and knowledge you are giving insight to others and you are raising awareness too. You can share your knowledge by educating and informing other nurses and nursing professionals and by getting into nurses’ education. When you share your knowledge, you not only prepare future generations for nursing and the profession, but you also ensure that your compassion, motivation and dedication to the job are passed down first-hand. New nurses can have a tough time, and often they can find that they are constantly facing an uphill struggle. To make things easier for them and to ensure that they love the job, you can impact your knowledge and experience – get them started in their career on the right foot.

Moving into a Different Area of Specialism

You may wish to make a difference in the nursing industry by moving into a different area of work or specialism. If you have been working in a specialism for a while, you may feel that you have given all that you have to offer. If you are feeling like this, then a change is needed. There are lots of areas within nursing, from pediatrics, right through to mental health and wellbeing that could benefit from your experience, values, and knowledge. Sometimes, you can find that you can transfer your experience and knowledge to a new area, and give those working in it a fresh perspective or even a new vision to work towards. To establish what new specialism may be right for you, think about where your interests lie. For instance, would you enjoy providing comfort and care to those at the end of their lives, or would you prefer to work with those just starting theirs? What is important to you and what fits in with your career ambitions and goals?

Sharing Your Skillset

You may want to impart and share your skillset with others around you. Over your time as a nursing professional, you will have enhanced your skillset, and as a result, you will have a lot of skills that you could share with others. Sharing soft skills with others, such as organization and even empathy can change how nursing professionals in the industry act, and how well they perform in their roles. You could share your skills with those that work in your area or department, or you could share skills with others – perhaps in a skill share or similar. When you share your skillset, you give nurses and others in the nursing industry the time and the ability to make positive changes and improvements, thus empowering them and giving them a renewed sense of vision and direction.

Becoming a Mentor

If you can guide other new nurses through their first few months within the job, then why not culminate your experience and knowledge and share it through mentoring. Taking newly qualified nurses under your wings to give them great advice and guidance is important. When you are a mentor, you can play a leading role in the lives and experiences of newly qualified nurses. You can also reassure them and provide a little confidence boost when they need it. Starting as a new nurse can be daunting and if you can help them through this process, and make it a little easier and more comfortable, then why wouldn’t you. After all, you will be having a part in shaping nurses and nursing professionals of the future.

Being More Empathetic and Compassionate

Over time, you may find that nurses can lose compassion and empathy for the role, especially if funding is missing, or if they are overworked and tired. Compassion and empathy are crucial and essential in all areas of the nursing industry, and ensuring that there is plenty of it around is important. You can do this by promoting empathy and compassion. Reinforcing how important it is to other nurses, and even displaying it in your everyday role (leading by example). When there is more compassion and empathy in the nursing industry, you can then be sure that patients get the best approach and care possible.

Listening to Patients and Getting Feedback

Patients are important in the nursing industry and they mustn’t be overlooked or simply treated as a number. To ensure that patients always stay front and center, you may find it useful to start gathering and gaining feedback from patients. Speaking to patients that you interact with and seeing where change and development can happen is crucial for future growth and progression. When you listen to what patients have to say and you focus on what is important to them, then you can ensure that the future is focused on patient-oriented care as much as it can be. If patients are not listened to and if you do not make improvements to what you are doing, then what example are you setting and what message are you sending out to fathers in the nursing industry, perhaps to those that are just starting?

Improving Your Professional Identity and Maintaining Professional Standards

Your professional identity and the standards that you hold and display say a lot about who you are as a nursing professional. If your professional identity and professional standards are not in line with the roles and values of other professionals, then you must make changes. Even though you are a unique nursing professional, it is important to remember that you are part of a greater chain of professionals. One link can damage the reputation of a lot of nurses. So, invest in your own identity and professional standards to ensure that you are helping to lead change in the nursing industry. Starting with improving yourself first, then gives you scope and motivation to assist others.

Focusing on Advancing Your Education

Your education will play a pivotal role in your career and it will help you to be a better nursing professional. Focusing on advancing and enhancing your education should be something you do at any stage of your career. There are always new practices that are being introduced, and there are new areas of knowledge and expertise which you will incorporate into your role as a nursing professional. When you advance your education, you can be sure that you are equipped to embrace and utilize this new knowledge and information. If you are closed off to growth through education, then you may find that you have no impact in the nursing industry whatsoever and this is of course not what you want. Remember that professional development and education go hand in hand.

You are not alone when you are a nursing professional and you will find it beneficial to join local or state member organizations for industry professionals. Being able to network, meet new professionals and even exchange ideas and information can be critical to growth and change in the industry. When you share with others, and you learn from others, you grow as a professional. You need to grow to be able to make a difference and have an impact on the nursing industry, so do not shy away from growth.

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