Focusing on Progressing Your Nursing Career in Your 50’s

By on December 14, 2021
nursing career

You may have seen lots of changes within your career as a nurse. Some of these changes may have been positive, and some of them may not have been that welcome. Change happens within any industry; however, you have been part of the change, and you can continue to do so moving forwards. Your experience and your knowledge are key to making change happen, and they are key to realizing your full potential. So, why should you progress your nursing career now, and why should you not just choose to settle?

Why Now Is the Perfect Time

You still have a lot to offer the nursing industry, and you still have a lot to give. Numbers and ages should not be relevant in the industry, and they should be something that you put to the back of your mind (as soon as possible). When you have spent a lot of time nursing on the front line, you have picked up a lot of valuable experience and knowledge, and now is your time to put this to use and bring it to fruition. There is no right time for career progression, and there is no right time, but there is a perfect time, and this is the time when you feel ready for change and development.

Time for Reflection and Redirection

Before you jump straight in with progressing your career, you must take time out to reflect on what you have achieved so far. When you take time out to reflect, you allow yourself to see where you would like to take your career next. For example, if you enjoyed working with new mothers and younger families, then perhaps your progression could see you training to be an FNP?  When you take time out to reflect, you may even find that redirection is necessary. Sometimes continuing along the same path is not necessary or wise for your career or you, and this is something that you need to take into account.

Establishing Where You See Yourself

Once you have had some time to reflect, you then need to focus firmly on your future. Thinking about where you want to go and also thinking about where you see yourself in the best 5-10 years is crucial. If you do not take time to establish where you see yourself, then you will struggle to maintain focus and direction. So, do you see yourself as a lead nurse? Do you see yourself being more involved with your local community? Or do you see yourself in a training and development-based role?

Creating Career Goals and Targets

Once you have seen where you want to be, you then need to focus on setting goals and targets. By setting clear, achievable, and realistic targets and goals, you can ensure that you realize your potential easily and efficiently. If you do not set targets or goals, then studying and progression can feel a bit tedious, and this is not what you want. You want the whole process to be as enjoyable and rewarding as possible. When you are setting both short and long-term goals, it is important to only set one or two at a time. If you try to take on too much at once, you could upset your work/life balance, and this would not be beneficial to you or your career.

Setting Out a Course of Action

The key to progression within your career is to establish where you want to be and by when. Once you have established what you see yourself doing in the future, you then need to formulate a course of action. A course of action will act as a guideline for your journey, and it will ensure that you stay on course at all times. If you do not have a course of action to follow, then you may struggle to reach your goals and targets within a reasonable or acceptable timeframe, and this may then affect future opportunities.

Studying Online

Within your course of action, it should lay out what you need to do and by when. One of the things you should be focusing your attention and time on is your studies. Advancing and furthering your studies is crucial to your career progression. Of course, attending a physical campus may be out of the question (due to other commitments), and it may not be something in which you particularly want to partake in. The good news is that you can always study for an online DNP program from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Studying online gives you freedom and flexibility. You still have the structure in place of a University; however, you do not have to attend physical classes, lectures, or seminars, which can be appealing, especially when you are trying to carve out some time for yourself.

Balancing Work and Study

When you study for any period, you have to make compromises. Studying online gives you back a bit of valuable time. Getting a workable and sustainable balance between work and study will help to ensure that the whole process is fun, rewarding, and interesting. Carving up your time, and splitting your time between family, work, study, and other commitments can be tricky at first; however, this initial period will not last. You will find a balance that works for you, and you will get out of studying what you need.

Experience and Knowledge is Valuable

As you are pushing your career and progressing, it is important to remember that both knowledge and experience are still extremely valuable. Education and continuous learning will always be necessary, and this is something that your experience has shown you. At any age pushing for a promotion or career change can be tricky, and as you get older, you can face ageism. Do not let others tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Value your experience and your knowledge, and always use this to your advantage. Progressing your nursing career is the right thing for you.

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Focusing on Progressing Your Nursing Career in Your 50’s