Because opportunities abound throughout a nursing career, nurses may experience a little “career disorientation” throughout their working life. You can explore the incredibly diverse array of nursing options here Nursing Career Options. In the meantime, to help you navigate the possibilities and literally steer your career in the right direction, it is important to create a “career map” right out of nursing school. It’s also wise to reassess your career map regularly throughout your career to ensure you on the right track.
How do you know when you are on the right track? You experience consistent on-the-job challenge and satisfaction!
Below you will find helpful resources to map your career goals, and keep them up to date. Before you get started, try a quick mental exercise. Sort your skills roughly into the following three groups:
Professional: These are the specific talents you need to pursue in a particular occupation. For example, in nursing you need to be good at sciences and communication.
Personal: These are your natural abilities to get along with others or adapt to new situations. They include creativity, self-confidence, tolerance, self-awareness and more.
Practical: These are natural or acquired talents nurtured throughout life, both at work and play, and include communicating, listening, negotiating, conceptualizing, computing, planning, problem solving and goal setting.
Now you probably already have a clearer sense of your strengths and weaknesses. When we know more about ourselves, we are always in much better position to identify what we really want out of our daily lives, including work. Plus, we can sell ourselves to future employers with confidence!
Your previous nursing experience, be it in the boardroom or bedside, is valuable. The key is to identify the knowledge and skills you have honed, and show how they can be applied to the new role you’re seeking. Below is a helpful list of general transferable skills. If you are stumped, create a list of your current (or past) job functions and then think through the skills you had to apply in order to do the job function. You will hit upon transferable skills that will help sell you on your next nursing position.