I've been a military nurse for about 3 years now and am trying to figure out what I want to do next to further my nursing career. Currently, I'm working on my Master's in Health Administration, and recently I just got my RN-BC, but I'm trying to think of how I can further develop myself to stay competitive in the military world and the civilian world.
My current plan is to apply for FNP school in 2 years from now (after I finish my MHA), but what else can I be doing during the meantime to make me stand out as a nurse (other than be a bad ass nurse). Are there any certs? Currently I have my BLS, TNCC, RN-BC. I'm working on getting my ACLS and PALS, but am having a little trouble. Anyone have any thoughts they can throw my way? Thank you very much!
Jul 7, '13
Give yourself more credit being a military nurse and what you've accomplished so far- this is something I downplay a great deal. Like the plan you made to move forward with your education. You can become certified in your area. You can write articles or team up with others to do research. You can work with a foundation- assist during crisis and disasters, be a mentor, develop an idea that impacts nursing and I can go on.
Whatever you decide, you will do fine!
Jul 8, '13
If you are not required to have continuing education, I would do it anyway and keep a portfolio. I believe you have enough trophy letters for your name at present, so concentrate on helping others become good nurses. Consider teaching some of those courses or precepting new hires or doing community work. I agree with sexilexi - give yourself some credit. You are already a valuable nurse.
Jul 8, '13
One more thing - become an "expert" in something. I am working with our Health Dept. now to present a LARGE emergency response training program, involving city, state and federal agencies. You would be ideal in that role and could develop plans to train civilian nurses or EMS personnel based on what you have learned in the military.
Jul 8, '13
What I see in your qualifications listed in the original post ... is that you have a lot of credentials. However, you did not list any real accomplishments (though I suspect you probably have some). It's one thing to get education & training, but it's another thing to use that education to accomplish things that improve practice, increase efficiency, improve access to care, reduce errors, etc.
My suggestion would be to round out your resume with some solid projects that you could cite as having completed -- projects that would make you attractive to a future employer. Complete a project, present it at a conference, publish it, win an award for it, etc. ... maybe establish a new program, etc.
Just switching your thinking from focusing on only credentials to focusing on both credentials and a track record of achievements will help you. Not only will it help you present yourself to future employers, but that change in perspective will also help you to identify where/how your ongoing professional development needs.
Jul 8, '13
If your goals include civilian jobs, you will need an MSN. NP education is very focused, and if direct patient care is where you want to go, that is terrific. But if you are aiming at a leadership/administrative role in nursing, you'll need that Masters in NURSING. This is driven by many factors, including regulatory & magnet requirements.
Totally agree with PP also - start building that track record of accomplishments. Particularly, anything that involves design & implementation of complex projects or clinical improvements. Those types of accomplishments are pure gold in terms of career value. CNO's and CEO's salivate when they see projects related to increasing efficiency or reducing cost - LOL.
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