Career advancement and help strengthening education skills?

  1. I have always admired the input from nurses using this forum so know I am asking for some general advice to help advance my career.

    To give you all some background information I am still considered a new graduate (less than 2 years), im ambitious and constantly try seeking out new learning opportunities. I work in a small 130 bed, privately owned facility that offers care to surrounding communities. Any invasive or high risk patients are usually referred/transfered to a larger hospital with specialists. My hospital does not offer specialty units (medsurg floor, ER, OBGYN). I currently work on a medical surgical unit and in the future see myself specializing in /something/. I am currently interested in cardiac and community education. I feel as though my education skills are poor and would appreciate advice on strengthening these skills (I review information daily and have a hard time putting medical information into lamemans terms... I often recite text verbatim which I understand isn't helpful to some)

    On another note I am also looking for ways I can "stand out" from my peers... and looking for courses I can take that will strengthen my knowledge and understanding of information, and also appeal to future employers. I just don't know where to start, especially when i'm not sure 100% what specialty I want.

    all ideas and suggestions are appreciated, thankyou!
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    About Rn112389

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 8; Likes: 3


  3. by   llg
    I think your first step is to take advantage of any opportunities your current employer offers. For example, can you be a preceptor for new staff members? Or participate in a unit-level committee or task force? Or offer to help teach CPR? ... anything that will help you move beyond the role of the beginner-level staff nurse focused only on her individual patient assignment.

    Those types of activities will help you:
    1. broaden your focus
    2. develop additional skills
    3. network within your local community of nurses -- people familiar with you and your environment who can mentor you

    Such experiences will help you figure out where you should go from there. Right now, you don't have enough experience to know how to procede.
  4. by   HouTx
    Great advice ^^^^

    Becoming a CPR instructor is a terrific first step for many educators. You can also volunteer to help with annual check-offs - additional resources are usually very welcome.

    In the meantime, I URGE you to obtain a copy of Donna Wright's book "The ultimate guide to Competency Assessment in health care" It's a very easy and entertaining read - which will provide you with much greater insight into staff development so that you could suggest applying some of those great ideas to your own setting. (No, I'm not related to Donna nor do I receive any sort of reimbursement or consideration from her... I just think it's a brilliant resource).

    Reality check - Community health education that is not conducted by a Public Health Department/service is extremely rare. Within an acute care setting, formal patient education is generally limited to OB (birthing classes & baby care) & Diabetic education. You would need specialty certification to teach in those areas. If you enjoy working with cardiac patients, I would suggest that you investigate cardiac rehab programs in your area. They provide education as well as physical conditioning. If your employer does not have a program, one of your cardiologists may have one. It would be a great place to start.