Originally posted by llg
There are many ways to advance in nursing -- advance to positions with more responsibility, better pay, more flexibility in working hours, etc. But you don't achieve these positions by accident: they don't just fall on top of you one day out of the blue. As with other careers, nurses need to think about career planning throughout their careers. They should always be asking questions such as: "Where do I want to be in 5 years?" "What type of work do I want to be doing?" "What should I be now to prepare for that desired future?" etc. etc.
Sometimes, it means going back to school. Other times, it means volunteering for professional projects/committees that will give you valuable experience, help you make professional contacts, and look good on your resume. Sometimes it means supporting your managers/administration so that you will be chosen for the next desired job opening that comes up. etc. etc.
As I said before, too many nurses don't think about it until it is too late.
Not surprisingly, I agree entirely with Linda's comments above.
One of the major benefits I see with nursing is it's flexibility and vast career options. In my short 5 years, I've worked at the bedside, in insurance, in triage, and in research and now either education or infection control/health and safety, depending on which I choose. There are
options out there if one wants to move around. But as Linda pointed out, these positions don't just fall into your lap. You either need to gain exposure, gain experience, return to school or acquire additional training somehow. As with any profession, it takes a certain amount of initiative to move around.
Also, remaining at the bedside is a career choice, just as much as the IS professional who wishes to remain in Help Desk or programming. It's unfortunate some nurses view it as bottom of the barrel, but I think it's partly because they realized too late they wanted to do something else.