Hi there, this is my first time posting. Looking for some insight, career advice, personal experience, or just general comments.
I am a young nurse (5 years of experience) working in critical care. I am happy at the bedside but have always been drawn to leadership roles. I am involved at work on several committees and enjoy collaborating with other disciplines and my peers on QI projects. I started my MSN a few years ago and finish this May. I am meeting the dreaded close to graduation question "what next?". I am feeling a sense of anxiety and uncertainty about what to do when I finish my MSN as I feel I still have plenty to learn at the bedside (though I am a firm believer that learning never stops so this would not keep me from moving forward). My ultimate goal is to go on for a doctoral degree and serve as a CNO.
The way I see it now I have a few options when I finish school. The first is do nothing different. I am happy where I am. I see this is the easy way out though. I am comfortable, and I am feeling like it is time to push myself professionally and work on advancing my career. (so basically I have already ruled this option out).
The second is to teach clinical. I was inspired to start my masters degree while looking for opportunities to teach clinical but did not meet the requirements from clinical instructing at any of the local nursing schools around me due to clinical experience requirements.
I am also doing an internship this spring with a nurse manager to gain insight into the role of the nurse manager and get an idea if this is for me. This will be a great networking opportunity as well and could turn into potential job offers or at the very least, recommendations.
If anyone has any advice to offer to a young nurse looking for the next steps that would be greatly appreciated!
Dec 6, '17
Congratulations on advancing your career! I got into management after being a bedside nurse for about a year. My first role was an assistant nurse manager and I had the privilege of working alongside the bedside nurses about 75% of my shifts while spending about 25% on other stuff...usually education or management related. I think this is a great first step for those who are interested in leadership. Don't let others discourage you because you only have 5 years of experience. Leadership is more than experience. I would take a 5 year RN who has great leadership qualities as a manager over a 25 year RN who does not. Experience certainly helps but I have managed units that I have had no experience in...its certainly easier if you do but its doable in today's environment of nursing management. I would caution you against taking a job as a manager because you feel you are "doing nothing" with your degree. You want to make sure you are entering an environment that is supportive of your growth. I have worked at magnet hospitals in the past who have groomed new leaders into great leaders. I currently work at an organization that does not do this and is hard on new leaders. Fortunately I have the experience as a leader that I can be successful but you don't want to get yourself into that situation as a new leader. Be sure to ask questions about how the organization supports new leaders. They already know you are green because they have your resume. No reason to try to make up for that in an interview. They chose to interview you!