Five Ways to Stand Out From the Nursing Crowd
Most people who become a healthcare professional do it because they are driven to help others. If you are also driven to advance your career, then it will be important to find ways to stand out above the rest of the nursing crowd. I once had an instructor who liked to say to the students, “Be the enzyme, people. Be the enzyme.” Now, obviously he wasn’t telling his students to go out and speed up chemical reactions, but he was telling us not to settle. If you strive to be the catalyst for change, you will go far in life and ultimately make a difference. That same concept can be used to describe your nursing career. Don’t settle into a routine, instead, like the enzyme, create reactions and interactions in your career, and you will be noticed. Let’s look at ways you can rise above the nursing crowd.
Be a Leader. Leaders don’t become leaders by waking up one day and having leadership bestowed upon them. Life isn’t an episode of ‘Game of Thrones.' Most leaders have set themselves up for success by acting as a leader within the team. When you are the indispensable “go-to” person, you become looked upon as a leader. By putting yourself in a position where you can take on additional responsibilities, where you seek out cross-training opportunities, where you are looked upon as the voice of reason when things get tense in the unit, these are the situations that get you noticed.
Go All In on Education. Fortunately, you are in a career with predictions of steady growth well into the future. This means that among other things, you will have options. If you want to get noticed, put the time in on getting advanced certifications. With online coursework allowing you to study and learn on your own time and at your own pace, you can take your career in any direction. Your nurse managers will notice, and your new skills will add to your growing reputation as the key member of the team.
Join outside nursing organizations. Education is one way to stand out, networking with other nursing professionals is another. Professional nursing organizations provide you with an opportunity to meet new people, to stay on top of industry news, and to learn from other professionals. New technologies and techniques can be a valuable asset to bring back to your own facility. Attending meetings and conferences also introduces you to potential employers if you are looking to advance beyond your current employer.
Be a Mentor. Throughout history, nursing is one of those professions where the experienced take the novices under their wing. Usually, this is handled more informally than formally, but that is where mentoring comes in. Today, organizations are taking the time to create formal mentoring programs. Mentors not only benefit the young nurses but the training and encouragement they provide ultimately help the patients. If you take on mentoring the newbies, you are helping the next generation of nurses and also developing your own communication and leadership skills.
Consider Travel Nursing. One of the best ways to expose yourself to new techniques and technologies is by spending time as a travel nurse. Travel nursing provides you with an opportunity to work in a variety of settings in different regions of the country. Having the experiences gained from this type of career development looks great on a resume and puts you ahead of the crowd. Additionally, the people you meet and the different settings you find yourself in may just take your career in a direction you never imagined before.
To be the enzyme requires you to put yourself out there, to try new things and step outside your comfort zone. When you are the one initiating the change in your career you are developing confidence and empowering yourself to control your destiny. All of it is within your power and within your reach as long as you are putting in the effort to stand out from the crowd and be the best nurse you can be.
What is your secret for standing out in the crowd and being noticed? What tips do you have for nurses who are looking to advance their career and be noticed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.