If you’ve ever considered becoming a nurse, you’ve probably heard that nursing is among the most rewarding careers, which is about to get even better. For the unversed, there has been a 1.4 % decline in enrolments in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs in 2022. This means the potential candidate is declining amid high demand, meaning even better opportunities.
But you will still need to become a successful nurse to leverage the benefits. But how do you do that? How do you make sure that your patients get the best care possible? Well, this article is about how to become a great nurse.
Set Clear Goals
The first step to becoming a successful nurse is setting clear goals. You need to know where you want to go before you can get there, which means having a plan of action. The best way to do this is by setting measurable and achievable goals specific to what they will achieve.
When setting your nursing career goals, ensure they’re realistic so you don’t set yourself up for failure. If the goal seems too onerous or unrealistic for the time given, consider revising it to fit into your schedule more easily.
It may also be helpful if someone else checks over any plans. Sometimes, we think things through in our heads but forget about important details when writing them down on paper or typing them into an email draft, and those details could make all the difference between success and failure.
Make sure each goal has its focal point so that once one thing has been completed, another can move forward seamlessly without getting distracted by other things.
Pursue the Right Education
Pursuing the proper education is the first step to becoming a successful nurse. You need to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher for all science courses in high school. So, that means preparation starts from school. This means obtaining a nursing degree from an accredited school and choosing the right program for you.
Nursing programs vary in length and content, so you must find one that offers all of the courses needed for licensure in your state. You’ll also want to consider how much clinical experience students get at the school. Some schools offer extensive rotations where they can gain hands-on experience working with patients. Others don’t provide any rotation opportunities whatsoever.
Succeed Nursing School
Succeeding in nursing school can be challenging, but not if you follow the right tips and steps. For instance, building a solid network or developing habits you can stick to can be excellent for succeeding in nursing school.
Here are some more tips for success:
- Know your school’s requirements. Nursing programs vary greatly, so knowing what you’re getting into is essential before committing to a program.
- Take a course in study skills. It may seem obvious, but there’s no point in putting yourself through nursing school if you don’t have the tools to succeed.
- Get organized and stay that way. This will help ensure that all your assignments are done on time and with minimal stress.
Develop Strong Communication Skills
Communication is vital in many fields, and nursing is no different. You must communicate with your patients, peers, clinic or hospital staff, etc. In fact, communication can also help you from the school level itself. According to Elmhurst University, being open in communication can help you create a good friend circle and even connect with the faculty, which can be beneficial and help you succeed in school.
To be an effective communicator, you must be able to listen and respond appropriately.
Here are some tips on how to develop strong communication skills:
- Use active listening techniques such as nodding or making eye contact when speaking with someone else. This shows that you are engaged in what the other person is saying and understand them better than if you were just staring into space without any reaction.
- Non-verbal cues like body language can also help show that you’re engaged in conversation with someone else by giving off positive vibes through your posture or facial expressions rather than seeming uninterested by slouching over and folding your arms across your chest angrily.
- Clear language means using words that are easy for people around them who might not know precisely what they mean by specific phrases. Hence, it helps avoid confusion later down the road when trying different methods of treating patients under different circumstances where their needs may differ significantly depending upon various factors such as age, demographics, etc.
Cultivate Empathy and Compassion
Empathy and compassion are critical traits of successful nurses. Empathy is understanding another person’s feelings, while compassion is the desire to help others.
As a nurse, you’ll be expected to have a strong sense of empathy and compassion for your patients, and if you don’t have these qualities already, they must become part of your personality as soon as possible.
Empathy helps nurses develop relationships with their patients, allowing them to better care for them during treatment or recovery. Compassion motivates nurses to help others even when they might not feel well. This can sometimes lead them into dangerous situations where they risk losing their lives simply out of concern for someone else’s well-being.
Embrace Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
Critical thinking and problem-solving help you to make informed decisions, solve problems, and respond quickly to new situations.
To develop these skills, you need to practice them regularly, and that’s where this section comes in. Here you’ll learn how to apply critical thinking in your nursing career so that you can become a successful nurse.
Collaborate and Build Networks
Networking is an essential skill for nurses. It’s not just about getting a job but also building relationships that can help you throughout your nursing career. Here are some tips on how to network effectively:
- Know what you want out of networking before you start doing it. Are you looking for a new job? Do you want more exposure in the industry? Can people advise you on how to improve yourself or your skill set? Whatever drives your motivation behind networking should be reflected in how much effort and time go into it but don’t let this discourage you from thinking outside the box.
- Start small and build up from there; don’t jump into networking events with hundreds of attendees when all your experience has been limited thus far with smaller groups at local hospitals or clinics where everyone already knows each other.
Building a solid network can also help you make an excellent career. The stats are already in favor of nurses. According to recent data, the need for Registered Nurses (RNs) will grow by 6 % by 2031.
When you’re working as a nurse, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your job. You may even feel like you don’t have time for self-care activities. Data shows that RNs work 8-12 hours daily during rush hours. But this is not only bad for your health; it can also lead to burnout and make you less effective at work.
So how do you find time for self-care? It’s all about prioritizing those activities that are important to you. For example, if going on walks helps relieve stress after work but taking walks isn’t possible because there aren’t any nearby parks or trails within walking distance of home or work, then maybe consider walking a small distance when returning home from work.
We hope this article has helped you understand what it takes to become a successful nurse. If you’re ready to start your nursing career, now is the right time to enroll in a program and get the license to practice nursing.