If your passion is caring for other people, but you want to have a greater impact on the lives of those you meet. You’ve shown you have what it takes, but you could opt for a higher responsibility as a nurse. Not only will you be greater qualified to help people by understanding their illness better, but you can lead a team of nurses to give round the clock professional care. You can also become the saving grace for doctors, as without nurses the doctors cannot function, and the patients cannot be properly cared for. You will gain a greater respect for your profession when you’re swap from being a frontline soldier in the healthcare industry, to a captain, who can enforce real change and bring life and happiness to an unlimited amount of suffering people. But, this can only be achieved by going from a registered nurse to becoming an advanced-educated nurse who has the prospect of becoming a head nurse.
An advanced degree
First and foremost you need to show your worth by being accredited with an advanced degree. This shows the doctors, the nursing agency and the hospital board that you are considering a high-ranking position where you can work with and become an administrator. In the US you can study a bachelor of nursing degree with a 100% Online RN to BSN Program. In the UK you could apply and complete a Masters degree. Being awarded such a degree allows you to play a role in the hospital as a supervisor to other nurses. You can lead junior nurses and manage the care for multiple patients. In this role you’ll have more responsibility which will allow you to experience how a ward is run, allowing you to suggest improvement.
Take on more responsibility
Attaining the role of the head nurse is a long journey, and just like any other role in the world of work, you need to prove yourself along the way. The head nurse is someone who had to put his or her personal time aside and become more involved in a wide array of departments. It’s a truly fulfilling role as you work with midwives, doctors, surgeons, rehabilitation staff and emergency responders face to face. Working overtime is the best way to get planted with roles that would otherwise be far from your grasp. As sometimes there are staff shortages, by volunteering to work out of hours, you can get noticed by staff who respond well to your services.
Work under the head nurse
A surefire way to get noticed is to work directly under the head nurse, by becoming his/her go-to person. During your free time, ask the current head nurse if you could shadow their day-to-day routine so you can learn from what she does. Apply yourself enthusiastically and write down whatever you think is important. You will learn how to manage people and patients equally, as well as find solutions to problems, work to maintain and update patient records, train on advanced equipment and be exposed to how the hospital orders supplies. A head nurse has many roles to play in the hospital working with the head nurse; you put yourself in a position whereby the admins and doctors will consider you as an alternative to the current head nurse should he or she take a leave of absence or retire.
Disclosure: collaborative post. All opinions are my own.