Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) can look forward to an exciting and rewarding career, but each person who enters this role has to progress in a way that suits them. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to boost your career as an FNP that you might like to take into account.
Get as much clinical experience as possible
The more clinical experience you gain, the more attractive you will be to employers. In addition, this will boost your confidence levels as you’ll be used to working in settings such as hospitals and clinics, as well as with a wide range of different patient types.
Each patient type and setting will give you different kinds of experiences. This will give you an excellent range of knowledge that prepares you for just about any kind of work and also lets potential employers know that you’re open-minded and can handle many different ways of working thanks to your well-rounded experience.
It will also give you experience working with different nurses and management teams, which will allow you to carry out networking. Everyone you make a good impression on could become a useful contact later on, so getting into good networking habits early on makes sense.
Look for further education possibilities
Employers love to see candidates who have made the effort to gain extra qualifications and learn all they can about the role. Even if you’re planning on staying with the same employer in the near future, getting qualified is going to stand you in good stead in terms of the opportunities that they offer you.
Getting started with this is not as difficult as you might think, as you can enroll in an online post-master’s FNP program without disrupting your current job. It is a recommended way to learn from experienced mentors and trainers. The fact that you also get clinical placements included in the top programs, such as the course from Carson-Newman University, means that you continue to broaden your experience as you learn.
As a nursing graduate, you’ll be in a good position to immediately start your career. Nurses are currently in demand, but employers are wary about taking on new FNPs who have not completed their training or carried out some sort of placement in the past.
Gain leadership skills
Having a set of leadership skills is going to greatly enhance your chances of getting interesting jobs in the future. It will allow you to focus on leadership and management roles that give you more career opportunities and are potentially more rewarding in terms of the salary you receive as well.
One way of doing this is to look for opportunities to mentor new nurses. You could also check out the leadership courses and training programs that give you insight into the behaviors that you’re going to need to take this next step. Of course, you also get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping newcomers progress.
If you discover that you’ve got an aptitude for mentoring others, this is probably because you’re patient and empathetic, as well as being good at resolving problems and communicating. All these skills are going to be incredibly useful in various ways as your FNP career progresses.
Improve your communication skills
Communication is one of the most vital skills for any FNP to possess, and a lack of these skills could hold back your career. Bear in mind that as you progress, you’ll be expected to communicate effectively with an ever-growing range of different types of people who need to understand exactly what you’re saying, while your listening skills are also vital.
How can you boost your communication skills? This list of suggested techniques is a solid starting point, but it’s also something that you need to work on continuously by seeing how effective your communication is in real life and adapting your strategies if you notice that changes are needed.
Look for related skills
While you’ll want to focus on your nursing career, you might consider it worthwhile to investigate the kinds of training that could give you more strings to your bow. It could mean learning more about areas such as nutrition and honing your soft skills, such as dealing with people.
There are many skills that are not clearly related to nursing at first glance. However, they could give you a better overall view of patient care and help you feel more confident in some aspects of the role that less experienced nurses might find daunting. For example, you might decide to look into the latest technology that’s going to affect the healthcare industry in the near future.
Boost your time management
Managing your time effectively is a huge part of any nursing job. For some FNPs, it comes more naturally, while others might find that it hinders their performance until they manage to get it under control.
There are many different ways to improve your time management skills, from looking for online courses to watching YouTube tutorials to downloading the best time management mobile apps. All of these are just different approaches to getting your day under control and feeling that nothing is going to throw you off track.
Specialize in one or more areas
The idea of specializing in a certain area of nursing can be an excellent way for an FNP to take the next steps and clearly define the direction that their career is going to take.
There are many types of specialization, from caring for younger patients to dealing with mental health issues, orthopedics, and others. This type of decision is best made when you’ve gained some experience in a general nursing role and can see how your skills and personality align well with a certain specialty.
All of these ideas are extremely useful for taking your career to the next level. First of all, you should take a moment to consider in which direction you would like to see your career flourish and then take the necessary steps to make this happen.