Nurses are some of the most important and well-respected professionals in the healthcare industry today. In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a bright highlight on just how essential nurses are and what could happen if the shortage of nurses reaches a dangerous point. Nursing is a career with more advancement and progression opportunities compared to many others. The nurse leadership role has evolved a lot over the years, and today nurse leaders are essential to the smooth running of healthcare organizations, hospitals, and clinics. Not only are they tasked with coordinating patient care, but they also have a large impact on healthcare policy in general, making this an ideal career to get into if you are a nurse or aspiring future nurse looking for a role where you can play a part in improving the healthcare industry from the inside.
Here are some great reasons to consider a career in nurse leadership.
Today, nurses have more accessible study options than ever before available to help them get into more advanced positions in the industry. When working as a full-time nurse, the idea of attending college classes on campus can seem impossible. And many nurses do not have the means to quit their job for a couple of years to get an advanced degree. Online degrees have made taking advantage of these opportunities for progression much easier for nurses who are ambitious and want to climb the career ladder. Marymount University offer online degree programs where students can learn more about the nursing influence on healthcare policy and gain the knowledge and experience necessary to become a good nurse leader. Studying online gives nurses the chance to manage their own schedule, stay in control and more easily juggle the prospect of getting an advanced degree while working full-time. This can make it easier to afford, making it a popular choice with nurses who want to keep student debt to a minimum.
In addition to the wider range of advanced nursing degree programs that are now available to study online in a flexible manner, more and more healthcare employers are offering support to nurses who want to advance in their careers. Getting an advanced degree and training in nurse leadership will not just benefit you, but could also be very advantageous to your employer, who will be able to hire from within more easily and benefit from having a more well-educated workforce. Because of this, many healthcare employers today offer tuition assistance programs along with practical support to help nurses on their journey towards more advanced positions.
There is an increased demand for nurses across the board, which has also led to a higher need for advanced nursing professionals such as nurse leaders. Along with a shortage of registered nurses right now, the US is also dealing with a shortage of advanced healthcare professionals including those who would often be seen in leadership positions such as primary care physicians. As a result, advanced nurses including nurse leaders and nurse practitioners are stepping up to close the gap and ensure that patients are getting the standards of care that they deserve. As a result of these chances, it has also become increasingly clearer that nurses tend to have a better impact on patient care when they are in a leadership position due to their holistic and person-centered approach.
Career Progression Opportunities
Nurse leadership is not at the top of the career ladder for nurses. Nurses who get an advanced degree and go on to work in this advanced role have even further opportunities when it comes to moving their career forward even more. To work successfully as a nurse leader, a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing is often required – a qualification that can open up even further opportunities for different nursing roles, including training as a nurse practitioner if you want to continue offering direct care to patients for as long as possible. Nurse leaders are often also mentors to nursing students and other new healthcare professionals, and this can often be a stepping stone towards getting a doctor of nursing practice degree and qualifying to teach nursing students and prepare them for their careers ahead of them.
Break Down Class Barriers
Despite the requirement to be college-educated and the huge amount of responsibility that sits on the shoulders of nurses, nursing is still widely viewed as being a blue-collar career choice. Despite the fact that there are various educational and training levels necessary to be successful in the wide range of nursing roles that are available, many people outside of the industry are unaware of this, and many still see nursing as more of a support role rather than a medical profession in its own right. Nurses who are in leadership roles also play a very important part in providing education to the general public and other professionals that there is more to nursing than cleaning up and treating minor injuries. Nurse leadership roles give nurses the chance to show that they are influential in the healthcare industry, have an impact on healthcare policy and are key decision-makers in many healthcare organizations.
Nursing Skills Make Good Leaders
Nurses tend to make some of the best leaders, so it’s no surprise that the demand for professionals to fill nurse leadership roles is on the rise. Nurses have a unique ability to take a holistic approach to situations and are used to looking at the bigger picture when weighing up their options. After experience working as a registered nurse, nurse leaders have the skills to make difficult decisions quickly and precisely without buckling under the pressure. They are often meticulous and organized, and have excellent communication skills, allowing them to build strong relationships with their teams and their patients.
If you are considering a career in nursing, or are currently working as a nurse and want to take your career further, a position in nurse leadership is worth considering. Nurse leaders are in high demand, and this role can give you the opportunity to positively impact healthcare as a whole.