How to advance your nursing career
By Dan Allard
If you are looking to progress in your nursing career, you should consider what you want to achieve. Are you looking to remain in clinical work, helping to support patients directly? Do you want to incorporate managerial responsibilities, educational awareness or work alongside multidisciplinary teams?
Nursing is a hugely flexible profession; you can choose to work as a general nurse across many different wards or specialise in key areas.
What is the Knowledge and Skills Framework?
The NHS Careers framework shows the expected career path of a nurse (as well as other healthcare professions). As you can see, it offers a linear approach to career progression, and within each band, there is ample opportunity to advance or diversity your skillset.
To help you move along the expected career path of a nurse, you should pay close attention to the Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF), which has been designed to help you identify core skills and capabilities. This focuses upon the following areas of development:
Personal and People Development
Health, Safety, and Security
Equality and Diversity
You should continually self-assess your performance against these areas. Employers are likely to use the KSF as a framework for discussion during any reviews.
Make the most of community nursing roles
As social prescribing becomes more mainstream, we can anticipate that community nursing will have greater opportunities for career advancement, particularly if you want to juggle clinical work with leadership responsibilities.
Whilst community nursing offers different challenges to hospital settings, you are more likely to be working in smaller teams – particularly if you are working for social enterprises or charities – which can open up more opportunities for leadership.
How can nursing be managerial?
The implementation of advanced nursing practitioner roles and nursing consultant roles means that nurses can have greater authority and responsibilities when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients. They also play a hugely important role when it comes to multidisciplinary teams and working alongside external agencies such as social work, schools, probation and other healthcare disciplines.
These roles incorporate leadership as well as research and development and play a pivotal role in continuing to develop the nursing profession as well as delivering high levels of patient care.
Yes; those who choose to work in locum nursing jobs may benefit from greater career advancement because they can choose strategic positions that give them more experience in their chosen fields.