4 Steps to Moving up in Your Nursing Career

Posted On March 6,2017


The medical field offers a variety of career advancement opportunities to nurses looking for professional growth opportunities. Career advancement creates additional responsibilities and may place you in a supervisory role that automatically makes you a leader; however, it also improves your income. When looking to move up your nursing career, there are a few things you can do to help you prepare.


Depending on your educational level, there are several opportunities available to help you advance your career. For example, if you work as a LPN (licensed practical nurse), a Bachelor of Science degree will qualify you to take the RN licensure exam. Thereafter, you can advance to a master’s degree, which qualifies you to work as an APRN (advanced practice registered nurse). A master’s degree also opens you up to specialty roles, for example, clinical nurse leader, nurse midwife, nurse administrator or nurse informaticist.  A doctorate degree in nursing creates opportunities in education and research, and it allows you to grow in your area of specialization.

As you advance your education, you position yourself to access unique opportunities in leading hospitals and research centers. Look for employers who offer learning opportunities, for example, teaching hospitals, flexible schedules and educational grants and/or scholarships.


Hospitals and large medical facilities offer the largest number of advancement opportunities for nurses. However, working in these facilities means constant interaction with doctors, fellow nurses, and other health care providers. Learn to work within a team early on in your career. Additionally, volunteer for extra duties and perform tasks that go beyond your job description; it helps create a good reputation.

As you move up, you will take on leadership roles that demand the respect of both senior and junior colleagues. Start building these relationships early on, and always work towards maintaining a friendly and respectful attitude with everyone, including your patients and their families.

Communication Skills

Communication skills play a central role as you advance in your nursing career. You will need these skills to give instructions, teach interns, negotiate, and perform other tasks that come with a higher position. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for you to practice your communication skills, for example, when talking to patients and their families. Alternatively, volunteer to introduce new nurses and give them a tour of the hospital or to update doctors on patients’ progress. You can also attend seminars and workshops to help you improve your communication skills.

Diversify your Knowledge

The medical field keeps changing with new technology and discoveries influencing patient care. Read extensively, because reading improves your knowledge and increases your verbal and comprehension skills. Do not limit your reading to the medical field – look for books on human psychology, leadership, and workplace excellence too. Other opportunities available to help you diversify your skills and knowledge include workshops, seminars, and webinars, which you can access from your mobile device.


The nursing field offers limitless opportunities and even prepares you to take up opportunities in other fields; start preparing to move up as soon as you get your first job. Take each day as a learning opportunity; every case you work on is a chance to improve yourself and position yourself for a better opportunity to enjoy the benefits that come with working in patient care. Your work will give you personal and professional fulfillment as you attend to the needs of your patients and their families. Get started today by sitting down with our admission counselors at Athena Career Academy. 

Start Your Journey Now