From ADN to MSN, and Beyond: 6 Steps Towards Advancing Your Nursing Career

If you are looking for a highly respected career in healthcare where you can make a real difference in people’s lives, then nursing is a great career path for you. Not only is it a rewarding career path, the nursing field also offers many opportunities to move your way up the professional ladder and advance your nursing career. Below we outline the steps you can take to get started in the nursing field and move your way up the nursing ranks.

 Become a Registered Nurse:

There are a couple of different paths you can take to become an RN. One of those first steps is to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. Associate nursing programs, like Goodwin College’s, can be completed in as little as 20 months part-time. Once an associate degree is earned, graduates can then take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) which, if passed, can grant them the credential of a licensed RN. Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam is a standard requirement for Registered Nurses across the U.S.

  1. Earn your Bachelor’s in Nursing:

Some licensed RNs who have earned their associate degree also move on to complete their Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN). Fortunately, there are many bridge programs, like Goodwin’s RN-to-BSN degree, that make advancing your nursing career convenient and affordable. Graduates with a BSN degree are fully prepared with the knowledge and skills to practice as professional nurses from a culturally competent, fiscally responsible, holistic and visionary base. They are able to coordinate and facilitate patient care not only for individuals and their families, but also for groups, communities, and populations.

  1. Gain on-the-job experience:

Like most things in life, you learn the most from doing. That is why the best way to grow your nursing skills is to get real, on-the job experience. This clinical experience will not only positively impact your resume, but also prove beneficial in putting your education to work and applying theory to practice. Nurses are granted the opportunity to expand their clinical knowledge on the job, as well as observe their mentors and experienced medical pros and learn how to effectively communicate on the job, which is a key proficiency of a successful nurse.

  1. Join nursing organization:

Once you have your foot in the door as an RN and experience under your belt, it is also important to stay involved with the nursing community by joining industry-related organizations. This will allow you to network and expand your professional connections. It can also serve as an ongoing knowledge resource to you, so that you can continue building your nursing skills and advancing your nursing career. There are many national and state level organizations, such as the American Nursing Association and Connecticut Nurses Association, that provide ongoing nursing resources and support to it’s members.

 Obtain a Master’s in Nursing Degree:

The next step towards advancing your nursing career would be to obtain your Master’s in Nursing, or MSN degree. An MSN degree is a great next step for those nurses who have goals of obtaining leadership or managerial roles in the nursing field; those who desire true career advancement. Goodwin College’s MSN students gain advanced knowledge in the core areas of pathophysiology, pharmacology, physical assessment and, upon graduation, are equipped to take their nursing careers to the next level. MSN graduates have gone on to become nurse administrators, clinical nurse managers, and nurse educators, among many other advanced and executive nursing careers. An MSN degree can also be a stepping stone to an advanced specialized program.

  1. Pursue a Specialty Nursing Program:

Depending on your specific nursing career goals, you may want to pursue a specialty program. Fortunately, MSN degree credits can easily transfer into specialized MSN programs or doctoral programs for those wishing to further their education. Advancing your nursing career through a specialty program will allow you to pursue a specific passion area within nursing and focus on specialized areas such as pediatric nursing, women’s health, anesthesia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, to name a few.

With the increasing demand for nurses, the path to advancing your nursing career is more obtainable than ever. Start your journey towards becoming a nurse and thriving in the nursing field! Call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282 to learn more about our different level nursing programs. If you would like to learn more about advancing your nursing career with an MSN degree, simply visit us online to request more information about our MSN nursing program