As Nurses Week 2014 draws to a close, Travel Nursing Blogs would like share some tips on how nurses can keep their skills sharp and continue their career momentum.
Karlene Kerfoot, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, sent us these 4 ways nurses can advance their careers, in celebration of the Nurses Week 2014 theme: Transforming Healthcare Through Nursing Leadership. Kerfoot is the chief clinical integration officer at API Healthcare.
First, we asked Kerfoot how this Nurses Week theme relates to the advancement of nurses’ careers.
“As a professional, we must feel obligated to continually improve our care of patients and the community, and to advance our career so we are better this year than last year,” says Kerfoot. “The more skills we acquire, especially surrounding the use and knowledge of technologies to be more efficient on the job, the better we are at changing the future for the patients.”
Kerfoot says the theme of nurse leadership is essential, as nursing is such a huge occupational group, one which plays a huge role in the evolution of health care.
“With the leadership and involvement of engaged nurses, amazing things can happen in the future of patient care,” says Kerfoot. “Nurses are uniquely positioned in this era of health reform because they are equally credentialed to work in the areas of achieving and maintaining health, and in the prevention, management and care of chronic diseases across many care settings. With the involvement of nurses willing to lead, patient-centered interventions that are effective and achieve the goals of the Affordable Care Act are possible. Nurses who step up to the challenge will create a better healthcare future.”
Here are Kerfoot’s 4 ways nurses can advance their careers including a brief explanation on each tip from her:
1. Never stop learning
“Nurses today have more opportunities than ever before,” says Kerfoot. “It’s vital to sharpen your various skill-sets throughout your career, no matter what position you’re in, so that you can take full advantage of new opportunities when they arise. Being proactive and developing new expertise will enable you to provide better, quality patient care.”
2. Develop your career to the next level
Kerfoot advises: “Asking yourself, ‘What’s the next challenge I need to prepare for?’ will help guide and advance your career over time. Too often, I’ve witnessed nurses who’ve become complacent with their jobs, and never step out of their comfort zone to try something new. This is a perfect time in the industry to not only hone the essential skills of a nurse, but to also develop your role as a leader.”
3. Highlight your work in measurable outcomes
“Developing expertise with measurement is essential for career development,” says Kerfoot. “This includes measuring financial and clinical outcomes, as the healthcare industry moves from process-oriented activities to accountability. Justifying the value of our nursing work is critical as health systems are now reimbursed based on the quality of care provided.”
4. Become comfortable using technology
“The rapid adoption of technologies has completely evolved the world of nursing and informatics. Without competency of mobile health tools and EHR software, nurses will find it very difficult to grow their careers,” says Kerfoot.
Thanks go out to Karlene Kerfoot, for sharing these great tips for ways nurses can advance their careers. And, Happy Nurses Week to all! Don’t forget to check out WeLoveOurNurses.com to celebrate!