Working as a nurse is one of the most fulfilling careers imaginable. While there may be those times you can’t do anything for your patients other than trying to make them comfortable, you know that you are there for them, sometimes in their darkest hours. However, that may not be enough. You want to do and be more for the patients you cross paths with and so you want to advance as far up the ladder as you can go. You want to be their provider. No one said it will be easy, but there is a simple way to advance your career if you follow a three-step method.

Step 1: Plan

The first thing you’ll want to do is plan where you want to be in stages. Perhaps you are a practicing LPN at the moment and would like to become an RN. Or, you are an RN or an MSN and you want to become an NP. Can you picture yourself as a Nurse Practitioner? No matter where you are now in your career, you need to make a plan if you intend to advance. This plan should be well-detailed, and you should set specific goals. Where do you see yourself this time next year? What about the year after, and so forth. How will you get there? See your plan as your roadmap for the future.

Step 2: Execute

If there is one thing you are certain of, you will need further education to advance in your career as a nurse. Higher education is required for each certification and/or licensure, so now it’s time to execute your plan – and that means choosing a college. But, what school will you attend, and can you afford to take time off work to attend a campus? Probably not if you are working full-time. It would be especially difficult if you were a charge nurse or ward administrator with a master of science in nursing degree looking to advance as a Nurse Practitioner. Have you considered attending a fast track NP program like that offered by Regis College online? To borrow an overused cliché, you really can have your cake and eat it too!

Step 3: Advance

With that post master’s degree from Regis College in hand, it’s time to advance. The only real issue that remains is where you want to work. Do you want to stay at your current place of employment but at the next level as an NP, or do you want to set up in private practice? In 24 states, including the District of Columbia, you can now be an autonomous NP. Nonetheless, you are at the end of your roadmap, for now at any rate. You may even want to take a new track to specialize further in your career as an NP. Now it’s time to advance to that higher level of nursing.

No one said it will be easy because you will need to work hard, but as a nurse, you are used to hard work and sometimes long hours. In the end, that career advancement to Nurse Practitioner is just the beginning of taking your career to new limits.

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