DiversityNursing Blog

How to Grow in the Nursing Profession

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Fri, May 06, 2022 @ 12:30 PM

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One of the greatest benefits of the Nursing profession is that there are always new and emerging ways to improve our skills and reach new occupational heights. Medicine is ever-changing and with that, Nurses are also ever-changing. We must learn to adapt to new procedures, medications, technology, and equipment. These changes often unlock the potential we have to grow within the Nursing profession and there are many opportunities to grow right at our fingertips. Wherever you are in your Nursing journey there is always room to grow professionally.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Most states require Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Nurses to renew their RN licenses. Although many Nurses may feel that completing CEUs can be a tedious and unnecessary task, they are a great opportunity to advance knowledge and skills. There are many different ways to fulfill CEU requirements including conferences, online classes, on-the-job training, independent study programs, and post-secondary degree programs. Completing CEUs with the intention to advance your skillset can be a great step in advancing your career.

 Seek a New Certification

Getting a Nursing certification is an excellent way to advance your career. There are hundreds of Nursing certification options available to all Nurses regardless of their current Nursing position. Holding certain certifications will make you more marketable to employers and allow for more opportunities. There is no limit to the number of certifications you can hold as a Nurse and each certification can help you gain a competitive advantage in your Nursing field. Some of these certifications include basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), trauma Nursing core course (TNCC), and Wound Care Certification (WCN-C).

Organize or Join a Unit-Based Council

Unit-based councils are a professional practice model that facilitates shared decision-making between staff Nurses and Nursing management. These councils can impact policies, procedures, and processes in everyday patient care. Organizing or joining a unit-based council will promote evidence-based practices, improve patient-centered care, increase job satisfaction, improve Nurse retention, and foster professional growth and development. Participating in a unit-based council also looks great on a resume.

Join a Professional Organization

There are many benefits to joining a professional organization that can support your advancing career. Whatever your Nursing specialty, there is most likely a professional organization you can join to support your growing skills and knowledge. These organizations help Nurses achieve personal growth and development by supplying educational opportunities such as CEUs, education conferences, occupational networking, and academic scholarships. Taking an active part in these types of organizations can offer Nurses professional development opportunities including mentoring and leadership development. To choose an organization that will be the right fit for you look for a group that focuses on your chosen specialty or area of interest. 

Consider Specialization

Nurses have the opportunity to become specialized in their chosen Nursing field. Nursing certifications are a formal process in which clinical knowledge and skills are tested to demonstrate competence in a chosen specialty. Nurses can become specialized in various fields including but not limited to emergency Nursing, medical-surgical Nursing, rehabilitation Nursing, and critical care. Achieving board certification in your chosen specialty demonstrates that you are an expert in your chosen field and can lead to increases in pay, management positions, and more.

Take the Next Step in Your College Career

Educational advancement in the Nursing profession is endless and there is always room to climb the professional ladder. The Nursing profession offers a wide variety of job opportunities and with every new degree achieved, new doors can be opened. Going back to school is a big decision to make and there are many aspects to consider. There are many different paths that can be taken to advance your degree. Classes can be taken online or in-person as well as part-time or full-time. These options allow Nurses the flexibility they need to continue working while achieving their degrees.

Registered Nurses who have achieved a bachelor’s degree can decide to enroll in a graduate Nursing program and receive a master’s degree in Nursing. There are several different areas of focus Nurses can choose including a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL), and Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM). The benefits of obtaining a graduate degree in Nursing include a pay increase as well as teaching and leadership opportunities.

In closing

Knowledge, skill, and passion are what can really drive a Nurse forward in the Nursing profession. What is most important is that you find what you are passionate about and go for it with integrity. By doing this, you will find yourself opening the door to new opportunities that will lead to your own personal journey of growth and development in Nursing.

Topics: nursing, nurses, nursing career, nursing profession

Crushing Male Nurses Stigmas and Stereotypes

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Feb 10, 2022 @ 12:18 PM

GettyImages-1303868827Men become Nurses for the same reason women do, to take care of people. And even though Male Nurses are becoming more common, they still face constant stereotyping on the job.

In order to provide optimum care and reduce health disparities, our healthcare professionals should be as diverse as the patient population they serve. This means Men must become equally represented in the Nursing field.

Increasing the number of Men in Nursing is seen as difficult because of social stigmas and stereotypes. Some common stereotypes that must be crushed are:

Women's Work

Nursing is viewed as a female dominated profession, but that is changing. Back in the 1960's Men made up about 2% of Nurses in the United States. In 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that number is closer to 13%. 

People tend to associate caregiving and nurturing with women's roles and simply because of their gender, Men are believed to be lacking these things and can't be a good Nurse. This of course isn't true. 

This misconception can dissuade skilled and caring men from entering the field, preventing them from truly helping people.

“In my neighborhood, especially my old friends, they always thought that being a Nurse was a job for females,” said Geovany Ruiz, who plans to work as an Oncology Nurse. “So, I put off being a Nurse for a long time. But when it comes down to doing the job, it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. We can both do the job.”

Sexual Orientation

Other stereotypes that branch from the field being female dominated is Men's sexual orientation, including the belief that male Nurses are Gay. Or the opposite belief that Men join the profession with a higher female to male ratio with the idea that they have a better chance to achieve relationships.

"It's important to note this stereotype is often fueled by a patient's own insecurities and fears. Don't take it personally; keep calm and be patient with them. Again, educating patients on the evolving role of Nursing and how it's not a gender-specific role can help combat this stereotype," advises George Zangaro, RN, FAAN, Associate Dean at Walden University School of Nursing.

Doctor or Failed Doctor

Some people see a Man in scrubs or with a stethoscope and assume he is a Doctor. Other people assume that when a Male Nurse isn't a Doctor it's because he failed to become one. This harmful stereotype is rooted in the belief that Nurses are inferior to Physicians and that Nurses are Women and Doctors are Men.

Television and movies have a strong influence on society’s perception of Men and Women in healthcare.

Mark Gustin, RN, at Brandon Regional Hospital said, “The worst thing for Men in Nursing was 'Meet the Parents' because it emphasized the social stigma that Women are Nurses and Men are Doctors, Directors, and CEOs.”

A great way to combat these stereotypes is by educating patients that Nursing is not gender-specific and that Women are also entering a number of typically male-dominated fields.

Topics: male nurse, male nurses, nursing profession, male nurse stereotypes

Nursing Has Been A Most Trusted Profession

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Oct 15, 2018 @ 02:27 PM

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According to Gallup, for the last 16 years, Americans' ratings of the honesty and ethical standards of 22 occupations found Nurses at the top of the list. Doctors and Pharmacists are also at the top of the list. 

The Gallup poll results showed more than eight in 10 (82%) Americans describe Nurses' ethics as "very high" or "high."

In an American Nurses Association (ANA) article, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, President of the ANA said,  “Nurses provide much more than bedside care. We advocate for patients, deliver primary care, meet the complex needs of patients with chronic conditions, volunteer for disaster relief efforts, and are a trusted voice in boardrooms across the country." 

This poll reflects the trust the population has for Nurses. Patients rely on Nurses during their most vulnerable times and year after year Nurses show us that they do deserve that trust. 

Doctors manage the overall healthcare plan but, Nurses are the ones who implement it and in doing so they spend the most time with patients. 

Since Nurses spend the most time with patients, and they know the health care system’s limitations, they're in the best position to speak up about their patients’ needs and safety concerns and advocate for them

Audrey Wirth, MSN, RN-BC, CVRN-BC, Nursing instructor at Aurora University told travelnursing.com, “In the Nurse-to-patient relationship, there is a fundamental trust that occurs. Nurses must serve as advocates for both their patients and for better health care in general.”

 In 1999 Gallup began asking about Nurses, and the profession has topped the list every year except for 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, firefighters topped the list that year.

We know you put your patients first every day. We’re delighted that you are recognized for the important and vital work you do. Pat yourself on the back that you continue to make Nursing the most trusted profession! To learn more about what it takes to be a great Nurse check out the blog, Traits Every Great Nurse Has

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Topics: nursing profession, trust nurses, ethical standards

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