There are few fields in healthcare as rewarding and promising as nursing. The salary, benefits, and working conditions are generally excellent, but that doesn’t mean that this career path doesn’t come with its challenges.
As the healthcare industry evolves, nurses need to take the next step in their careers by furthering their education. With the advent of new healthcare systems, nurses need to become more adept at working in multi-disciplinary teams and adapting to new technology.
There are numerous reasons why nurses are turning to higher education to further their careers – whether it’s to equip themselves with the skills and qualifications needed to work a more autonomous role, or one with greater responsibilities, better wages, and job security. In this article, we’ll explain these reasons in depth and give tips on how to get your nursing degree even faster.
Increased salary and benefits
Nurses often work long shifts, sometimes at unsociable hours, and therefore deserve to receive a competitive wage. If a nurse seeks to better their knowledge and skills in the industry, that can open more doors and make them top candidate in the eyes of potential employers.
Pursuing higher education will make them more qualified and allow them to get ahead of those who haven’t taken the same steps. When other nurses see a nurse with more skills and experience, they will likely give that person greater responsibilities and lean on that knowledge and expertise.
Nurses can enroll in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Baylor University online, which allows nurses to pursue an advanced degree at their own pace. One of the top reasons nurses would choose this type of program is its online efficiency and flexibility, allowing you to complete your clinical hours while pursuing your education at your convenience.
Increased job marketability
Many nurses need to increase their job marketability by pursuing a higher education in nursing. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can graduates seek out an improved salary, while a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or DNP can open up opportunities for leadership positions.
For instance, a registered nurse may be able to transition into a charge nurse if they have a BSN and RN license. On the other hand, those who pursue a doctoral degree, such as a DNP, can become Directors of Nursing (DON).
DONs lead professional nursing staff, oversee budgets, and direct medical decisions. The increased income associated with these degrees also means that many nurses can make life-changing choices like returning to school full-time.
Expand your knowledge base
There’s no denying that nurses are crucial in the workplace, but they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Today, the healthcare industry doesn’t expect nurses to be able to do it all.
The industry has a number of more specialized roles, such as diagnosticians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and pharmacists. As a result, many have turned to higher education to broaden their skillset and scope of practice.
Furthering your education and acquiring more qualifications and experience undoubtedly gives you an edge over those with emptier resumes. You can pursue additional degrees in nursing or related fields such as psychology or public health.
Greater life satisfaction
Life satisfaction is an important indicator of overall happiness and well-being. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of education tend to have higher levels of life satisfaction.
This may be because people experience a greater sense of purpose or get to exercise their creativity more in their work. For nurses, pursuing continued education also helps to increase the quality of care they can provide for their patients, and that, in turn, gives them greater satisfaction. Advancing your education in nursing can also lead to increased earning potential and opportunities for climbing the ladder, possibly to the top.
Expand your network of contacts
Pursuing further education allows you to establish a whole new set of relationships, just like when you went to college for the first time.
You get to meet new people, learn about their diverse backgrounds and understand different cultures. It makes it easier for you to find connections and make friends with classmates in the same field, as you will all be in the same boat and will need each other’s help at some point during your studies!
Networking can also play a prominent role in your progression as a nurse throughout higher education. Employers want nurses who know how to work well with others, and what better way than to take classes where you must work with others to complete assignments?
Develop new skills
In an unpredictable sector such as healthcare, nurses can prepare themselves for all of the challenges and demands of the job by stepping up, and taking control of, their education. By obtaining a higher degree or certification, nurses can take on more responsibility and develop new skills to prepare for a career in this ever-changing field.
For example, skills such as time management, interpersonal communication, leadership, clinical reasoning, critical thinking, and advocacy all contribute to a nurse’s success.
Higher degrees also show employers that nurses are willing to commit to lifelong learning, one of the essential traits of successful employees.
Learn the importance of discipline
Perhaps the most crucial lesson nurses will learn in their pursuit of higher education is discipline, as completing a rigorous course such as this requires considerable motivation, persistence, and focus. Nursing degrees will never be easy, so it is vital to be study diligently and time-manage effectively.
Higher education is an excellent way for nurses to stay in the workforce for a more extended period, expand their knowledge and skills, and keep up in an ever-growing and evolving healthcare field. Online courses make learning easier for nurses without being confined by geographical restrictions.
These courses have enabled many older nurses to continue their careers through increased earning potential, job security, and new opportunities. With much responsibility comes great reward, and there’s no better way to ensure your future than investing in yourself.