5 Ways to upgrade your nursing career

It is natural to find your career stagnating at some point. A dreary and repetitive routine can be very demotivating and impact your work performance. 

If you are a nurse, a lack of interest and motivation to give your best at work can be risky for you and people who rely on you for their well-being. Therefore, if you are losing interest in your job, feeling detached and demotivated to improve yourself, it is time to consider revamping your job. What better way to make your job exciting than upgrading it? 

You can boost your nursing career in more ways than you might have thought.  Some ways to upgrade your nursing career are mentioned below. 

  • Upgrade your education 

One of the most straightforward ways to take your nursing career to the next level is by upgrading your education. With higher education comes new skills and knowledge that help you improve your abilities to care for your patients. 

Higher education also makes you suitable to take up and excel in performing leadership roles. In sum, higher education contributes to and tops up what you already know about your job. 

Currently, the biggest ease you have for getting a higher education is the availability of online education. If you currently hold a diploma in nursing, you can register for an online BSN degree and earn your RN license. 

BSN nurses can go for online masters of science in nursing (MSN) degrees. Similarly, an MSN nurse can opt for a doctoral degree. Below you can look at how these educational pathways positively impact your career in more detail. 

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RN license

Earning an RN license is a great way to upgrade your career. However, you need a BSN or an ADN to pass the licensing exam. Enrolling in a BSN or ADN program and getting an RN license are the two possible education pathways for an LNP (licensed practical nurse). 

An LNP Nurse with an RN license doesn’t only perform her usual duties but is also eligible to administer medication, insert IV drugs, and draw blood. They are also trained to handle and operate medical equipment. 


If you already have a BSN degree, an MSN can be your next step. MSN is the minimum qualification required to become an NP (Nurse Practitioner). 

A nurse practitioner is more qualified and skilled than an RN, thanks to all the knowledge and skills gained during the MSN degree program. An MSN degree also ensures professional development by giving you a chance to choose the specialization of your choice. 

As an NP, you can diagnose and treat patients, prescribe medication, administer dosage, and make patient care plans.  

You can start your private practice too. You might not be able to perform these tasks with a BSN degree only. Apart from this, an MSN degree is also your chance to polish your skills and climb to management and leadership positions and non-clinical roles such as nurse educators. 

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Finally, those with an MSN degree can upgrade their nursing career by pursuing a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). While an MSN is suitable for nurses who want to upgrade their career clinically, a DNP is ideal for professional nurses with a more systematic approach toward patient care that expands beyond bedside care. 

DNP is a terminal degree in nursing and positions you to perform advanced practice clinical and leadership roles. DNP nurses are well-versed in providing safe, effective, evidence-based patient care. Hence, once you have a DNP degree, you might find higher responsibility and more meaningful roles more readily available to you.

  • Earn a new specialization 

Apart from upgrading your career through higher education, earning a new specialization is another way to upgrade your career. It is a great way to revitalize your profession if you have fallen prey to professional monotony. 

Doing the same tasks and working in the same department can cause professional monotony to creep in as you fail to see anything new happening in your career. It is not unheard of for nurses to work in one area for a few years and then transition to a new domain of nursing. 

As a nurse, if you have worked in the cardiology department for a few years now, you can consider joining adult gerontology nurse practitioners by appearing in the required exams and getting the right certifications. 

Once you have the needed qualification, you can take up your new roles and make your job interesting again. 

  • Have a mentor

Finding a mentor who shares the same work domain as you can be a great way to learn from their experience and make the right career decisions. Their extensive experience can be a first-hand help when you need to improve your service. Hence, having the right mentor is fortunate and instrumental for your career development. 

When finding a mentor, make sure it is someone you can get along well with and feel comfortable sharing your mistakes and problems. 

Most importantly, your mentor should be someone who is not judgmental, has excellent listening skills, and gives respect and consideration to your trivial issues.

  • Develop your networks

Networking skills are indispensable when you are a professional. Your networking skills help you meet specialists in your field who can help your career development. Among these professionals, there are employers looking for potential candidates for vacancies in their organizations. 

As a result of your networking efforts, if you fulfill the educational and skill requirements asked by the employer, you can find more employment opportunities.  Your networks also help you stay current about industry news and cutting-edge research in your field. 

  • Join a nursing organization

One of the ways to develop your networks is by affiliating with a professional nursing organization. In such organizations, industry experts gather to share thoughts on policies, healthcare administration, etc.  

Affiliating with a nursing organization also allows you to win free passes to professional development seminars, industry conferences, and symposiums. 

Additionally, you can win a scholarship for study-abroad programs too. In sum, your attachment to a professional nursing organization opens doors for better academic and career development opportunities.


There are numerous ways to upgrade your career. Some of them are mentioned in the article above. Not all these may suit your circumstances. Therefore, looking at your situation, you can take measures that help you develop your career based on your current predicament.