Advanced Nurses: How to Take Your Healthcare Career to the Next Level

To work as a registered nurse in any state in the United States, you must have a nursing degree and a valid license. This requires taking the NCLEX and passing a criminal background check, which involves going to the police station and submitting your fingerprints for testing. Once you have your license, you can find work in a hospital, private office, community clinic and any other type of facility. After a few years of gaining experience in the field, you may want to look at some ways you can take your career to the next level.

Get Certified

Getting certified is just one way you can enhance your nursing degree and take your career further. Some of the top nursing certifications available today include those that let you work as a Certified Pediatric Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. These certifications are all available from professional organizations that welcome nurses. You'll usually need to take one or more classes and then pass an exam that tests you on the knowledge you learned in those classes. Some organizations require that you take an exam and have some experience but do not require that you take any classes.

Work as a Travel Nurse

Many jobs require that you have years of experience or experience in more than one field. When you work for a doctor in his or her office, it's hard to gain that experience. Working as a travel nurse lets you go where the jobs are and learn what it is like working with people from different backgrounds and those dealing with different medical conditions and diseases. Travel nurses may work in positions across the country or work in one region.

Go Back to School

If you have your RN license, you should think about going back to school. A program like the USF RN to MSN onlineprogram lets you take classes online to earn your degree. Programs like this let you use your RN as a basis for a Master of Science in Nursing. If you aren't sure you can handle an MSN program, you can enroll in an RN to BSN program, which lets you earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Getting a higher or advanced degree helps you qualify for better jobs and jobs that pay more.

While you can find a rewarding job with just your RN license, you can take your nursing career farther with some experience as a travel nurse, a higher degree or professional certification. There are other routes you can take as well such as becoming a trauma or an emergency nurse. In other words, there are a lot of other routes you can take to advance your career. All you need to do is start with whatever you are interested in and make goals and pursue them to the end.

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