Nurses play a vital role across hospitals. Sometimes, their role is even more important than doctors. The nurses initially examine the patients, monitor them, keep them under observation, take necessary precautions, and give them medications when required. They take care of everything, from giving injections, replacing blood bottles, making reports, and keeping track of the admitted patients. This role significantly eases the doctor’s job and reduces the patient’s time in treatment.
Nurses’ job is extremely stressful after a very strenuous nursing degree. Nevertheless, this degree secures your future in the nursing career. There is ample room for growth in the field of nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Registered Nurses (RN) would climb up at an average rate of 12% by 2028. In 2020, the median pay for Registered Nurses was $75,330 per year and $36.22 per hour at an entry-level position for a fresh graduate with a nursing degree.
However, due to the advancements in medicine and hospital administration, the stakes are much higher. It would help if you had certain leadership skills and qualities to climb the nurse hierarchy in a hospital and enhance your career and pay scale by gaining a higher position.
Ability to develop in your Nursing Career
You can acquire a certain set of skills required in the nursing career through various programs offered for registered nurses, like the online MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program, among other programs offered at universities across the United States. Let us look at some skills that you can polish during your program.
You require a certain set of clinical skills to understand how to deal with a new patient. These skills include patient care, acute care, treatment plans, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), pediatrics, telemetry, critical care nursing, life support, case management, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). You would develop these technical clinical skills during your nursing program. The more efficiently and quickly you learn to handle these tasks with acute attention to detail, the higher are your chances of being hired.
As a nurse, you are at a critical frontline, coordinating between the physician and the patient. You would often be required to disclose the medical information to the patient, including medications and relevant instructions, diagnosis, test results, or any other medical concerns. That’s why effective communication is extremely important.
Communication in the medical or nursing field is much different from any other profession. A nurse always has to be gentle, kind, considerate, and compassionate towards the patients and their families. If a patient gets distressed, often the nurse takes the role of reassurance or connecting the patient to their family. It is imperative to remain cool and calm while communicating with a distressed patient and do what you can to calm them down.
Communicating with the physician, other nurses in the hospital or clinic, and other healthcare staff members are also crucial for coordination, exchanging information, discussing patient cases and treatment plans, and keeping relevant patient files to send to other departments for processing.
Flexibility and Adaptability
As a full-time working nurse, you may have to hustle between your work life and personal life. If you work in the Emergency Room (ER), the doctors may call you in case of an emergency. Alternatively, there are chances of you getting a night shift. You might have to renew your schedule to keep a balance between your work and personal life.
Additionally, last-minute calls, sudden changes in treatment plans, along juggling between multiple treatment plans for several patients will keep you on your toes all day long. While working in the capacity of a nurse, consider keeping flexibility and adaptability at the top of your list.
Leadership Skills to Grow in your Nursing Career
Apart from all the basic technical skills required for an effective nursing career, some leadership skills can also help you climb up the nurse hierarchy in a hospital.
Every new nurse requires a mentor who can train them during the initial years. This mentor is someone who you can go to for help, advice, support, and instructions. After learning the ins and outs of the relevant and related hospital operations, managing tasks, and being an expert in patient handling, the nurse looks for leadership qualities to climb up the hierarchy.
Precision and Attention to Detail
Your keenness to learn, staying up to date with all the tasks aligned, and paying special attention to detail will set you apart from the other nurses. Bringing enthusiasm and a high energy level will help you tenfold in your career. If you always stay at the top of things and organize everything, the doctors appreciate your efforts. This tip helps you build a good rapport among the other staff members and make you seem approachable, reliable, and trustworthy.
Try to exhibit an open personality and open-mindedness, making it easy for anyone to come to you. If others rely on you and never fail to deliver, you will get more responsibilities. Remember, more responsibilities mean higher chances of getting a promotion.
Remember, nursing is a field with endless opportunities to learn. The more hands-on you are, the more efficient it will take you on the job. Just as the learning process does not end in life, the nursing education keeps going far beyond graduation. Do not be afraid to build on your current knowledge. Read books, study cases, and cross-examine patient files and diagnoses. It might even equip you with better instruments and help you better understand a case.
The medical field is constantly evolving, and there is a constant introduction of new diseases, medical tools, and equipment. The faster you equip yourself and stay ahead, the faster you exhibit leadership skills by teaching what you have learned to other nurses. This ability would help you take charge and devise an actionable plan when nobody else can.
Help new nurses and fresh graduates.
Being a mentor to fresh graduates and newly hired nurses is an excellent way to exhibit leadership skills. Show the ropes to those young medical professionals who are very new to the field. Be kind and patient, help them with their tasks, listen to their problems, and offer advice and solutions.
Working in this field and making life and death decisions can be extremely stressful, so help prepare the new graduates to deal with such stressful situations. You would have a ton of workload along with helping others. That’s is what being a leader means: helping others while managing your tasks.
In addition, these recruits might help you down the line. Confused and helpless new graduates rarely ever forget someone who helped them during their initial period. They would respect and honor you and be in your corner during the tough times.
Scope and Pay of Nurses in the US
The salary figures for a nurse practitioner vary from state to state, according to the demand and capacity. It also depends on working hours, hourly rate, duties and responsibilities, and output levels.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median yearly pay for a licensed practicing registered nurse is $46,240. In 2018, the lowest yearly pay of the bottom 10% of licensed practicing registered nurses was $33,680, while $62,160 was for the top 10% in the entire United States.
If we look at pay rates in different states,
- Rhode Island pays its nurses the most, with $59,130 a year.
- Massachusetts with $58,990.
- Alaska with $58,250.
- Nevada with $57,140.
- Connecticut with $56,970.
These are average yearly pay figures for registered nurses by state. The average yearly salary figure for Florida is $44,400 for licensed registered nurses. Similarly, the average annual salary for nurses in California is $56,200. In Missouri, it is $42,580, while in Pennsylvania, it is $48,120. Depending on the state, these figures vary from the number of hours to the work setting.
The nursing career may be tough with high-level requirements, but the rewards are just as sweet. There is a huge demand for nurses in the United States. Combined with the advancement pace in the medical field, nurses play a highly crucial role as healthcare professionals. They run the staff, act as a coordinator between the doctor and the patient, manage patient case files and help process them, deal with the patients while keeping up with their daily tasks. Portraying leadership skills by taking the initiative and staying ahead of the game will take you far ahead in your nursing career.
Taking young graduates under your wing, helping other nurses with their tasks, and staying approachable will set you apart and automatically place you in a position of leadership. Therefore, it is crucial to exhibit such skills to climb up the hospital nurse hierarchy.