The healthcare industry allows you to have a strong future on the horizon. A career in nursing is truly rewarding. However, sometimes, you can feel that you have more to offer. As a nursing professional with first-hand experience of patient care and of the industry as a whole, you are in a good position to make a change. You have the potential to have an impact within nursing, and you can do this by pursuing a leadership role. You may already have the leadership skills you need to make an impact, or you made need to brush up on your current skills, education, and awareness. Once you have decided that leadership is the right path for you to follow, you can then begin to put a plan of action into place. So, when it comes down to it, do you have what it takes to pursue a leadership career in nursing and succeed? Can you make a real difference, and where do you start?
Deciding the Time is Right to Push Your Career and Push Yourself
Pushing for leadership can take a lot out of you. Leadership can be emotionally and physically draining, and you have to ensure that you are ready for both the challenges and changes that lie ahead. Of course, there is no perfect time for progression and change; there is, however, the right time. The right time is when you feel that your current role is restricting you and when you feel that your voice, opinion, or point of view is not being heard or valued. To make sure that the time is right for you, then you need to evaluate where your career is currently heading. Taking time out to evaluate what stage you are at within your nursing career will allow you to see if now is the right time to pursue leadership. When you look at your career yourself, and you look at what direction it is going in, you can then establish what is right for you and when.
Focusing on the Future and Having a Career Plan
It often helps if you have a career plan or plan for your future working life. When you take time out to create a career plan, you take back control of the direction that your career is going in. Without a career plan in place, you may struggle to achieve a leadership role within a timescale that sits right for you. Focusing on the future allows you to establish when progression is right for you and what progression is right for you too. Before jumping into creating a career plan, you have to think about what you want to achieve both in the short term and in the longer term too. Your career plan will outline what you want to achieve, and it will subsequently break down the route you need to take.
Within a career plan, you need to focus on a few key areas. For example, you need to focus on what your end goal is. For example, is your end goal to end up in a senior leadership role, or are you looking to manage a town or states healthcare facility? How far do you want your career to take you, and what direction do you want to move in?
Have You Got What It Takes to Succeed in Leadership
Once you have established that you are ready for growth and development into a leadership role, you then have to establish if you have what it takes to succeed. Having the potential to thrive in leadership is what it takes, so have you got this? To determine if you have got what it takes to succeed in leadership, you need to begin a process of reflection. Look at your skills, and look at your strengths and weaknesses.
After a process of evaluation and reflection, you will be able to see what key areas you need to start working on. When you are establishing if you have what it takes to be a leader, you have to look further and deeper than you may think. You can improve your skills, your knowledge, and your experience, and you can even improve your mindset to one that is suited for leadership. Leaders are made, created, and molded; they are not perfect, and they are often not ready-made, and this is something you need to be aware of and take on board.
Your Education is of Paramount Importance
Leaders are created, and within part of this creation, you have to ensure that you place high importance on your education. If you do not focus on your education, then you can find that you lack the direction, knowledge, and awareness to push forwards successfully. When it comes to focusing on your education, you have to ensure that you choose a program that is highly tailored and suited to you, your ambitions, and your future. For example, a Post-Master’s DNP will help you to access leadership opportunities. When you take control of your education and learning, you put yourself in the driving seat. You take control of your path to leadership, and you enhance your knowledge and awareness in the process too.
Continuous Development as a Healthcare Professional
Of course, as a healthcare professional within nursing leadership, you have to see continuous development as an essential part of your future. On your way to securing your leadership post (and also when you are in the role), you need to see continuous development as something that must be focused on each year. When you focus on both continuous and professional development, you can ensure that you have the skills and the knowledge to thrive in a leadership role both now and in the future. When it comes to continuous development, it is important to undertake a process of self-reflection and self-evaluation regularly. A period of reflection and evaluation that happens regularly will allow you to review your performance. When you are honest about where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you can get the most of your development, and you can ensure that you undertake the right course and training opportunities that are truly beneficial to you and your career.
Boosting Your Skillset
On the leadership journey, it is important to focus on your skillset as much as your education and experience. To be a well-rounded leader, you have to focus on both soft skills and hard skills to be the leader that you want to be. If your skillset is not well-rounded or well developed, then this could affect everything that you do within your position or role, from how you communicate with your employees and counterparts to how you handle sensitive situations. To boost your skillset, you have to begin evaluating what you have already. There is no point in doubling up on skills that you already have. Evaluating how you handle situations and also evaluating what advantages and disadvantages exist within your skill set will allow you to push forwards in a positive manner.
Landing the Right Position for You
Not all leadership positions are right for you. It is important that you do not simply jump into the first position that arises. When finding a leadership role, you have to evaluate what is right for you, and, of course, what is not. If you take on the wrong position, or if you take on a position that is too consuming, you will struggle to get a balance. This struggle professionally will then seep into your personal life. The right position for you will be one that suits your personality traits, your skills, and your experience too. Trying to get a quick win under your belt by landing any leadership position is not the route you want to take. When you go for a leadership position, you have to evaluate the opportunity for what it is. You have to see what clear advantages and disadvantages the post has to offer you.
Pursuing a career in leadership is no easy undertaking. Boosting your career and getting into leadership can affect the relationships and connections you have with family, friends, and work colleagues. When you are pursuing development, it is important to remember that your life must not take a back seat. Changes will happen, and this needs to be embraced. If change is not welcomed or embraced by those around you, then you will struggle to land the role you want, and you will struggle to thrive in leadership. Building a support network around you, one that consists of professional relationships as well as personal relationships, is beneficial to your career progression. A support network will ensure that you have the strength of character and backing to push forwards and achieve what you now know you are capable of. The route to leadership is quite often bumpy and rock, and the more support you can get from all angles, then the better.