For some years now, the nursing sector has been experiencing a shortage of professionals as demand for quality human-based healthcare constantly increases. That said, projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate a workforce increase of 15% by 2026 as the sector aims to fill gaps and meet the growing needs of patients. Despite the fact that AI and automation are posing a significant threat to the healthcare industry, people are still opting for professional care administered by actual human beings. But while this, no doubt, is a positive development in the ever-increasing nursing sector, there are underlying issues that still need to be addressed. For sure, one of these issues cover the need for nurses to grow professionally in an industry that has raised the standards in terms of skills and experience. In an effort to cut costs and ensure quality healthcare to patients, hospitals and other medical institutions are focusing more intently on hiring nurses who can give the most value and who have the potential for further advancement in their careers. If you’re planning to secure a higher position in the organization you’re working for, you will have to apply these key strategies for professional growth: 1. Adopt new technical skills The modern nurse isn’t someone who only administers vaccinations or handles hospital apparatuses. As new technologies are being developed and adopted by the healthcare sector, it’s important for nurses to stay competitive by learning about these new tools and how to apply them in their practice. There are thousands of applications that can help in different nursing-related activities. One of these is PEPID, which provides essential patient-care resources. It has all the details you need for handling emergencies and other scenarios where nursing principles apply. Hospitals and clinics can also make use of productivity apps such as NurseGrid for managing their schedules and increasing workflow efficiency. As a manager version is currently in the works, this tool definitely provides a great way to unify and improve the delivery of healthcare and eliminate bottlenecks and redundancies in nurses’ work schedules. 2. Take your studies further online Back in the day, it was enough for nursing students to acquire undergraduate degrees in their field, especially when career advancement was less focused. But now as the field undergoes rapid innovation, there is a need for nurses to be equipped with advanced skills in order to tackle the evolving demands of their careers and to fully equip themselves for a technologically-driven landscape in the healthcare sector. Continuing education will, without a doubt, play a central role in the careers of nurses who are aiming to survive the influx of high volumes of new labor. Keeping up to date with new knowledge should be a priority and nurses should thus invest in acquiring new skills which can help them climb up the professional ladder. For newcomers, they will need to look for an opportunity to earn a nursing degree without much hassle. As busy as they are, nurses couldn’t possibly leave their careers to pursue further studies. Moreover, those who want their careers to shift to nursing will have to do so without sacrificing their day jobs. Along these lines, there are now online nurse practitioner programs that interested students can take up. There are also courses online that can provide practicing nurses with master-level knowledge for various specialties. It may take a lot of resources and time, but taking further studies online will prove beneficial in the long-term. 3. Provide assistance in research The world of healthcare is undergoing constant innovation and development, thanks to the contributions of researchers and nurses who undertake studies on critical problems that beset the sector itself. With so much focus placed on meeting personalized healthcare needs and developing new tools for increasing productivity and quality of care, R&D budgets across different institutions have augmented the need for better tools and skills that these institutions require. Government grants are also being offered to organizations that are undertaking significant and innovative steps in the field. The National Institute of Health, for its part, has been funding grants that allow these organizations to adopt new tools and let their research staff undergo crucial knowledge training. These grants also reward those organizations that have invested a great deal in groundbreaking research work. Apart from recognition, nurses who participate in the research programs of their respective organizations will have better chances at growing their stock knowledge about their field of specialization. More importantly, working as research assistants can help nurses grow their professional networks and acquire skills beyond their current capacities. This level of exposure and personal development helps you get ahead and prepare for the future of healthcare. The field of nursing has undergone many changes in the past. In an industry where stagnancy could cost the health and lives of millions, it’s important for nurses to take a step further in their careers and become even more capable of providing quality care for all patients.