10 Nursing Career Progression Paths and Advancement

There has never been a more critical time for registered nurses (RNs) to play their roles in maintaining a healthy and safe community. According to May 2020 data from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U. S. had nearly 3 million registered nurses, and between 2019 and 2029, it is predicted that 179,500 new positions will become available. One of the largest professions across all industries and the largest profession in healthcare is nursing. The Gallup Poll has ranked nursing as the most moral and honest profession for 19 years running.

However, Assanatu Savage, the director of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN), points out in an interview with Minority Nurse that there is still a significant lack of nursing representation on the boards of hospitals and health systems and in the positions of authority in community health initiatives. The nursing profession needs leaders in every aspect of healthcare, from the clinical bedside to the administrative boardroom. Research, technical, and academic healthcare settings all have nurse leaders. They play crucial liaison roles with businesses, governments, and neighborhood groups.

NHS Careers: Nursing Careers: career progression

10 nursing career progressions

Many businesses are in need of medical experts who can deliver top-notch care. Because of this, earning a nursing degree offers a variety of career options, letting you choose the one that best suits your preferences. Some of the most common nursing career progressions include:

1. Bedside

In hospitals, bedside nurses tend to patients who have been admitted on a daily basis. Frequently, bedside nurses interact with and check in on the same group of patients for a sizable portion of the day. In addition to administering medications, performing bedside tests, and other straightforward procedures, bedside nurses are frequently in charge of keeping an eye on patients throughout their stays.

2. Clinical research

Clinical trials conducted in hospitals and other healthcare facilities aid in the development of new patient treatments and therapies. In a clinical research setting, nurses may assist and supervise the care of trial participants, including ensuring that all procedures adhere to clinical and safety guidelines to preserve the validity of the trial’s data.

3. Care coordination

It’s crucial that every member of the care team understands complex treatment plans for patients and that everyone follows protocols to provide the best possible care. A care coordinator nurse is an expert at organizing a patient’s daily care routine, offering the patient direction, and promoting communication between the medical staff members who are treating the patient. In order to achieve better results and ensure patient safety, this keeps the patient’s treatment organized and focused.

4. Nursing education

It’s crucial that there be educators who have both the knowledge and experience of working as a nurse to provide instruction to the next generation of nurses so they can succeed in the field. Advanced-degreed nurses may decide to work as nursing educators at accredited universities as professors for nursing students. Using a curriculum, nurse educators can further enhance the course materials by drawing on their own professional expertise.

5. In-home care

Some patients are unable to leave their homes or require long-term care, making it difficult for them to visit a medical facility for treatment. Home care nurses make house calls to patients and oversee their care, which may include giving medications and checking the results of medical equipment. While some in-home nurses may spend the entire week caring for a single patient or a small group of patients, others may work with much larger patient populations or provide care for patients with urgent in-home requirements.

6. Insurance nurses

It is typical for an insurer to demand that a client undergo health screenings in order to evaluate their general or specific well-being when offering insurance policies. While the applicant’s healthcare provider may handle this, some insurance companies hire doctors who can provide evaluations on the insurer’s behalf. This gives the insurer a medical evaluation they can trust while also possibly giving applicants who don’t have easy access to affordable medical care a more convenient or more affordable assessment opportunity.

7. Nursing home

Nursing home residents frequently need specialized treatment plans, which can include everything from observation to assistance with daily tasks to strict treatment or medication regimens. A career as a nurse in a group home facility enables them to develop close relationships with their patients because they see them every day. The responsibilities and duties of a nurse in a nursing home facility can change daily depending on the residents they work with because the needs of each resident can differ significantly.

8. Physicians office

Nursing staff is frequently needed in private practice medical offices to help with daily tasks and procedures. The majority of work in a doctor’s office is done by appointment, and when patients require specialized procedures, the staff will refer them to a specialist. Due to the fact that medical offices frequently adhere to regular business hours, working in one may be an appealing career choice.

9. School nursing

School nursing is a career option for nurses who want to work with children and keep regular hours. School nurses treat students who visit the office because they are ill or have been hurt, and they also supervise the care of students who have particular medical requirements, such as requiring daily medication or having emergency response plans available.

10. Surgical nursing

Working as a nurse during surgical procedures requires specialized training. To help the medical staff care for the patient effectively, the surgical nursing staff performs a variety of roles in the operating room. The nursing staff’s duties in the operating room include setting up the space by sterilizing the operating table’s surrounding area and the tools needed for the procedure, assisting the surgical team throughout the procedure, and cleaning the operating room afterward.

What is nursing career progression?

A nursing professional may choose to pursue nursing career progression as a career. Different career paths come with various job responsibilities and advancement opportunities. Consider the various nursing career paths to find the one that most appeals to you when choosing a nursing career.

Opportunities for advancement as a nurse

There are numerous ways to advance your professional career as a nurse, including:

Earn an advanced degree

Although a diploma program or associate degree can be used to enter the nursing field, it is typical for most nurses to complete a bachelor’s degree before starting their careers. It is advantageous to pursue more education and a higher degree when looking for promotions. A higher degree can result in higher pay in addition to enhancing your resume for promotions.

Consider certification

Earning certifications can help you progress in your career. Specialized certifications, like a surgical nursing certification, necessitate passing exams and fulfilling certification requirements. These certifications could demonstrate your qualification for advanced positions in addition to helping you gain new skills.

Choose a specialization

You can advance in nursing by specializing in a particular area. A nurse who focuses on a particular area may be able to further develop their competencies to improve performance, which could make them more qualified for advanced roles in that area and open up new career opportunities.

Take on extra responsibilities

You might decide to take on roles outside of your normal responsibilities if you’re up for a promotion. By exercising initiative and asking for additional responsibilities, you can demonstrate that you are capable of more than just your present duties and develop the competencies you need to be successful in a more senior position at the facility.

Look for a new employer

Despite the fact that internal promotions are frequently a great way to advance a nursing career, occasionally an employer does not have an opening. Applying to other employers may help you advance your career if you feel like it is stagnating with your current employer.

Change your career

Some nursing career paths offer greater potential for professional advancement. You may be able to achieve your career goals by switching career paths if you are currently employed in a field where you have attained the highest levels but still have higher aspirations, such as becoming a physician assistant or a doctor.


What is the career path for a nurse?

There are many paths to becoming a Registered Nurse. You can begin as an LPN and progress to becoming a Registered Nurse, earn an ADN or BSN and take the NCLEX right after graduation, or choose a different path. Once you’ve started your career, you can also switch to a different nursing specialty.

Do nurses have career progression?

There are numerous potential career progression paths available in the diverse field of nursing. Despite the fact that many of the duties and responsibilities of various nursing careers are comparable, each has distinctive features that can help you determine which may be best for you and your objectives.

What is the next step up from a registered nurse?

More specialized jobs, like cardiac care nurses, case managers, and flight nurses, become available once you graduate to the level of registered nurse (RN) in nursing. Either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required to become a Registered Nurse (RN).

How do you move up as a nurse?

10 Ways for Nurses to Get Promoted
  1. Don’t Wait to Get Started. …
  2. Be a Team Player. …
  3. Find a Mentor. …
  4. Follow Your Passion. …
  5. Go Back to School. …
  6. Nurture Your Communications Skills. …
  7. Read Voraciously. …
  8. Volunteer for Assignments.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *