Career Progression for Nurses - Zinny Factor

Nursing and care progression roles can feel under pressure. There are often budgets that are getting tightened, as well as a struggle for resources. So this can be why many nurses can feel like they are stalled or stunted a little when it comes to their career progression and their professional development.

Of course, there is an element of being proactive when it comes to your career progression, and there may be a level of speaking up and getting out there to see what is on offer. And if you’re fairly new to the role, then it can feel pretty daunting. So here are some tips and a little advice to help you to get on the career and development path that you want to be in.

Take Ownership

As with most things, you can’t just sit back and expect things like promotions or pay rises to come to you. So if you do feel in a rut or just feel underwhelmed at work, then you need to step up and take ownership of your career path; no one else is going to do that for you. Think about where you want to be with your career, and where you see yourself in five years, for example.

Do some research to see what is available to you, and if you are employed, then approach people, ask questions, and let them know what you are looking to do. It may take you out of your comfort zone slightly, but it can reap some amazing benefits.

Consider Alternatives

Taking some time out to think about the career that you want. You may like what you are doing at the moment, but would you want to progress in a different direction? The good news is that there are plenty of options, even if you consider an alternative role, that is still based on nursing.

You could look to do a masters in nursing so that you can advance your career and work your way up. You could look into senior care jobs if a hospital environment is what you want to get out of, as well as creating a care business of your own. So although you may enjoy the caring nature of the role, there may be aspects of it that you want to change.


If you work in a hospital environment, then there will be plenty of people out there that can help you to enhance your knowledge and improve what you are doing. One way to do that could be to speak to your line-manager about shadowing someone in a different role, or even if a different area of the hospital. Then you can see what their day to day is like, and it gives you a taste of some other options.

Appraisal System

Being employed means that there will be some kind of appraisal system to help you to decide what you are going to do. It can be a specific time that you sit down with your line manager and talk about your goals and aspirations. Make the most of that time so that you can get an action plan in place with your line manager.


Networking applies to any industry and definitely fits into the nursing industry! This will involve you joining professional associations within your region or going to conferences. Also, you can hang out and stay in touch with your old classmates and colleagues and feel free to let them know your career plans and ask for their advice if necessary. One thing could lead to another thereby giving you the opportunity to pitch and possibly land a new opportunity.

Also, if you’ve chosen to apply for new roles, who says you can’t try to network with those potential employers? Even if it doesn’t turn out positive and you don’t get the role, you can always stay connected with them and keep the communication open as you never know what might happen later. Be careful not to stay connected only for the possibility of a future opening. Always have something you can offer to anyone you intend to network with.

Read our previous posts on networking.

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*This is a collaborative post.