avoid career stagnation in nursing

How to Avoid Career Stagnation in Nursing

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Any job in the medical field can seem exciting, action-packed, and rewarding. Most nurses will attest to that being true. However, that doesn’t mean some nurses don’t find themselves stagnating in their roles, unable to figure out how to bring back the passion that led them to a career in nursing in the first place. If you’re second-guessing your decision to be a nurse and are unsure if it’s genuinely your preferred life-long career, you might like to do some of the following things.


With the number of affordable and convenient RN to NP programs online, it makes sense to explore your upskilling options to take advantage of new career opportunities that come with education. When you upskill from registered nurse to nurse practitioner, your career prospects can be transformed.

This role allows you to work with the same authority as medical practitioners, such as by ordering tests and prescription medications and providing assessment and treatment interventions. Every day is different, and you’re presented with many new opportunities above and beyond those provided to registered nurses.

Interact With Medical Staff

When you work as a nurse, you tend to work and socialize with other nurses. You spend the most time with them and can relate to them better than most other medical professionals.

However, healthcare is a team effort, and there can be many benefits associated with building relationships with other colleagues, like doctors and administrators. They might get to know you, your capabilities, and your skills, and you might be the first person they think of when your workplace offers educational and advancement opportunities.

Join An Association

It’s easy to forget that opportunities exist outside your current workplace. While you might be more than happy with what’s available at the clinic, hospital, or facility you work at, it doesn’t hurt to know what’s available elsewhere.

By joining an association, you can be alerted to educational opportunities, job vacancies, workshops, certification options, and more. You might even be able to form close relationships with healthcare professionals throughout the country, which might prove helpful when the time comes to upskill or change jobs.

Set Goals

Sometimes, it’s not a lack of opportunities that sees you stagnating in your role; it’s a lack of goals. You might not know what you want out of your career, making it challenging to work toward something bigger and better than you have now.

When you feel like you’re stagnating, take some time to think about what you want. Once you’ve written down your goals, such as more responsibility and more money, consider ways to get what you want. For some people, going back to school to upskill is the most obvious next step; for others, it’s moving to a new location.

If you’re having trouble identifying your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve a different lifestyle than you have now, consider speaking to a life or business coach. Their experience can be invaluable.

Most people go through periods of uncertainty in their careers, worried about the direction they’re heading in or whether they’re stagnating. By taking some of these steps above, your role in healthcare might become more rewarding and satisfying than you thought possible.