Working as a nurse can be an excellent career choice, and although it comes with many challenges, there are also a lot of great rewards. Your work will provide an essential service, directly impacting the lives of others and helping them to overcome their health issues. It can also offer you job stability as the need for qualified nurses will always be there, as well as many progression opportunities. When you are starting your career as a nurse, it can be useful to have some idea of where you might like to take your career in the future. To help you figure this out, here are some tips that can help you plan for these next steps.

Research Potential Career Paths

There are a lot of ways you can take your nursing career, and the best place to start is by researching these potential paths to find out which ones sound the most interesting to you. This could be a role as a nurse anesthetist, head nurse in your department, a teaching role, family nurse practitioner, or something else that you feel would suit you. When you have decided on which path feels right to you, you can start thinking in more detail about how to make this happen.

Further Education

You will need to get a nursing degree to become a licensed nurse, and while not all roles will require a higher qualification, some might. You do need to think about whether or not you are willing to pursue further education, as although there will always be an element of learning in your job role, not everyone has the time or interest in return to more intensive studies. However, if this is something that you’re willing to do, think about when would be the right time to do this in your career. Courses like this online MSN in nurse leadership could be suitable or find one more relevant to the role you are pursuing.


Getting involved in mentorship schemes and opportunities is another wonderful way to develop your skills and move forward in your nursing career. Finding a mentor when you are on your work placements during your studies can be beneficial, even when you start your first official job as a nurse. Having an established nurse guiding you through these times in your career can help to boost your confidence and help you see more clearly where you need to make improvements. When you do get more comfortable in your nursing career, you may even want to become a mentor yourself, which can help you practice your leadership and communication skills.

Shadowing Opportunities

If there are some roles that you are interested in exploring as a nurse, but you’re not sure which one would be the right fit for you, asking to shadow another nurse in that field could help you to figure this out. Watching them in their usual daily routine can give you a good idea of what you can expect in these roles, and it’s also a good opportunity to ask them what they consider the pros and cons of the job. Speaking to people who work in these roles directly can help to give you a more honest view of how this job might feel to you.

Working as a nurse can be a very exciting, remarkable career with many opportunities. If you are starting your career journey in this role, use these tips to help you plan for the future to get the most out of your nursing role.