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Finding the Nursing Field That’s Right for You

A happy nurse is a happy patient. So, you should strive to have a job that you love and one that you’re excited to go to each and every day, or at least most of the time. There are so many people around us who are climbing their way up the ladder that someone tells them to climb and ends up being leaned up against the wrong wall, or no wall at all. 

To avoid this, find out what your strengths are and what you are good at, and what you might not be that good at. Think about what you enjoy doing, and note it down. Ask yourself where you want to see yourself in 3 years, in 5 years and in 10 years and then find people in those places who might help you get there. These people will also be able to tell you what might get in your way, and how to navigate those obstacles as they come along. 

After speaking to nurses across Pakistan, we have gathered a number of areas that nurses can build their careers. However, there may be other areas we have missed. If you come up with one, please mention it in the comments below!

1. Clinical 

When you taking the clinical route, you will be working closely with patients; taking care of them and helping them improve their health in a hospital setting. This job has long hours and maybe overwhelming at times, but if you are excited about a high tempo, the opportunity to literally save lives and working to serve people at the most critical time of their lives, the clinical nurse route is extremely fulfilling. Within the clinical route, you will need to pick a specialty such as pediatrics, oncology, ob/gyn, emergency and many more. For this purpose, you will also need to attend relevant courses to upskill yourself, which can be exciting as you will continuously be developing. 

2. Education or Research

As a nurse in research and education you will be delivering, training and evaluating the students, and you will be responsible for developing the nurses who work every day in the field. These jobs are normally found in higher education institutions or training institutions for nursing and midwifery education. You can go from assistant to lecturer to senior lectureships to professorships. In Pakistan, and worldwide as well we need more instructors and educators who can share their knowledge experience and skills with others to make them better nurses. As a nurse in research or education, you can helo bring change to the nursing profession by working on new and innovative techniques for healthcare training side by side with doctors. If you have a curiosity gene in your DNA, or you want to work on something new or invent something this job is for you. 

3. Management or Leadership 

This can be in the hospital or outside the hospital. All organizations need a leader or a manager. So, if you are interested in leadership this job is for you. You can be a leader at many different levels. Team leads are responsible for overseeing a team of nurses in a ward and this can be a great first step towards leadership in the clinical setting. Then there are frontline managers who are responsible for day to day running of the wards efficiently. After that there are managerial roles throughout the hospital, or in educational institutions as well. If you are someone who likes big-picture thinking and planning, you might enjoy this kind of more organizational and strategic role where you will be an integral part of corporate management. Your primary objective will be to efficiently run the organization and make sure that all nurses and staff working in it have the best conditions to do their job.

4. School nurses

Being a nurse at a school can be a great job for someone who likes children, and wants a more long-term relationship with patients. As a school nurse, you spend time with children to take care of their medical needs at school; from their belly aches to allergic reactions and vaccinations. You have to follow the protocols and procedures, but there is also a lot of autonomy in this job. An added bonus is the summer breaks and the fact that you don’t have to work on the weekends. 

5. Home health

This is where you see patients in their home settings. It’s really unique as you get to care for the patient in their own home where they feel safe and comfortable. Home health care may include occupational and physical therapy, speech therapy, and skilled nursing. It may involve helping older adults with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. This can also be a great way to build a more long term relationship with patients, and see your care improve their everyday lives. If you enjoy changing your environments and being in touch with older people, this field can be great for you.

If you have picked your path, you are ready to jump into the next step of your journey, which is to develop your network and we are here to help. Our next blog is about how to expand your network.

Career Tips

7 steps to landing your dream nursing job

Finding a nurse practitioner job is obviously the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re in nursing school but actually nailing down a job can be both stressful and overwhelming. Speaking to nurses across Pakistan, we’ve learned that some of you think that applying to jobs is one of the most challenging and energy-demanding things you do in your career. But I just want to offer you some encouragement that there are so many jobs out there and you will get one.

Everyone has different paths to their job. For some people, it’s hard. For some people, it isn’t. Some have prepared for a long time and already have a job when they graduate. Some haven’t and think about it for the first time at graduation, and others get lucky and land a job through a connection. Regardless of which category you are in, try not to compare yourself with others. We all have our own path, and we must all try to follow and work hard to achieve our goals in our way.

You probably have heard the Catch-22 which says something like, you can’t get a job unless you have work experience, but you can’t get experience unless you have a job. The matter of fact is there are a lot of employers out there who are willing to hire you with little or no experience. In this blog series, we are going to share with you the recipe for landing your dream job. This is helpful both for recent graduates looking for their first job, and experiences nurses looking for their next opportunity.

  1. Find your authentic career
    Before you get started on your job search, it is helpful and important to know what you want. Get your house in order. Understand your skills and your weaknesses and be honest with yourself about them. There are several online tests such as Predictive Index that can help you find out what areas you excel in, and what areas you don’t. It’s also helpful to talk to friends and family to find out what they think your strengths are. By doing so, you can get to know yourself better, which makes it easier to find your passion. There will be more on this topic in our next blog post
  2. Networking
    Networking is all about creating relationships with people and is very important in the job searching process. Many jobs don’t come from online ads but through word of mouth or connections. Start networking during your clinical placement with nurses and nurse managers. Make a good impression. Nurses are very resourceful in the nursing community. Build those relationships because those are all possibilities for you to get a job. Also, they can help you and guide you about the future. Another good tip is to get a mentor, someone who you can trust to help support and guide you forward. The best way to get one is to find a person who has done what you would like to do, and then asks them if they would be willing to help advise you in your career. Our second entry in this blog series will be about networking.
  3. Make sure that you have a great resume
    In order to make a good impression on your job application, you need to have a resume that is up to date. Make sure your resume is popping. Put a lot of work on your resume and even get your friends, and other trusted people to review it. Our third entry in this blog series will be about creating your perfect resume.
  4. Apply everywhere
    Apply to every job that matches your criteria and preferences. Always try to stay open to opportunities that come along, even if they are not exactly what you want. The competition for good jobs is fierce, so it’s better to send in one more application than one less. If you think there is a chance an opportunity can develop into something you would like, apply for it. With the right attitude, it might turn into something great later. Stay flexible. Our fourth entry in this blog series will be about the application process.
  5. Prepare well for your interview
    If you follow the above steps and work hard, you should be able to land yourself a few job interviews. Once you have an interview, make sure you do research on the hospital or facility that you will be interviewing at. It is important that you know where you are going to be working so that you can ask informed questions, and know what you are getting yourself into. Also try to stand out in the interview by dressing well, being on time, and if you can find out some background on the person you will be interviewing with to find some common interests. Once you have researched, practice your presentation, your questions, and your answers. Be your best self. Our fifth blog entry will be dedicated to guide you through your interview
  6. Follow up
    Make sure to follow up with your interview application and your resumes that you submit.
    When you get an interview, make sure you follow up with the manager after the interview and thank them. Our sixth blog entry will be dedicated to doing good followups.
  7. The final choice
    Now comes the last step of your journey. You have done everything you could do and now you are anticipating the acceptance call. When you receive a job offer, take the time to evaluate it carefully. Make an educated decision to accept or reject the offer. The best way to decide whether to take a job offer is to consider the entire package, including job description, salary, benefits, working hours, flexibility and the work environment. Create a checklist and make sure to check out everything on it while considering the job offer. If you have multiple offers, evaluate them both and compare them to see which comes out ahead. Weigh the pros and cons and then make the final decision. Our seventh blog entry in this series will be dedicated to evaluating and selecting your offer.

We will be there with you at each step of your journey. You’re well on your way to finding your dream job.

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