This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio, Libsyn, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Articles contain affiliate links. For more information on affiliate links, click here

Who You’ll Hear

Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.

Chelsea Klekamp, BSN RN – Experienced bedside nurse, Nurse Residency Program Coordinator. 

Amber Nibling, MSN, RN, NE-BC, NPD-BC, AMB-BC – Experienced bedside nurse, former Clinical Director of Education, current Senior Director of Clinical Learning at Orlando Health

I finally know what I am doing - Now What? You are now clocking in with confidence, and you’re ready for the next challenge. But you enjoy your role, your team, and don’t want to change units or go back to school. In this episode, Kati, Amber, and Chelsea discuss some next steps you can take in your career now that you are no longer a newbie. #FreshRNpodcast #shownotes #nurse #nurses #confidantnurse #nursecareer

What You’ll Learn

  • Common Pathways
  • Diving Deeper
  • Unit Level
  • Organization Level

I Finally Know What I’m Doing – Now What?

Most common pathways

  • Precepting
    • Being a good preceptor is a challenge
    • Very rewarding
    • You focus on teaching skills and competency and are responsible for ensuring the new nurse is safe to care for patients independently.
  • Mentoring
    • A support person for a newer nurse
    • May be informal, or your facility may have formal mentoring programs in place
  • Charge Nurse
    • Leadership role
    • Different use of prioritization, delegation, communication skills
  • For more on these roles, check out podcast episodes #43 (Tips for New Nurse Preceptors) and #44 (Tips for New Charge Nurses) if you haven’t already!

Dive a Little Deeper

Individual Level

  • Certification
    • Clinical area specific (med-surg, critical care, perioperative, NICU, etc.)
    • Requirements for clinical hours and continuing education hours to be eligible for certification
    • Season 3 Ep 2 about Certifications
  • Clinical Nursing Ladder
    • With each step of the ladder you are becoming more involved with the organization and the community.
    • Usually comes with a pay raise
  • Committees
    • Falls committee
    • Diabetes committee
    • Chart audit committee *highly recommended*
    • Peer review committee
    • Peer interviews
    • Quality/safety committees

Unit Level

  • Partnership council
    • Act as a representative for several of your coworkers
    • Discuss your unit-specific topics
    • Start as a member, then can rise to co-chair then chair of the council if you choose
  • Performance improvement (PI) project
    • Look at a process within your unit, dive into the research, implement a change if indicated by the evidence, then evaluate the outcome
    • Help conduct, or lead project yourself

Organization Level

  • Practice Council
    • You are the representative for your unit, meeting with representatives from all other departments (possibly including education, pharmacy, your EMR builders, research, etc.).
    • Discuss house-wide issues
    • Review/update policies and procedures
    • Good introduction to leadership roles and great for networking beyond your unit

Final thoughts

  • As a nurse, you have such an opportunity to make a difference– in so many different ways!
  • We are at the bedside to witness how care impacts the patient. If we don’t say something needs to be changed, no one will. 
  • Get involved!

More Resources