You may have heard that nursing is the “newlywed profession” and many of your nursing friends will be happy to let you in on their latest marriage. However, the truth is, when it comes to taking care of patients, there are not a lot of new widows out there. Nursing is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers available. And while it can feel like a new career every week, there are still plenty of opportunities for advanced practice nurses (APNs) who are looking to build their careers. If you’re ready to give nursing another shot and want to break into nursing as an advanced practice specialist (APN), you may want to consider joining an association. These groups provide networking and job-shadow opportunities for new graduates, recruit experienced nurses from around the country, and offer educational opportunities for current nurses looking to stay in practice or expand their knowledge base. Here are some tips on how to get started:
- 1 Join a nursing association and network
- 2 Find an APN-only or nurse practitioner (NP) organization
- 3 Join a hospitalist organization
- 4 Hiring in nursing is tough, but it’s not impossible!
- 5 Become an advocate for nursing by writing to your Congressional representatives
- 6 The future of nursing is female and diverse!
Join a nursing association and network
Many nursing associations were founded as social clubs for registered nurses, but they can also be a great source of support and networking opportunities for doctors, pharmacists, and other advanced practice professionals. Depending on your state’s law, you may be able to join a state- or regional-level nursing association that offers both legal and social aspects. Networking events and speaker trainings are often held in association with these groups, meaning you’ll have access to a large group of individuals who share your interests. Because nursing is such a close-knit profession, you may also want to consider joining a specialty or practitioner-only group. These groups are great for professionals with a specific niche such as an area of nursing care, a specific state- or region-specific problem, or a type of clinical practice.
Find an APN-only or nurse practitioner (NP) organization
There are many APN-only organizations and associations, but the best ones are the ones that are broad-based and offer a variety of opportunities. Plus, most associations welcome new members who are interested in applying for membership. If you’re looking to join an existing association, check out the “Joining a NPA” section at the end of this article.
Join a hospitalist organization
If you want to work in a medical specialty, but you want to be able to spend a few hours each day seeing patients, take a look at the “Hospitalist” category in the “Other” section of this article. You may find a hospitalist organization near you that could help you get involved with patient care.
Hiring in nursing is tough, but it’s not impossible!
If you’re looking for a new career and you want to break into nursing as an APN, there are a few things you may want to consider. First, you need to be prepared for the hiring process. Make sure you have LinkedIn and other professional contacts, and make sure you know how to network and build a professional reputation for yourself. Next, you need to be measured on how much experience you have. Some hospitals will screen applicants based on education, but most hiring managers will ask you to provide a minimum number of hours in an advanced practice setting. If you have any concerns about being selected for a job, just explain that you would prefer to work as an in-house nurse and you’d love to help out in an APN capacity, but you’re not ready to assume responsibility for patient care just yet.
Become an advocate for nursing by writing to your Congressional representatives
If you’ve been considering breaking into nursing as an APN, you may have heard that lobbying your Congressional representatives is one of the best ways to get yourself started. There are over 100 House members and over 100 Senate members, and you may want to look into contacting your local representatives to start a dialogue about the needs and wants of your patients. This can be an effective way to start the conversation with your colleagues and get your voice heard! You may also consider writing to the editor of your local newspaper, especially if you want to start a conversation with your fellow nursing peers.
The future of nursing is female and diverse!
Nursing is a man’s job and will always be a man’s job. However, that doesn’t mean we have to stay in the field alone. The future of nursing is female and it is diverse. And the future of nursing is bright! Now more than ever before, when people think of nursing, they think of the stereotype of a white, middle-class, elderly person taking care of others. However, the vast majority of registered nurses are not White, and they are not middle-class. The vast majority of RNs are women of color. The future of nursing is female and it is diverse.