7 Ways to Advance Your Nursing Career

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As a nurse, you have many opportunities to advance your career. Whether you want to move into a higher-paying position or gain more responsibility at your current job, there are several paths you can take to achieve your goals. Here are ways to advance your nursing career:

1. Get a Master’s Degree in Nursing

If you want to move into a higher-paying position, one of the best things you can do is get a master’s degree in nursing. With a master’s degree, you will be eligible for positions that offer greater responsibility and autonomy, such as nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist. In addition, a master’s degree will give you the opportunity to earn a higher salary. The average salary for a nurse with a master’s degree is $78,000 per year.

2. Consider a Doctor in Nursing Practice

A DNP can open up new opportunities in nursing, including advanced clinical practice, research, and leadership positions. Colorado residents have the option of completing a post masters DNP program available to Colorado residents through an accredited institution. Pursuing a DNP can help you boost your career in a number of ways. 

First, it will allow you to develop advanced clinical skills and knowledge. This can make you more competitive for nursing positions that require a higher level of experience and expertise. Second, pursuing a DNP will give you the opportunity to conduct research and contribute to the body of knowledge in nursing. This can help you make a positive impact on the profession as a whole. Finally, completing a DNP program can help you develop the leadership skills needed to take on roles such as administrator or faculty member at a nursing school.

3. Become Certified in Your Area of Specialty 

Certification demonstrates your expertise in a particular field of nursing and can make you more attractive to potential employers. In addition, certified nurses often earn higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts. If you are interested in obtaining certification, there are a few things you need to do. 

You must pass an exam that covers the material in your chosen specialty. Once you have passed the exam, you will need to complete a certain number of hours of clinical experience in that area. After that, you will be able to apply for certification from a professional organization. Certification can open up new opportunities and help you to achieve your long-term career goals.

4. Pursue Leadership Opportunities 

Pursuing leadership opportunities is a great way to show employers that you are interested in taking on more responsibility. One way to do this is by joining professional organizations related to nursing. Another way to pursue leadership opportunities is by volunteering for committees or task forces at your hospital or workplace. By taking on leadership roles, you will not only develop new skills, but also boost your resume and make yourself more marketable for future job opportunities. 

5. Teach Nursing Courses 

As a nursing instructor, you can share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of nurses. In addition to helping students learn the essential skills they need to be successful in their careers, you’ll also have the opportunity to develop your own leadership skills. 

You’ll also be responsible for designing and delivering lectures, conducting labs, and leading discussions. You’ll also be expected to evaluate students’ progress and provide feedback. If you’re interested in taking on a more active role in shaping the future of healthcare, teaching nursing courses is a great way to do it.

6. Write Papers or Give Presentations 

If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, writing papers or giving presentations is a great way to show off your knowledge and skills. You can submit papers or proposals to be presented at conferences or symposiums related to nursing. Alternatively, you can also give presentations on topics related to nursing at local hospitals or workplaces. Either way, writing papers and giving presentations is a great way to increase your visibility and make yourself more marketable for future job opportunities. 

7. Get Involved in Politics 

Getting involved in politics gives you the opportunity to help shape healthcare policy and make positive change within the profession of nursing. In addition, getting involved in politics makes you more visible within the profession and could lead to future job opportunities down the line. 


No matter what route you decide to take, remember that advancing your career takes time, dedication, and hard work. If you are committed to making progress, there are many paths available to help get you where you want to be. With these seven strategies, you can begin working towards advancing your career today.