When you first became a nurse, you were likely attracted to the career because of the potential to help others and make a difference. Over time, you might have felt like you are not fulfilling your true potential or that you would like more of a challenge. Perhaps you simply want a change, while still staying within the nursing industry. It sounds like you are looking to achieve more in the nursing industry, and here are tips for doing exactly that.

There are a Lot of Options 

One of the greatest things about nursing is that you can get more education so that you can become a leader in advanced nursing. Returning to school doesn’t have to be daunting; online DNP programs are a great choice for those who want to keep working at their job and fit coursework in a busy schedule.

Online nursing programs have inherent flexibility that makes them a better fit for many people today who want to do more in their nursing career. For example, you can study for exams or complete assignments before heading to a nightshift. 

In only two years, you can complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Wilkes University that sets you on several career paths, depending on what you want to do. For example, you might be a nursing leader who oversees patient care, or you might choose to take on a research role where you are not hands-on with patients anymore. 

Other DNP program graduates become nurse educators in the classroom or clinical settings. This type of position requires advanced education to teach nurses as veteran nurses reach the retirement age. If you have a master’s degree in nursing (MSN), then you meet a major admission requirement of a DNP program.

Another option you have is to transfer your soft and hard skills to other areas when you want to expand your career. For example, you might switch the environment you work in from a hospital to private practice.

Another way to reinvigorate your love of nursing and do more with your knowledge is to advance to a higher role. One way to do so is to reach out to your employer for suggestions about what you can do now to become a superior candidate for a future vacancy in a senior-level position.

Benefits of Going Further in Nursing

There are many great reasons to want to do more in the nursing field. Among the main reasons is the potential to earn more income. A recent salary survey by Lippincott Solutions revealed that nurses who held a Doctor of Nursing Practice earned about $7,000 more than those with an MSN. 

As for the average salary that a DNP prepared nurse practitioner can expect to earn per year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that it is about $135,830. That number varies by state, as certain states pay more than others, and your income can increase over time too as you gain more experience.

In addition to better pay, the opportunity to pursue other careers is a great advantage that comes with going back to school to achieve an advanced degree. From nurse educator to nurse manager, researcher, or executive, there are many paths to pursue. Perhaps you will do one, or you will try your hand at a few options to find the one that is the best match for your skills, knowledge, and personality.

Perhaps most importantly, going back to school puts you in a position to be able to help patients in ways that you would not otherwise be able to do. For example, the critical role of a nurse executive in communicating an organization’s vision and ensuring nursing units provide the best care to patients under this vision means that it is a position that is only available to those who have high-level education. When you oversee nurses, you can play a pivotal role in improving patient care.

That result is a reason to be proud of your work and to feel satisfaction at the end of the workday. All of this comes with only a few years of school in a DNP program. You will also feel great job security as employers’ value your expertise and do not want to lose someone who has the advanced knowledge you do as a DNP grad. Your ability to contribute toward leadership in an organization and influence healthcare policy makes you a prized employee, which means you can look forward to a long career.

Getting More from Nursing

It is commendable that you want to do more in your nursing career and help others. By going back to school to advance your education and taking a role higher up the career ladder, you have the potential to impact people on a deeper level than you might otherwise.