If you’ve worked in healthcare for a while, you might decide you want to stay within the same industry but progress into a managerial role. Your previous experience and qualifications will be helpful in this progression. Here are some ways you can improve your chances of securing your desired role.

Further education

Retraining doesn’t have to mean leaving your current career while you gain an additional qualification. With an online DNP (MSN to DNP) like the program offered at Walsh University, you can progress within your career at a pace that suits you. Employers will value the time and commitment you’ve put into furthering your career. As an existing nursing professional, you will qualify to apply for roles with more responsibilities within your current place of work after you graduate. So even if you want to progress but don’t want to relocate or stop working with your colleagues, you can still climb the career ladder. Employers can favor promoting staff within the organization over people they haven’t worked with before. This applies within nursing too. It’s important to remember that your qualification will open up higher-paid opportunities for you. This means that the cost of tuition should be seen as an investment in furthering your career.

Developing skills

Any relevant additional skills you learn will improve how appealing your resume looks to the hiring managers for the higher roles you’re applying for, even if these aren’t directly taught as part of your qualification. Setting yourself apart from other qualified professionals can give you a much-needed advantage for roles that may attract a lot of interest.

Being able to improve and demonstrate skills such as strong communication and analytical abilities will show you have the right mindset for a management role and are prepared to take on additional tasks to improve on the areas you struggle with or have less experience in.

You will be required to communicate on all levels, from nursing professionals below you to bridging the gap between them and professionals on the same level or in roles higher than yours. You also need to assess potential risks or problems, offer solutions, and make important decisions. This is in addition to communicating with patients, as they won’t always share the same understanding of their diagnosis or treatment as you. Some may be happy to accept help with questions, but others want to know everything in a way they can understand what is happening to them.

Being a team player

Any medical role requires you to be a team player, but the further you progress, the more important this becomes. You need to have the best interests of those you work with in mind, besides protecting the interests of the patients and their families. This can mean having to make difficult decisions to benefit other staff or patients. These may not always be popular, but your team will usually benefit from you protecting their collective interests.

If you can show a commitment to working with your colleagues and also be strong enough to speak up when you need to, you will be more successful when your responsibilities for other people increase. Building trust and offering support when needed, will help you build and become part of a strong team.

As you gain experience in your current role, becoming a mentor to those who are newer to the profession is a great way of showing you’re a team player who values and nurtures the skills everyone brings to the team. This approach makes the workplace better for everyone, including employees and patients and ensures everything runs as smoothly as possible. Medical settings are also businesses, so everyone needs to work together.

Using your initiative

Managerial roles require you to use your initiative. So, if you want to stand out against other applicants, it helps to pay attention to anything that has been overlooked and ask if you can help resolve it. This approach also enables you to create real scenarios you can talk about if you’re interviewed and asked for examples of when you’ve used your initiative in the workplace.

These show the employer that you will be a valuable member of the team who doesn’t just wait for problems to be resolved or opportunities to present themselves. Taking charge of solving problems or finding the most qualified person who can, and constantly searching for opportunities to improve your workplace and the well-being of your colleagues and patients are great ways to show your initiative.

One example is working in a team where one or more of your colleagues are called to another patient but leave some tasks undone. Even if these are below your pay grade, if you have time, it helps them if you finish these yourself. Alternatively, for the tasks you’re inexperienced in, ensuring someone who is qualified completes these tasks protects the health or comfort of the patient and the reputation of the medical facility and its employees.

Going beyond expectations

You most likely have a heavy workload in your current career, but by going beyond what is expected of you, you will stand out as the perfect person to fill a managerial role when a gap becomes available. Taking on additional shifts, being willing to swap shifts to help other colleagues, and making it your responsibility to put in the extra effort with patients who may be nervous or reluctant to undergo treatment, can all help you make a great impression. Hospitals and other medical centers need managers who go the extra mile and are prepared to work hard for the benefit of their colleagues and patients to maintain a good reputation.

Some ways you can go beyond what is expected to help patients include listening to them and addressing their concerns. While you may not have time to sit down and have a conversation with them, you can talk to them and offer reassurance as you work and carry out medical tasks. It can be concerning for some patients to see all the medication or equipment set up to treat them. A little reassurance and an explanation can go a long way and rarely takes up more of your time as you carry out your work. It also shows that you see them as a patient rather than just part of your job.

Volunteering for workplace training

Besides taking a further qualification to help you progress, volunteering yourself for any optional training when it’s offered has several benefits.

You will gain more skills and knowledge, which will benefit you in a higher role, and you will be seen as a team player who wants to work on improving themselves while also using their new skills to do a better job. Even if you lack experience in a managerial role, this willing-to-learn attitude will show you’re prepared to put in the work.

If your name constantly shows up whenever extra training opportunities are offered, you can stand out in a positive way and increase your chances of promotion.

Build your network

As you already work in nursing, it’s easier to build your network. You most likely work with lots of different specialists and managers. If you make a good impression on them, they may recommend you or give you a head start by telling you about certain roles before these are advertised.

You can also sign up as a speaker at medical conferences or local talks on a subject that you have lots of knowledge of. The attendees will be from a range of medical backgrounds, and if you share information from an interesting and memorable angle, then engage in conversation and hand out business cards afterward, they will be more likely to remember you. These people could become an important part of your networking when you need their help or advice, either directly by putting you forward for opportunities or indirectly by introducing you to people who can help you progress.

Climbing the career ladder means putting in a lot of work, but as a medical professional, you will find the opportunities rewarding and worthwhile. If you’re prepared to put in the time and push yourself to keep going by reminding yourself of the people you can help with your extra experience and qualification, you can have a successful career in a managerial role.