By Cynthia Andrews
If you are a registered nurse, you already hold the key to unlock an almost unlimited number of career opportunities.
The only thing you have to do is choose the door to walk through. There is little risk here, if you feel like you have traveled down the wrong path you can simply choose another door. This is what it’s like to obtain advanced nursing certifications. You have the ability to choose a career path that suites you, but you can always gain additional certifications and change your career track.
With a nursing certification there is no limit to the things you can do throughout your career. There are many new and emerging nursing fields popping up all the time. Obtaining certification in areas such as forensic nursing, holistic nursing and genetic nursing will you allow to work in these nontraditional fields. Most of the certifications do not take a long time to obtain, so you can gain as many as you feel necessary.
Obtaining nursing certifications can easily help you advance from a registered nurse into a number of different leadership roles. Although the most common is nursing supervisor, you may gain certifications in specialties such as nurse manager or nurse administrator. These specialties help you land positions in the operational and financial management sectors within the healthcare industry. You may only be working at the hospital, but you could become one of the key leaders that ensure that the hospital runs efficiently and effectively.
When you obtain advanced nursing certifications you give yourself the opportunity to break out of the hospital and into many different types of organizations. Advanced certifications allow you to work in environments that a regular registered nurse may not be able to. For example, with fields like genetic nursing and nurse researcher, you are able to work in a laboratory setting. With specialties like legal nurse consulting, and nurse advocacy you might even find yourself in the courtroom. With ethics in nursing and nurse educator you are sure to be in the classroom.
Not only can you find yourself working in multiple types of organizations during the course of your career, but with some nursing certifications your nursing career may even be able to take you to different states or countries. International nursing gives you the tool to take your nursing knowledge to a variety of different countries. Right now, this is one of the more popular specialties, and though most choose to take their expertise to an underdeveloped nation, you can choose to go where ever you would like, as nurses are in demand all over the world.
Choosing an advanced certification such as independent nurse consulting could give you the option of starting your own business. You can choose to start a consulting business, a mobile or in home nursing business, or maybe even a case management business. The possibilities are endless. Along with the consistent boom in medical services that is forecasted to last for years to come, your chance of turning a profit sooner and staying in business longer is greater than that of the average first time entrepreneur. As the largest group of people in the country (the "baby boomers") begins to age, the need for healthcare workers and businesses will continue to grow.
Becoming certified within a particular specialty will allow you to explore other career interests, possibly writing. A number of nurses lend their knowledge to various media outlets and organizations through either full time or part time writing. Regardless of whether you choose the specialty of nurse writing or you choose to write about other medical procedures, you will find the opportunities endless, possibly allowing you to cultivate this knowledge into a career. Aside from writing articles you may choose to write for seminars, continuing education course materials, or even product reviews.
Nursing certifications allow you to expand your career by giving you options. As you can see there is no limit to the number of career paths that you can take. You can manage your career to change as you change. In this economy some may see career longevity as a great reason for gaining nursing certifications. Many nurses see the flexibility of obtaining these additional credentials as their greatest asset. You should be able to obtain certifications while still working full time. Your certifications can help you move from the hectic pace and schedule of a registered nurse to the more structured business hours and standard schedule of a consultant. Then there is the consistent demand of specialty nurses. Unlike most of those entering the workforce today, you should be able to get a job anywhere in the U.S.
Nursing certifications not only expand your career, but they give you the control of turning your career into whatever you would like it to be. Certifications such as these allow you to take your favorite part of your job and perform that service possibly for the rest of your career.