One of the advantages of working in the healthcare field and nursing, in particular, is that it’s a progressive career that grows as you do. While you start as an RN, moving up is the name of the game with a nursing career. There are nurses who love being an RN and have no goals to progress up the ranks, but many women (and men) enter the profession with a goal in mind of being a senior nurse, a family nurse practitioner, or a leader.

When it comes to advancing in nursing, beyond the additional academic qualifications required, you’ll also need to be careful of your reputation within the profession too.

It Takes All Kinds

While passing the NCLEX exams required to become an RN prepares applicants for a basic nursing role, that only goes so far. The learning continues from one patient to the next based on experience and dealing with each medical case one at a time.

When wanting to specialize in a particular ward like an acute burns unit or an intensive care ward, there’s more training required to learn what’s needed for these exacting nursing positions. Only people with certain temperaments and a solid reputation are considered for difficult positions within the nursing profession and the level of competition from applicants is stiff.

Reputation Building Starts from Day One

Nurses build their reputation early as friendly and helpful, or obtuse, moody and unsmiling. Whether it’s through soliciting reviews from patients on the ward to help senior nurses better understand the level of care being provided within their nursing staff or asking the opinions of nursing peers, there’s no hiding performance and personality. When there’s a lack of warmth or a question about the level of sincerity, word gets around pretty quickly.

Reputation Follows You Everywhere

Your reputation grows and deepens the longer you’re working as a nurse. It doesn’t even matter whether you have only worked on a single ward your whole career, in one hospital or healthcare facility, or many; reputation has a tendency to follow you everywhere. When it comes to developing your career advancement in the field, people think it starts with studying for the NCLEX exams, but the real test comes later.

One of the best ways to advance once you have your reputation well managed is to pursue a doctor of nursing practice degree taken through Bradley University. They offer both the family nurse practitioner or leadership paths to suit nurses who are wanting to go into family nursing (or who already work in this field) or those serious about becoming a senior leader. The course from Bradley University Online offers digital video accessible over the internet to study off campus in your spare time and advance your career without needing to take a couple of years away from work to do so.

Ultimately, when you are serious about your chosen profession, maintaining a strong relationship with your peers is important. Despite the various challenges of being cordial with people you don’t always like or agree with, being seen as friendly and helpful leads to a better reputation that pays dividends later.