8 Ways Nurses Can Shake Up Their Career

  • Published on:
    July 20, 2023
  • Reading time by:
    4 minutes

Nursing is a dynamic and ever-evolving profession that offers many opportunities for nurses to grow, thrive, and make a lasting impact. 

Whether you’re a seasoned nurse with years of experience working in a team or a fresh graduate just stepping into the healthcare arena, there comes a time when you may yearn for a change or seek new avenues to challenge yourself. Thankfully, nursing is incredibly diverse, presenting numerous paths for nurses to shake up their careers and breathe new life into their professional journeys.

This article will explore eight ways nurses can shake up their careers, providing practical and inspiring ideas to invigorate your nursing practice, expand your skill set, and propel your career to new heights.

So, if you’re ready to embark on an exciting journey of self-discovery and professional growth, let’s dive into the possibilities that await you in the world of nursing.

Pursue Advanced Education

In the rapidly evolving healthcare field, pursuing advanced education is a powerful way for nurses to shake up their careers and unlock new opportunities.

Whether pursuing an online Public Health Master with UTS or a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP), advanced education equips nurses with advanced clinical knowledge, leadership skills, and the ability to drive change in the healthcare system. Advanced degrees open doors to specialised roles, such as nurse practitioner, nurse anaesthetist, or nurse educator, enabling nurses to take on more autonomous and influential positions within their field.

Additionally, advanced education provides a deeper understanding of evidence-based practice, research methodologies, and healthcare policy, allowing nurses to contribute to advancing nursing knowledge and improving patient outcomes. By investing in their education, nurses can expand their horizons, challenge themselves intellectually, and position themselves for long-term career growth and success.

Specialise in a Niche Area

Nursing offers various speciality areas, each with unique challenges and rewards. By choosing to specialise in a niche area, nurses can shake up their careers by diving deep into a specific field of expertise.

Whether it’s critical care, paediatrics, gerontology, oncology, or any other speciality, focusing on a niche area allows nurses to develop specialised skills, knowledge, and a deeper understanding of patient populations with specific healthcare needs.

Specialising in a niche area also enhances nurses’ marketability as they become sought-after experts in their field. It opens doors to diverse career opportunities, such as advanced practice roles, leadership positions, and research involvement.

Explore Travel Nursing

For adventurous nurses seeking a change of scenery and a chance to broaden their horizons, travel nursing is an excellent option to shake up their careers.

Travel nursing allows nurses to embark on exciting journeys to different healthcare settings and locations, both domestically and internationally. Nurses gain invaluable experience working in diverse environments, adapting to different healthcare systems, and collaborating with new teams by taking short-term assignments in various hospitals, clinics, or healthcare facilities.

Travel nursing not only offers the opportunity to explore new cities and cultures but also provides the chance to enhance clinical skills, build resilience, and cultivate a strong sense of adaptability. It allows nurses to expand their professional network, develop cultural competence, and deepen their understanding of healthcare practices worldwide.

With the added benefits of competitive pay, flexible scheduling, and the ability to choose assignments that align with personal interests, travel nursing can invigorate a nurse’s career and create unforgettable experiences.

Engage in Professional Associations

Joining up with and participating regularly in professional nursing associations is a powerful way for nurses to shake up their careers and stay connected to the pulse of the healthcare industry. 

Professional associations provide a platform for nurses to network with peers, share knowledge and stay updated with the latest advancements in nursing practice and research. By attending conferences, seminars and workshops offered by these associations, nurses can expand their skill set, gain fresh insights and explore emerging trends in healthcare.  

Engaging with professional associations also offers opportunities for leadership roles, committee involvement and advocacy initiatives, allowing nurses to impact the nursing profession and influence policy decisions. Furthermore, these associations provide access to educational resources, scholarships and certifications that can enhance professional development and open doors to new career avenues.

Volunteer and Give Back

Nurses have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others through volunteering and giving back. Engaging in volunteer work not only allows nurses to contribute to underserved communities and populations but also presents an avenue for personal and professional growth.

Volunteering allows nurses to apply their skills and expertise in diverse settings, helping those in need and often lacking access to quality healthcare. By volunteering locally or internationally, nurses gain a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, expand their empathy and compassion, and develop valuable cross-cultural communication skills. 

Additionally, volunteering offers nurses a chance to enhance their problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and resilience in challenging situations. Through selfless service, nurses can rekindle their passion for nursing, find a renewed sense of purpose, and create lasting connections with individuals and communities.

Become a Nurse Educator

For nurses with a passion for teaching and a desire to inspire future generations of healthcare professionals, becoming a nurse educator is a rewarding and fulfilling career path.

Transitioning into a nurse educator role allows nurses to share their knowledge, expertise, and experiences with aspiring nurses. Nurse educators play a vital role in shaping the future of nursing practice by teaching at nursing schools or becoming clinical instructors. This career path offers opportunities to develop curricula, design innovative teaching strategies, and engage in scholarly research that advances nursing education.

Nurse educators can influence and mould the next generation of nurses, instilling in them the values of patient-centred care, critical thinking, and lifelong learning. Moreover, being a nurse educator fosters personal and professional growth, as educators constantly learn from their students, stay updated with current evidence-based practices, and contribute to the ongoing development of nursing education.

Embrace Technological Advancements

In today’s digital age, nurses can shake up their careers by embracing and harnessing the power of technological advancements in healthcare. 

Technology revolutionises the field, offering innovative tools and systems that enhance patient care, streamline workflows, and improve outcomes. Nurses can position themselves as valuable assets in their healthcare organisations by staying up-to-date with emerging healthcare technologies. Nurses can leverage these advancements, from electronic health records (EHRs) and telehealth platforms to mobile health applications and wearable devices, to provide more efficient patient-centred care.

Embracing technology also opens doors to roles in informatics and healthcare IT, where nurses can contribute to designing, implementing, and optimising technology solutions. By integrating technology into their practice, nurses can stay ahead of the curve, enhance their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and significantly impact patient care in the digital era.

Pursue Leadership Roles

Nurses have a natural aptitude for leadership, and pursuing leadership roles within healthcare organisations can be a transformative way to shake up their careers.

Whether taking on a managerial position, assuming a charge nurse role, or becoming a nursing director, leadership roles allow nurses to drive change, advocate for their peers, and make a broader impact on patient care.

Leadership positions allow nurses to shape policy decisions, streamline processes, and improve the overall quality of healthcare delivery. Moreover, by taking on leadership responsibilities, nurses can develop crucial skills such as effective communication, strategic planning, and team management, which are invaluable for career advancement.

Nurses in leadership roles also have the power to inspire and mentor other healthcare professionals, fostering a positive and collaborative work environment. Subsequently, pursuing leadership roles brings personal fulfilment and contributes to the growth and advancement of the nursing profession.


Nursing is a versatile profession that provides many opportunities for career growth and personal development.

Pursuing any of the options above can shake up your nursing career and embark on an exciting new path of professional success and fulfilment.

Remember, the possibilities are endless, so you can shape your nursing journey any way you want.

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