Nursing is one of the most popular and growing career fields in the United States today. Not only does the career have a nice starting pay and progression, but nurses also receive the intrinsic value of knowing their work makes a difference in the lives of other people. However, there are five keys to having a successful career that many people do not know.


In order to start a career as a nurse, a potential employee has to have a job first. When many people first enter the nursing job market, they are surprised to see that almost every open position wants some sort of prior job experience. One mistake that many people make while in college is focusing exclusively on grades. Instead of focusing just on academics, focus on gaining hands on experience in with patients in a real life setting.


One of the best ways in order to get experience is to join a nursing intern program. One of the benefits of doing a nursing internship program is that practical job experience is gained. In addition, potential nurses know what to expect when they start their jobs in terms of the pace of work and what they will actually be doing on a day to day basis.

Be Flexible

Perhaps the best piece of advice for nurses is to be flexible. At many times throughout a career, nurses may be asked to move to different areas of medicine. Instead of looking at this as a detriment, it should be viewed as a learning opportunity to gain experience. Nursing departments are typically short staffed and the best nurses will be called on to fill the gap.

Have A Short Memory

Another key to having a successful nursing career is to have a short memory with the patients that pass away. As a nurse, there is only so much that you can control in a hospital setting. Unfortunately, there will be times when patients pass away under your watch. Instead of dwelling on those you lose, you must move on to the next patient.

Take Time for Yourself

Finally, nurses should take time for themselves when they are away from work. Living a healthy lifestyle and getting as much sleep as possible will make it easier to perform well on the job and to be a more effective nurse.


Overall, nursing is a wonderful profession that attract people from all walks of life. By following the advice in this article, you can take the first steps to having a successful nursing career today!


By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.