How to Get a Promotion at Your Nursing Job

Feb 26

Have you ever received a promotion?

Being a nurse gives you a great opportunity to grow in your career, whether that is transitioning to a management position or earning a higher degree.

However, when you work in healthcare, your day-to-day can be incredibly busy, so you may not have a lot of time to consider whether or not you’ll be promoted.

If you’re interested in growing in your role, you should take a few minutes to consider some actions you can take to work toward a promotion.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

We asked five bosses with experience in different industries what they look for when considering a person for a promotion. What was surprising is that across the board these bosses emphasized that it’s not just an action, but the attitude behind the action that often leads to a promotion.

Even if you’re not looking to be promoted, these tips can also help you stay a valued employee.

How to get a promotion in nursing

Be a solution

“I like to promote people who are actively working to replace themselves. I also like when a team member is identifying problems, and offering to help address them.”

If you see an issue, don’t just complain to your boss about the problem — brainstorm a recommended solution. If you show your boss that you can think your way out of a problem on your own, you’ll also demonstrate that you have the abilities to not just do your job, but to think critically about what decisions you’re making and why you’re making them.

A desire to learn

“I look for infinite learners who enjoy sharing what they learn with others.”

Showing an active desire to grow and learn in your job can be impressive for your boss. It not only shows that you’re good at what you currently do, but also that you’re not afraid to take on new tasks and that you can communicate the new knowledge you’ve gained.

Be a “team player”

“Certainly, excelling in the basic competencies of the current position is important as a baseline. I look for a real sense of collaboration – adopting a theme of ‘all hands on deck’ to get the job done. Part of that involves having a positive, can-do outlook and a willingness to help other teammates along the way.”

Cliched or not, the idea of being a team player is incredibly important, especially in a healthcare job. This means not only being willing to help your fellow nurses and physicians, but that you also look for new tasks and challenges to tacke.

Be a leader

“I look for true leaders who inspire and motivate others to stretch beyond their comfort zone and achieve results they never thought possible.”

One of the themes in these responses is that to be considered for a promotion, you shouldn’t just do the minimum. Look for ways to “own” tasks and ways you can go above and beyond in a way that helps both your coworkers and your patients.

Stay focused on the mission

“Attitude and effort, will to win and compete, demonstrated teamwork and leadership to help the company/team achieve its mission!”

Above all, succeeding in your position and getting a promotion as a nurse isn’t just about doing your job well — it’s staying committed to the reason you became a nurse in the first place. Having a great attitude, working well with your fellow nurses, and going above and beyond in your position are all ways to show your boss you deserve to get that promotion!

Looking for a great job to grow your career? Browse our jobs page to find your next nursing position!

Molly Powers