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How can a new nurse start to specialize and improve on the job?

Dear Donna,

I am writing to learn how to improve my career. I’m Spanish and one year ago I moved from my country to work in the UK as a CICU nurse. In Spain I worked as a nurse in the trauma and orthopedic wards, and then a mental health facility and a nursing home in France. I was overwhelmed at first because of not only my poor English, but also because I had to learn the ventilator and the Continuous Veno-Venous Hemofiltration machine. It was very hard at first, but now I’m so happy I did it. I feel I learned a lot and I want to learn more.

A few days ago I interviewed for a job in a cardiac critical care unit, and I got the job. I don’t know how to improve my career once I’m working there. I want to start to specialize and improve as a nurse. I want to get promotions and eventually take on more responsibilities.

I need to know how to act the first day on the unit, with my coworkers, educators and team leaders to position myself to rise in the ranks at the new job.

Wants to Improve

Dear Wants to Improve,

It’s wonderful that you are challenging yourself in every way. That’s the way to keep growing and learning. You already have great experience and your new position sounds wonderful. Congratulations!

Read my book, “Your 1st Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional,” as I provide a good deal of advice on how to assimilate into a new unit and place of employment.  You can also read my articles, “Six strategies for starting a new job” and “Six steps to getting the most from your job” for even more tips to help you in your quest to better your nursing practice and eventually getting a position with more responsibility.

It’s all about being friendly and respectful to everyone, developing professional relationships, becoming a team player, getting involved, showcasing your talents and skills and accumulating experiences.

In the meantime keep working on your English, further your formal education and get active in nursing professional associations.

Best wishes,




By | 2015-10-06T21:25:07-04:00 March 11th, 2015|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.

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