I have always had at least a five-year plan. Think of the person whose job you would absolutely love to have–besides Justin Bieber or Oprah Winfrey. What are his or her qualifications? Now compare those qualifications to yours.
What are you missing? What could you do in the next year? The next three years? The next five? I think a lot of nurses fail to acknowledge that they might not want to do the type of nursing they are currently in forever.
Take advantage of any educational classes that your institution might offer. For example, if your institution offers free ACLS for everyone, don’t ignore that just because you work in a Pediatric unit. Take the class–you never know when you might want to hop on over to the adult ortho unit!
I tell nurses to ensure that they have their own five-year plan. That way, no one else tries to make it up for you!