What is Professional Ascension? | A guide for nursing career growth

What is Professional Ascension?| A guide to nursing career growth

Nursing career growth can be hard when you don’t have the mentoring, coaching, and exposure to options available. Let Professional Ascension help you.

57% of nurses in a hospital setting leave after two years. Dissatisfaction with bedside nursing peaks between 4 and 6 months and again at the end of the second year.

Nursing is one of the best careers in the world. But most nurses don’t take advantage of all that it offers. People often give up on it because they see what is immediately in front of them. They see long shifts, short staff, and unruly patients. You can’t see beyond today’s career because of things like that and hospital politics.  

But if you’re willing, I want to teach you how to make your nursing career growth significantly more valuable, valuable, and fulfilling.

 In the following post/episode, you will learn about Professional Ascension and how it can help you gain clarity about your career growth and career path. 

Download my freebie, Nursing Growth Starter Guide: 5 ways to boost your career today if you like what you see. 

My goal in starting Professional Ascension was to provide experienced nurses with coaching and mentor them when developing their careers. There is no clearly defined path to accelerate your nursing career growth. Additionally, there is a shortage of nurses who will take the time to develop others. Nurses willing to mentor other nurses are hard to find because of lateral violence, jockeying for positions, or just a lack of good mentors. Nursing is my passion, and I hope to guide nurses in finding a career path they can be proud of, a career that impacts the profession. To help others, I’ve outlined what you should do to build a successful career.

Nursing career growth can be hard when you don't have the mentoring, coaching, and exposure to options available. Let Professional Ascension help you.

Pillar One: Discover

When you are thinking about what is next for your career, whether trying to get a good promotion or making a new start in a new area, it is crucial to discover what makes you a unique nurse. Building confidence and gaining clarity are vital components in this pillar of the framework. This pillar is composed of three principal components. 1. Self-Assessment; 2. Building Confidence; 3. Professional/Personal Branding


Now that you have some experience under your belt, it’s all about figuring out who you are as a nurse. What are your strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs? Working in a fulfilling career can increase self-confidence, productivity, and happiness, and the first step is becoming aware of the skills, talents, and gifts you possess. 

Building Confidence for Career Growth

Most nurses struggle between imposter syndrome and having confidence that prevents them from moving forward from being or feeling stuck in their careers. The framework addresses lack of confidence and imposter syndrome, as it is a well-known barrier to moving forward. Nurses ask me what they should do next in their careers. Then, I ask a few questions and provide a few options.

At this point, they begin to question themselves and wonder if they have “enough” to do the job. Depending on your bedside area of focus, your role at the bedside, and how long you have been in nursing, you have sufficient experience. Identifying the barriers or the dominant imposter syndrome type and focusing on a mindset shift will help you gain confidence to move forward in your nursing career.

Professional/Personal Brand

After you have focused on the self-assessment and building confidence, you now need to establish your professional/personal brand. Your brand should give others a sense of who you are as an individual and your career goals. My professional brand didn’t exist until I was about to leave my dream job and needed to think about where I would go from there.

In my self-assessment and confidence-building exercise, I discovered that my professional/personal brand focuses on Leadership, Nursing, Quality Improvement, and Mentoring. I will only consider jobs with all four categories going forward. I knew that’s what it would take to fill my bucket and have a fulfilling nursing career. 

Pillar Two: Explore Nursing Career Growth

You will better understand what you don’t like when you have 1-2 years of experience under your belt; you will better know what you don’t like. Often, however, you have not had exposure to enough areas to know what’s out there.

At that point, it’s time to start exploring what’s available. There are many ways to explore, but you should always begin doing your research first. Jobs research is where the work in the discovery area comes into play. At this point, you have determined your values, beliefs, skills, and talents. You can now put them to use in your research.   

Look for jobs that embody those characteristics based on your personal/professional brand.

These questions are also a part of your decisions about your nursing career growth. Do you still enjoy caring for patients at the bedside and being clinical? i.e., Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, or Nurse Educator.  Would you like to work outside the clinical environment in an office doing more administrative work for the patients? I.e., quality improvement, patient safety, nurse care coordinator, or infection preventionist. 

If you look at what you identified in your self-assessment, do you need or want to go back to school? Do you need to improve your skills to become a promotion candidate? 

Exploring new careers is when imposter syndrome usually creeps in. Stay open to the possibilities of what you can do or aspire to do as long as it aligns with your current skills, values, beliefs, and what you want to build in the future. 

You can use job websites, your hospital’s career portal, or your professional organizations for your research.

Pillar Three: Set Nursing Career Goals

Let’s go through the list.  At this point you:

  • Know what you like, what you want, what you already have: 
  • Have more knowledge about what careers and jobs are out there and what degrees are available
  • Understand what professional skills you need to hone. 

Now’s the time to start planning, setting nursing career goals, and creating a strategy. What’s the purpose of planning and setting goals, you ask?

Setting goals allows you to be proactive in your professional development. No one will simply tell you what to do, nor will it just happen. Mentors who tell you what you should do are not mentors as long as they merely tell you what to do. Mentors help you make good decisions and provide resources, but they do not tell you what to do.  

When you have a solid sense of what you would like from your career, setting goals helps you build your confidence. 

You feel a sense of pride and joy once you have found a path that aligns with your talents and interests. 

As part of the framework, you would gather all the information you need and set up a plan. It should include long-term goals over the next 5-10 years and short-term goals over the next 1-3 years. 

During your nursing career path planning, keep in mind what’s happening in your personal life. Will you be getting married soon? Have you thought about starting a family? What season will it be easier to implement specific activities and actions if you already have kids? It doesn’t mean you can’t work towards your goals; it just means that there will be some things you should work on now and others later. Taking steps towards your nursing career goals is what matters.

Pillar Four: Take Action

We must now put one foot in front of the other and move forward. We at Professional Ascension believe several elements are required to take action for your nursing career to succeed. Those factors include mentoring, accountability, and professional organization membership.

Also, you are setting goals during this phase, but they pertain to your 1-3 year goals for immediate action. These goals are set within a 12-week timeframe. I like to set goals every quarter. Establishing quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals keeps you in the loop about what you are working towards and allow you to take action immediately.

Taking action now prevents you from looking back on your career years later and feeling that you have wasted time because other life factors got in the way. 

Let’s look at those other significant elements you need to take action on. 


Don’t try to do this on your own. It helps to have someone who’s one step ahead of you to know what to watch out for as you expand your nursing career path. They can help you clarify your thoughts as well as give you advice. In addition to providing professional development advice, mentors provide workplace guidance and consult on complex matters.


Once you identify your goals, you need a community to help you stay on track. Find someone with who you feel comfortable sharing your goals that is not a mentor. It could be a close colleague of yours who is on the same journey to make the most out of their career. They will help remind you of what you want to do when you decide to get off track. Life happens, and sometimes we make decisions that lead us off the path. Having an accountability partner can help you stay on track. Having them help you troubleshoot any peer-to-peer problems you may be experiencing will help you immensely. 

Professional Organization Membership

I have found that being part of a professional organization and actively involved has been an excellent source of confidence and career advancement. It provides an opportunity for growth through learning and networking (not networking like used-car salespeople) genuine networking.

Discover, Explore, Goals, and Action are the four pillars of Professional Ascension. They are all essential for effective career growth and development. The nurse should feel proud to be a nurse and proud of the nursing profession. Nursing has so much to offer, and you have only touched the surface.

For more information on advancing your nursing career click this link to check out my blog post on the significant steps, you should take to advance your career. 

If you liked this post and if it was helpful. Enter your email below to receive information digging further on how to advance in your nursing career.  If you want me to dig deeper into a specific topic, let me know in the comments. 

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