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Need the Magic Formula for Getting That Promotion?

Getting upper management to notice you, your skills, and your contributions requires a strategy. Here’s the formula to get your boss to see the impact you're making every day.

Show them what you’ve got +
Tell them what you’ve got =
Earn that big promotion

Maybe you want to step into a leadership role, move into perioperative education, or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a patient safety coordinator. Here are four ways to show management you are ready to move up.

1. Take a Walk in Your Leader’s Shoes

You can’t truly advocate for your readiness to be promoted until you have walked the talk, so ask for a day with a quiet surgical schedule to step into the role you want and be in charge. High level perioperative nurses are usually trying to build time for succession planning into their busy schedules, so helping them with this is a win-win—they get to empower a nurse and you get a resume-building opportunity.

2. Portray a Positive Persona

Positivity, engagement, and a willingness to support others are key qualities of a perioperative nurse in a more advanced professional role. Take time to support a colleague during a case, portray positivity through a stressful situation, or offer to come in early or stay late. A high level nurse sets the tone for staff morale and satisfaction, so those making decisions about your promotion will want to get a taste of the tone you will set if you are given that boost up the career ladder.

3. Show Willingness to Master Key Skills

Technology, data use, patient and staff engagement, innovative education tactics, cost control—these are just some of the key skills today’s OR nursing experts must perfect. Take time to build these skills through online or face-to-face professional development, such as through AORN’s Center for Nursing Leadership and those who could promote you will take notice. If you want practical experience to grow these skills, suggest being allowed to lead a quality improvement (QI) project, shape an in-service program or tackle a cost savings plan in which these skills come into play. Then you will have a practical example of your strengths that also supports the performance of your work environment.

4. Share Your Accomplishments

Speaking your own praises is just as critical as showing what you can do. Take advantage of opportunities to share practical examples of the work you are doing that exemplifies your readiness for a promotion. This could be sharing data findings from your QI project or explaining a situation in which you supported staff to achieve a positive patient outcome. When you take time to share how you shine, be sure to also reiterate your intentions for promotion so it’s fresh in the minds of busy leaders.

Also, it can’t hurt to make sure you are well versed in the hard numbers to rationalize your promotion. Check out the findings from AORN’s most recent Salary Survey to make sure your compensation is competitive with the market.