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How to Elevate your Nursing Career by Using a SWOT Analysis

The nursing profession is constantly changing, and as a result, your career will also progress accordingly. As a nurse, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to achieve your professional goals. One way to gain this understanding is through a SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to identify and analyse internal and external factors that can affect an organization, individual, or project. Forbes suggests that developing a personal SWOT analysis can serve as a source of inspiration and assist you in aligning your career with the upcoming shifts in the workforce.

While typically used in the business world, a SWOT analysis can also offer a framework which will enable you to thoroughly analyse the progress of your career, and how it is affected by both internal and external factors.

In this blog, we'll discuss how a SWOT analysis can help your nursing career.


Identifying your strengths is crucial to your nursing career's success. It is essential to identify your strengths to help you build on them and leverage them to achieve your professional goals. Some examples of nursing strengths include clinical skills, communication skills, compassion, empathy, and critical thinking.

A SWOT analysis can help you identify your strengths and highlight them in your job search or performance reviews.


Identifying your weaknesses is just as important as identifying your strengths. It can help you understand where you need to improve and develop new skills. Weaknesses in nursing could include lack of experience in a specific area, poor time management skills, or difficulty working in a team.

A SWOT analysis can help you identify your weaknesses and create a plan to address them. For example, you might decide to take continuing education courses to improve your knowledge in a specific area or seek feedback from colleagues to help you improve your teamwork skills.


Opportunities are external factors that could help you achieve your career goals. These could include new nursing job openings, opportunities to try agency nursing or a different speciality. Opportunities could be advancements in technology and healthcare practices leading to new and diverse nursing roles. You may be represented with the opportunity of having a colleague as a mentor, or be able to speak at a conference.

Opportunities can come in various sizes, some being more prominent than others. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to identify them and seize the ones that will benefit you the most.


In nursing, there are various threats that can impact your career, including lack of work-life balance, workplace bullying, staff shortage, and limited opportunities for growth. By identifying these threats and listing them out, you can plan your next career steps accordingly.

It's crucial to understand that threats aren't always external factors; some weaknesses can become potential threats as well. For example, a stressful life event such as moving houses, or going through a divorce can affect your ability to focus on your professional development.

Final thoughts

The SWOT analysis can be applied to any aspect of your life, including your nursing career. By utilizing this tool, you can identify the obstacles hindering your progress and determine the individuals and resources that can support you. With the help of the SWOT analysis, you can advance in your career by transforming threats into opportunities and weaknesses into strengths, thereby enhancing your motivation to succeed.

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