Career Preparation 2 Essay

Career development is a lifelong process involving selecting a career, improving the related skills, and advancing along the career path. Career development is meant to explore and refine an individual’s career path making them more equipped and better career persons.

Career Preparation 2 Essay

According to Saeki et al. (2020), the career development process involves conducting a self-assessment, setting goals towards development, acquiring skills training, and performing the acquired skills. This essay presents a career development activity that I recently participated in and how the lessons learned will influence my current and future career.

The selected career development activity was Excel for Nurses: Half-day Workshop. The career development activity is offered by stringfest analytics, a website that offers tech solutions and learning guides for various careers. The activity is facilitated by George J. Mount, an enthusiast in technology and analytics. The link to the tutorial/career development activity is;

The complete tutorial had four lessons: calendars, scheduling and dates, data cleaning, analyzing clinical data, and visualizing performance data. On calendars, scheduling and dates, I learned the fundamental tools I can use from excel when creating schedules and formatting them according to the desired dates in the calendar. The excel tools and functions used for this purpose include date functions, conditional aggregations, data validations, and different named ranges.

Specifically, I learned how to easily create shift calendars in excel, calculating full-time equivalent (FTE) hours for my peers and calculating shift coverage. In the data cleaning lesson, I learned how to format IDs and badges, merge clinical and payroll data on excel, and unpivot an order history extract. The excel functions I learned from this lesson include power query, V-lookup, and custom cell formatting.

In the lesson on analyzing clinical data, I learned how to calculate volume statistics, evaluate patient safety data, compare healthcare costs and utilization, and rank patient satisfaction scores in excel. The excel functions learned in this session included different formula functions (fx), pivot tables, and sorting and filtering data on excel.

The last lesson on visualizing performance data taught me to forecast trends based on current data, create dynamic data-based visualizations, monitor performance trends at a glance, and monitor performance across different departments using Microsoft excel. The different excel functions and tools I learned during this session included sparklines, various named ranges, slicers, and chart forecasting.

The career development activity will significantly influence my current and future career. The lessons learned will go a long way in easing my data and analytics using excel. To begin with, calendar scheduling and dates play a significant role for nurses and nurse managers. The lesson was, therefore very, essential in enhancing my career.

Research shows that some of the informatics competencies necessary for nurse leaders include using excel to plan schedules and dates (Brown et al., 2020). It is also essential to know how to develop duty roasters and schedules with the excel application since it produces neat and easy-to-understand duty roasters.

As a nurse leader, I will also be able to calculate the time required or each nurse to complete their shifts without having some nurses with more hours than others using the date functions and data validation excel tools. Additionally, using excel to create schedules is more efficient since they can be edited anytime if a need to change them arises.

Furthermore, nurses encounter large data sets in practice and must clean them by sorting and filtering. Technology applications such as excel are essential in facilitating data cleaning. Additionally, every unit or department is managed independently. Thus there is a need to filter data when dealing with functions such as payroll data.

The tutorial helped me understand the data cleaning function in depth, making me a more competent nurse. The information and knowledge acquired will be helpful to not only in my current career but also in the future. It has given me better chances and equipped me to work as a nurse leader.

The tutorial also encompassed a lesson on analyzing clinical data. Zhu et al. (2019) note that nurses should have at least basic skills and knowledge in analyzing clinical data. To understand clinical data effectively, analysis is also necessary. Moreover, data analysis would not be functional if the knowledge and skills to visualize and interpret the data further are missing, thus the importance of clinical data interpretation and visualization.

Interpretation helps understand the institution’s performance and contributes to advocating for changes to influence performance when needed. Among the clinical data sets nurses are expected to analyze include patient satisfaction scores and patient safety data. Patient satisfaction and patient safety are some of the most crucial aspects of consideration in nursing practice.

They are also significant contributors to the performance of a healthcare institution and the quality-of-care delivery. The lesson on clinical data analysis will influence my career by promoting my contribution to the institution’s performance through effective reporting on patient satisfaction and patient safety.

As discussed earlier, the career development activity has greatly influenced my current skills and knowledge of excel application and its different uses in nursing. It has also enhanced my future career, enabling me to identify the areas I need to work on to improve my skills. As discussed above, the lessons I learned from the career development tutorial include calendars, scheduling and dates, data cleaning, analyzing clinical data, and visualizing performance data.


  • Brown, J., Pope, N., Bosco, A. M., Mason, J., & Morgan, A. (2020). Issues affecting nurses’ capability to use digital technology at work: An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing29(15-16), 2801–2819.
  • Saeki, K., Hirano, M., Honda, H., & Asahara, K. (2020). Developing a comprehensive career development scale for public health nurses in Japan. Public Health Nursing37(1), 135-143.
  • Zhu, R., Han, S., Su, Y., Zhang, C., Yu, Q., & Duan, Z. (2019). The application of big data and the development of nursing science: a discussion paper. International Journal of Nursing Sciences6(2), 229-234.

Career Preparation 2 Essay Instructions

Find an Excel tutorial online, and complete the tutorial. Write a paper that meets the criteria above, and explains what you learned by completing the tutorial and how this will help you in your career. Be sure to include the link to the specific tutorial that you complete, and if a certificate of completion is available, embed that in your paper.