Are you at a point in your nursing career where you feel like you are on a treadmill? While you are still passionate about providing care to your patients, have you lost some of the passion that brought you to the profession in the first place? If so, the good news is that you have chosen a profession that is full of options and opportunities. Let’s take a look at ways that you can recharge and rejuvenate your nursing career.
Think About It. If you are at a crossroads in your nursing career, spend some time and think about what is missing. Write down the ideals and reasons that made you want to become a nurse in the first place. Consider what it is that you enjoy about your job and what things you may want to accomplish. Sometimes, all it takes to re-ignite your passion for your career is a change of scenery. That might include learning a new specialty, finding a new job altogether, or taking on more responsibilities. We’ll examine some of these options in further detail below.
Hit The Books. Almost every choice you make when looking to advance your career or move into a new care discipline will require you to make an investment in your education. Some programs will require you to attend classes in addition to working your normal schedule, but there are also a wide variety of online courses allowing you to build up your CE credits. Expanding your knowledge base is a great way to expose yourself to new areas of medicine and opening doors to opportunities that can contribute to finding the perfect job fit.
Take The Next Step. One way to kick start your career is to take the next step and learn to become a manager. Obviously, it all begins with acquiring the educational requirements and advanced nursing degrees necessary, but the benefits can be well worth the time spent. With confidence, time, and hard work, you can put yourself into a leadership position. In addition to making more money, you will be empowered to implement ideas, have a greater impact on patient care and the lives and careers of your staff, and also achieve greater levels of personal satisfaction.
Don’t Do, Teach. Do you find yourself taking younger staffers under your wing and showing them the ropes? Do you enjoy helping others learn new techniques or train them in new procedures? If so, maybe it’s time to consider becoming a Nurse Educator. As a teacher, you will have an opportunity to impact the lives and careers of tomorrow's nursing professionals. Each new class you teach will have new students and a unique dynamic which eliminates the feeling of being on a treadmill. Your schedule and hours are much more predictable as an educator, and in most cases, you will enjoy your summers off. If you aren’t prepared to become a full-fledged nursing instructor, consider making yourself available as a mentor to newer nurses. Mentoring is a great way to gain personal satisfaction by helping someone navigate their nursing career and also find out if teaching might be an option for you to pursue in the future.
Step OUTSIDE Your Comfort Zone. Maybe you are at a place in your personal life where you are getting the itch to travel a bit and see this big, beautiful country of ours. Maybe, you are in a rut because you don’t have control of your career, your schedule, your assignments, etc. If that description is close, then it just might be time to check into becoming a travel nurse. Today’s travel nurse has unlimited options available to them, from choosing your preferred assignment locations, to great pay, incentives, and other benefits. As a “working tourist”, you work with a recruiter and determine where you want to be assigned for the next 13-weeks. While on assignment, you will have ample opportunities to explore the best restaurants, discover amazing parks and cultural facilities, and make new friends along the way. If this sounds intriguing, visit here to read about some traveler stories. Travel nursing can be the key to rejuvenating your career!
Only you can determine what it will take to reignite the passion you have for your career. You became a nurse because of your innate desire to help and care for others. Feeling like you’ve reached a crossroads in your career does not mean that you chose the wrong profession. Instead, it means that it is time to re-evaluate, reenergize, and return to being the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed nurse of yesteryear. Whether it is a new discipline, a new job, more responsibility, or even more travel, the future is wide-open for you, go ahead and make the most of it!
Please share your thoughts about ways to reignite your nursing career in the comment section below. Have you been at a similar crossroads, if so, what did you do about it? You can also visit us on our Facebook page and share your story.