Want A New Nursing Career? Do’s & Don’ts for Your Nursing Profession #YourNextShiftLooking for a new job in nursing? Maybe you’ve heard of some different types of nursing jobs these days and you want to check out another career path. Well, before you jump headfirst into a new nursing career… let me share some do’s and don’ts for your nursing profession.

From someone who’s had experience with this, I can speak to what to do and what NOT to do as you transition into a new nursing role.

10. Do Your Research. There are a lot of things shifting in healthcare these days. From the reimbursement to the patient participation in their online charts, things are definitely different these days in nursing. Which can be great for us nurses since there are jobs popping up all over the place. If you’re thinking of changing jobs (or looking for your first nursing career), do your research. Talk with career counselors; visit organizations of all sizes; go online or attend a nursing career workshop. Be sure to know your options up front.

9. Be Clear with Your Goals. This is so important and can save you a ton of time. If you’re only looking to make a career change because you don’t like your current nursing job; you need to first get clear with what it really is that you want out of your nursing career. The cool thing about being a nurse professional is the amount of options we have. Take some time to get quiet and clearly map out your career path.

8. Ask for Help. Please do this. I have truly benefited along my nursing career from the advice, wisdom, experience, and expertise of many nursing career mentors. People like academic advisers, trusted colleagues, nursing leadership, or even friends and family who have ‘been there and done that’ can be your nursing career guides.

7. Read A LOT. You should see my bookshelves. And yes, I do say ‘shelves’ plural as I’ve got bookcases all over my home filled with books. I read on career guidance, self-care, energy modalities, self-help and improvement. I read and read and read. And when I think I’ve read it all, another person turns me on to some other text I have not yet heard about or read. Go to the library. Search on Amazon. There are nursing career books on every topic- find one that helps you.

6. Grow Your Professional Network. This is a great tip and, as of our recent times, can be done on a much larger scale. We can grow our professional networks through live networking events in our local communities AND we can utilize the power of technology. The internet, group discussion forums, nursing blogs, and social media are great channels that you can use to connect and build relationships with nursing professionals from across the globe.

Want A New Nursing Career? Do’s & Don’ts for Your Nursing Profession #YourNextShift5. Try Something On, First. A great idea is to test the waters before you dive in. If a nursing career that you are interested in offers an internship; if there are volunteer opportunities; or if you can set up a share day- it is a really great idea to get to know the potential employer before you start out to work full-time with them. It’s a wonderful way to see if the nursing role is a good fit for you.

4. Loosen Your Grip. Sometimes when we’re looking to change or get a nursing job we can create tunnel vision. It’s hard for us to see the opportunities surrounding us when we think we’ve set our eye on the prize. However, and I’ve had experience with this, sometimes that tight-fisted grip gets in the way of our ability to see the bigger picture (and a possible nursing career that we never even imagined possible). Learn to loosen up and go with the flow a bit. Open up to opportunity and see what shows up.

3. Shift on the Inside. I read something wonderful on one of the nurse blogger’s sites during my recent virtual book tour. Carrie Sue of Prenatal Empowerment described how my book doesn’t teach you how to become someone else. Rather, ‘Your Next Shift’ gives you the tools so that you can turn into your best self. The more you can show up as your true nurse within, the more enjoyable your nursing experience will be.

Nurse Blog Carnival 2. Learn. Now you might be thinking that reading everything and anything that you can get your hands on (as described in tip #7) speaks to this one. While reading certainly helps you to learn more about your nursing career and different types of nursing opportunities- what I mean here is that you learn from every experience. There really is no such thing as failure- only more opportunities for lessons learned.

1. Have Fun. If it doesn’t bring you joy- you are likely not going to enjoy doing it. You’ve got to find a nursing career that allows your nurse within to thrive. And the most important way to do this is to find what’s fun for you. Be yourself, laugh, play and enjoy your professional life to the fullest.

What would you add to this list? Let’s hear from you! Thanks for leaving your comment below.

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RNAbout the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.


This post was contributed to the Nurse Blog Carnival. More posts on this topic can be found at http://www.straightanursingstudent.comIf you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up.

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

“I’m a Nurse, but I’m Not Sure I LOVE Nursing Anymore! Can You Help Me?”


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