The profession of nursing has often been described by a whole host of adjectives, ranging all over the spectrum of like-ability. Nurses call nursing words like tough, rewarding, hard, energizing, exciting, or exhausting. When asked, a nurse may say that they enjoy the relationship building that occurs with patients. Others may speak to the fast-paced environments and adrenaline pumping specialties. It’s certainly true- nursing is an interesting profession!
One thing I love about my current role, is the fact that I get to interview nurses from across the country. Not only demographically different, but specialty, training, experience level, years on the job, and previous work history make these individuals so fascinating. The Your Next Shift podcast brings on nursing students, brand new graduate nurses, experienced nurses, and even nurse entrepreneurs onto the show! It’s no wonder I learn something new about nursing every single day.
Well, an article came across my feed the other day that was actually the reverse of a lot of what I have heard from nurse entrepreneurs who tell me that they utilize their nursing backgrounds in their businesses. In this article, it was actually a writer turned nurse. The article title was something along the lines of advice on changing careers, and when I saw that- I immediately thought they meant a nurse changing careers OUT of nursing. No, no. This woman being interviewed was talking about how she went back for her second career- in nursing.
Now I know this is becoming more and more common these days. Heck, I have interviewed quite a few nurses on the Your Next Shift podcast that were second (even third or fourth) career nurses. But what was really interesting about the writer-turned- nurse interviewed in this particular article, was how she saw her background from her previous career infusing her role as a nurse.
So what’s the point? The title of the post that you are reading now speaks to a nursing career change and asks if one is pending for you. Why would I do that and what do I mean by that?
- Fact: No one should work in a job that they don’t enjoy.
- Fact: No one should stay in a job that makes them unhappy.
- Fact: Change is possible. For everyone.
If you find yourself in a nursing career, in a non-nursing career… in any career really- and you’re not happy- you gotta do something about it. You cannot stay in the same place, expecting to feel differently. Well, you can. But then that is another option too, isn’t it?
I used to teach a webinar called ‘Breathe New Life into Your Work‘. In that training, I showed a slide of a person with three different paths to choose from. I believe at every fork in life- there is an option. Many of them, really! So your nursing career- first things first. Get clear with where you are at.
Do you enjoy it? Does it bring you value? Do you feel excited to get out of bed and get into work each day? Do you find meaning and pleasure in the work that you do? If the answers are all ‘yes’, then you certainly can stay where you’re at and continue to thrive and succeed.
If you’re teetering anywhere else, then maybe it’s time for a change. And here is where you have options. You can-
- Stay where you’re at. Stay exactly the same. Stay miserable. And most likely get worse.
- Stay where you’re at and make some sort of change. Take a course on self-growth. Learn a new communication style. Speak up to your supervisors and let them know how you feel. Do something to make your workplace better.
- Start thinking about and ultimately making a career change. This one may take more time as you have to research what it is you want to do and where you can do it. It won’t serve you to run from a career you don’t like right into another one that you… well, don’t like. You have to do some inner work here to figure out what you want, how you want it, and where you will best be served. That’s right- the workplace is supposed to serve you!
When you tap into what you want to do and how you are an individual being with gifts and talents that can light up the workplace, you just might find yourself as this former nurse did- with a music career as a professional signer and song writer. Nurses surely are ingenious people, with many gifts and talents. We all share one thing in common- we like to give. So how can you give in a way that gives you back? How can you give as a nurse that showcases the unique you? How can you give so that work can feel just like play?
What did we miss? I’d love to hear about your nursing career changes in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
About the Author: As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. During the National Nurse’s Week online conference, ‘The Art of Nursing‘, Elizabeth supports nurses in achieving professional goals of continued learning and development. Click here to find out more about how The Art of Nursing appreciates and celebrates our profession in a meaningful way.