Remember all those years ago when you first decided that the nursing profession was where you wanted to be, what you wanted to do? Being a nurse meant many things in the beginning; you would have a job you loved and you got to help those in need. But there comes a point and time in any career when you may start to feel a little indifferent about what it is you’re doing and the nursing profession is no different. So what are some ways to protect yourself and your career from this slump?
When you first started out as a nurse you may have choose to be a Labor & Delivery nurse but quickly realized that maybe it wasn’t the right fit for you, so then you switched over to Med Surg. After awhile you again don’t see yourself thriving in that specific area so you jump ship and take on another specialty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to expand your skillset and switching to a different specialty is the perfect way to do so, but there comes a point when doing this too many times may actually be hurting your career. On a resume this may look like you may not be the committed type or worse you may begin to feel like you’ve made the wrong career choice. So what can you do to prevent the winds of change from blowing your career down the wrong path? Before deciding to make another change, give yourself a little more time to adjust. Another thing you can do is to ask other nurses who currently work or have left that specific area of interest and see what it is they like and dislike about that certain specialty.
On the other hand as I said earlier, changing specialties is a great way to keep a fresh outlook on nursing as a whole. You may have found one specialty that provides you with a job, which is secure and is pretty much routine – but at the same time you may be getting bored to death. This is the time when spreading your wings would not be a bad thing. You never know, you might not have found your true calling unless you venture to see what else is out there. And by out there, I mean why not take your nursing skills on the road as a traveling nurse? Maybe it’s just your surroundings you’re growing tired of? By choosing to become a travel nurse, you have your choice of most any location in all 50 states. This is certainly the best way to keep yourself from burning out on the profession you once thought to be the end all, be all. It still can be, it just takes some adjusting.
If you feel unsatisfied or bored with your current situation, why not take a little time for yourself to collect your thoughts and reflect on why it is you wanted to do this in the first place. Sure a job is important and especially during the last year, but that’s not all there is. You have a life, full of family, friends and other things that can make you happy. Try and find time for it all. Life is for living, not working. If you’ve been working the night shift for so long and have lost touch with others, make a change and take on different hours so that you have the time to reconnect. Maybe your dissatisfaction is coming from something else. Give yourself a moment to reflect and figure out where this unneeded stress is coming from. Once you have a grasp on it, your job outlook may seem little brighter. Talk to to fellow nurses and ask them if they have gone through anything similar. My best guess is yes. Fellowship with colleagues is a very important aspect in maintaining the desire needed to work in such a strenuous profession as nursing. A little sympathizing can go a long way. You don’t have to just talk about nursing, but it is nice to get feedback from those who been there, done that.
It’s perfectly normal to want change. Change is good, for the most part. Just make sure you’re decisions are fact based and for good reason and not just an emotional impulse. If you’re looking for something new and exciting, something to re-jumpstart your nursing career, give travel nursing a try. You can still work in the department you love but in a different city, state and sometimes country. Broaden your horizons as you broaden your knowledge, it’s a win-win situation.