Making the Most of Your Nursing Career
I want to begin this blog by stating that your career is what you make it; in other words, the effort that you put into it. This effort needs to begin with making yourself number one. In doing so, you become the executive director of your nursing career. Yes, you get to decide which doors to open and when to open them. There is no time like the present to explore your options and be ahead of the game. Don’t sit back and let great opportunities pass you by because the field of nursing is growing every day, opening opportunities across the globe. Are you ready to open the door to a great profession? This blog will provide information on how to get your career in gear.
Careers our sometimes like our favorite pair of shoes, even though they are scuffed or worn you keep wearing them, so you don’t have to throw them out. This action is similar to the aversion that some health care professionals possess. By keeping the old shoes, we avoid the process of having to make decisions, decisions that would change things from the norm. Nevertheless, our shoes eventually wear out, and we give in and buy a new pair. The new pair of shoes make you feel like you’re walking on air, and you are happy that you chose to purchase new ones. Along with feeling good in your new shoes comes the question, “Why didn’t I buy these shoes a long time ago?”
Procrastination is the most likely reason for not changing because change is difficult. Making a resume, going to interviews, and most importantly selling yourself to a potential future employer takes time and effort. The effort to change your career is like stepping out of your old shoes; in other words, the change can be uncomfortable and unpredictable. In the end, your hard work and efforts will pay off, and you will be able to walk in a new pair of shoes.
Now I must discuss the “Pink Elephant in the Room,” which is the uncomfortable point where you find out that you did not get the position. It is naturally disappointing to find out that you were not selected; however, it is part of the journey that we take with our careers. Either way, it is essential to continue working hard because we never know what the future will bring. Also, keep in mind that whether you get a new position or not; it is good practice to keep your resume up to date and actively interview as the occasion arises.
Moving on…whether, you have been a nurse for many years, or you are a new graduate, you must weigh your options when considering a future employer. For example, some employers offer attractable wages but few benefits. Nowadays, you must take into consideration the benefits package that would be provided, such as insurance coverage, malpractice insurance, holiday pay, and paid time off. Job searching is not easy. Nonetheless, it is ultimately your choice, be a passenger, or move into the driver’s seat and take control of your destiny.
Begin the career searching journey by weighing the pros and cons of making a career move, but whatever you do, do not quit and walk away from your present job. Take time to think things through and secure another job before you take that leap of faith. After all, most of us have families to feed, and bills to pay and of course those never-ending school loans. Let’s be proactive and plan ahead.
After you have decided that a career move would be beneficial to create a plan, begin by validating your support system. Who can you turn to when problems arise? Who can steer you in the right direction? Basically, who consist of your support system? Family is good, but they may not have a full understanding of the nursing field or the career opportunities that may be available. Friends are good, but they usually support you no matter what decision you make. How about past nursing instructors, mentors, managers, or supervisors that have inspired you? The choice is yours, but positive reinforcement and constructive feedback are essential when making significant life changes.
Additional support systems can be sought through the internet at the American Nurses Association website, American Association of Colleges of Nurses, and the Board of Nursing within your own state. Another valuable resource is your local college or the university that you may have attended and reach out to the alumni association. Also, look into organizations that support education and research such as Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI). STTI is a great organization that has multiple resources, including education, to support nurses.
Moving forward if you are a new grad, you probably feel that you need a rest from school, and if not more power to you, move forward, venture out and seek new avenues of education. If you are a nurse with many years of experience returning back to school may not seem appealing; however, the benefits of refreshing your knowledge or upgrading your edification are tremendous. Something else to take into consideration when the weighing options for returning to school, is most institutions now require a bachelor’s degree for employment, leaving applicants with associate degrees in nursing (ADN) out in the left field. Remember professional career development of any type will boost your chances of obtaining employment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Please visit NurseAvatar website next month for new information on nursing and or medical careers until then remember that there is always room for professional improvement!