Your nursing career is an ongoing investment in your professional success, happiness, and personal satisfaction. If you want to grow as a nurse with a bright future, there are plenty of things you can do. Take a look at these tips for revitalizing your nursing career and keeping it on the right track.
Step 1: Assessment is Key
The first step of the nursing process is assessment, so it makes sense that it would be the first step in revitalizing your nursing career.
There are plenty of questions to ask yourself at any time during your career; a few important ones are:
- “How am I doing?”
- “How do I feel about my work?”
- “Do I feel satisfied?”
- “Does my work bring me joy?”
- “Is there anything about my work that needs to change?”
Ongoing assessment is what any good nurse does, so don’t neglect the career you’ve worked so hard to create.
Step 2: The SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is a technique that you can use to analyze the state of any situation, including your nursing career (or other aspects of your life, health, marriage, etc.).
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This simple breakdown of any situation can clearly show you what needs attention.
- Strengths: Your strengths are the things at which you excel. These can be “hard” skills like catheterization or venipuncture or “soft” skills like emotional intelligence or communication.
- Weaknesses: These are areas where you need to do better, your growing edges. Perhaps it’s IV starts, speaking up for yourself, or ensuring you complete your CEUs on time.
- Opportunities: This is where you see possibilities like seeking a promotion or finding a new job.
- Threats: These include things that might stand in your way, like a tight job market or a difficult boss.
Step 3: The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale is an excellent evidence-based tool for measuring your self-esteem. It’s not meant for diagnosis but can give you a good assessment of where you are and be very helpful when you compare results over time.
Step 4: The Barrett Personal Values Assessment
The Barrett Personal Values Assessment is an evidence-based tool that can help you identify the values most important to you and how you can use them to grow personally and professionally.
Step 5: The Life Career Rainbow
Psychologist Donald E. Super designed The Life Career Rainbow. It’s a lens through which you can look at your life and see how certain roles may be more important than others at any given time.
Step 6: Find a Mentor
A mentor is a trusted person you respect and from whom you’d like to learn . They may or may not work in healthcare or nursing. You can be bold and ask them to be your mentor, establish a formal or informal relationship, and use the opportunity to receive advice, support, and wisdom from someone you admire.
Step 7: Take Care of Yourself
A lot is said about self-care these days, for a good reason. Nursing (and life in general) can be stressful, and you must take care of yourself. Whether it’s exercise, sleep, nutrition, meditation, yoga, bowling, or reading a good novel, self-care is a thing, and there are as many ways of taking care of yourself as there are people.
Step 8: Learn New Things
Learning new things can be very revitalizing to your career, such as:
- Earning a higher degree
- Getting certified in your specialty
- Going to a conference
- Using social media and the online world to learn from others
Step 9: Connect with Like-Minded Professionals
There are a lot of interesting people out there, and connecting with them can revitalize your career. When you learn what others think about and share your ideas together, all sorts of things can happen, including your mind opening to new possibilities (see “opportunities” in the SWOT analysis above).
You can use LinkedIn and social media to meet others. State, national and specialty nursing associations and organizations have meetings, seminars, webinars, online communities, and other ways to meet interesting nurses and healthcare professionals. Get out there and rub elbows, either in person or in the virtual world.
Step 10: Engage in Ongoing Reassessment
Remember how we agreed at the beginning of this article that assessment is the first step in the nursing process? We also know that ongoing reassessment is absolutely necessary, so it also applies to your entire nursing career. Just because you assessed your strengths and weaknesses in 1997 doesn’t mean they’re still the same now; maybe your values have also changed since you first graduated. So keep in mind that reassessment is an ongoing process that never ends.
We hope these 10 steps to revitalizing your nursing career have given you food for thought when it comes to moving your career in the best possible direction. Stay awake, aware, curious, and ready for new adventures as you move forward in what can be an amazing professional journey.