Moving Forward: How to Boost and Revitalize Your Nursing Career
The rapid shift of the United States healthcare system over the past decade has resulted in both experienced and new nurses trying to adapt to a slew of new responsibilities in an expanded field. The new role that nurses are expected to fulfill can be difficult when they are already trained and accustomed to one, but just because there are new changes taking over the healthcare system doesn’t mean that your career needs to suffer. There are plenty of ways for you to revitalize your nursing career and get into the mindset necessary to thrive in the evolving times.
Think Outside Hospital Walls
The challenges of the U.S. healthcare system have resulted in a major shift in the way people receive medical care. Hospitals were once a one-stop location for most patients’ needs, especially those without an insurance plan. But now there has been a surge of acute-care facilities and many portions of hospitals are being converted from in-patient care areas to primary and ambulatory care facilities. This change has given rise to the need of a shift in the mindset of American nurses. The methodical, task-oriented approach that has worked so well in hospitals for years is no longer enough to get you by. A nurse now needs to know how to respond in the same fast and efficient way a hospital dictates while operating under a care-centered perspective.
Changing Focus from Sickness to Health
A nurse is used to seeing people at their worst. They help treat illnesses and many have taken care of people in their final moments. But the new paradigm of American nursing has resulted in a different function of hospitals. Instead of directing all of your attention toward maladies, you now need to be able to meet patients and treat them with their ongoing wellness in mind. This may not initially strike you as exciting as trauma care, but it can actually bestow you with a much more optimistic and upbeat approach to work as you focus on nutrition and wellness coaching, care and stress management and so on.
Don’t Be Afraid to Wander
Exploring your career options and wanting to broaden your horizons as a medical professional is completely okay. If you have a particular field that you’re passionate about and don’t see it as a viable choice in your current location, start searching elsewhere. Return to school, study a specialization you always wanted. Consider pursuing an online master of science in nursing degree to further sharpen your skills. Try out ambulatory care or primary care even if you’ve dedicated yourself to working the hospital floors. You won’t adapt or find any happiness in your career unless you’re willing to branch out and shape the new changes sweeping the field to your advantage.
Although there’s much more involved with revitalizing your nursing career, there are distinct keys to success that can guide you no matter what direction you decide to take. First and foremost, don’t be afraid of change. It’s just another word for opportunity. Second, find camaraderie. You aren’t the only nurse struggling, and an open discussion with your fellow nurses may be exactly what you all need to move forward. Lastly, have the courage to do what is best for your nursing career, even if it means leaving familiar territory in search of something more gratifying.
About the Author: Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from University of Georgia.
Please also review our certifications for nurses offered at AIHCP.