When you are starting out in any new job, it can be very easy to over-perform. You want to impress your new employer, and you want to make a positive impression. However, realistically how long can you keep the show up for? And, what do you do when you don’t feel like performing?
You will never achieve job satisfaction or career happiness if you feel like you are constantly having to put on a show to keep up appearances. So, from your first day in your new nursing role, be honest, and be true to yourself. Only do what you know you are capable of.
Setting the bar too high will only lead to negativity and disappointment. Here is a guide on the steps that you should take to have a long and happy career as a nurse, whether you are just starting out, or if you are looking at taking the next step in your career.
Work Out Where You See Yourself in the Future
You are currently a nurse at the moment, but do you want to stay in this role, or would you like to pursue something further. You know that you love and enjoy nursing, but you also know that you want to get into leadership or something that involves the local community.
Using this information and using your own goals, you need to establish where you want to go, why, and most importantly, by when. Timescale is important, as this determines what educational route you go down.
For example, if you see yourself as a nursing leader, then decide how long the process will take you, and from here, you can then work backward to establish what you need to do to make this vision a reality. When looking at your future self, try to look forwards to at least 5 years; this way, you can get a good grip on what you want.
Start Focusing on Your Education
Your education, the courses and programs you take, and of course, the certificates you gain will play a huge role in what you want to do and what you want your future to look like. If you do not invest the time needed into your education, you will surely fail to achieve what you want.
Ultimately this disappointment will lead to career dissatisfaction, which can lead to an unhappy and unhealthy lifestyle, which is, of course, not beneficial to you. When you are looking at what courses and programs to undertake, it is essential that you only use providers who are experts and specialists.
Your career is important, and you want to invest in a good quality education to ensure that you land the role you want to. When it comes to choosing an educational provider, it is important that you ask questions to establish suitability and consider both online and offline programs. Online learning will give you the flexibility you need, which is crucial, especially when you are continuing to work simultaneously.
Look at Roles that are fulfilling
In the future, you want to be within the nursing profession, but are you sure that primary care nursing will be fulfilling enough for you. Any role within nursing is hugely rewarding, and one, in particular, is the role of the family nurse practitioner. The FNP, for short, is a varied role, but it is also more targeted and specific too. As an FNP, you will only work with local communities and local families, and you will actually take on more of a role that is similar to a doctor.
As an FNP, you will administer medication the same as a doctor, but you will have more of a closer working relationship with your patients, simply because they will be with you until they no longer need you. No matter where you are based in the country, there are family nurse practitioner opportunities because it is an area where there is high demand and growth. To move on from primary care nursing and move into the role of an FNP, you have to return to education.
When you look at becoming an FNP in Oklahoma, Texas, or California (or wherever you are based), you have to return to studying for around 3 years. Of course, you can use this period of study can be done online with physical-based clinics. Learning and studying online will ensure that you can carry on performing your role as a nurse while you progress up the career ladder.
Don’t Lose Sight of Yourself
Looking after others can be draining, and it can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. It can be easy to lose sight of yourself when you are a nurse, and it can be even easier to lose sight of yourself when you are chasing or pursuing a dream or your future.
To ensure that you do not lose sight of yourself, it is important to take time for yourself regularly throughout the day. Ensure you get a few minutes to yourself, just to ensure you are reengaged, recharged, and focused on what you are doing.
If you keep speeding around at 100km an hour, then you will constantly be chasing your tail, and you will never get to where you want to go. So, slow down, and keep yourself, your views, and your goals in sight. When you lose sight of what you want, or the lines get blurred, you could end up burning out, so always be careful, slow down and take your time.
Maintain a Healthy Balance between Work and Play
Of course, you love your job and career, but there is more to you and more to your life. Maintaining a healthy balance between both work and play can ensure that you do not work yourself into the ground and that you continue to work within nursing in any shape or form) for as long as possible.
Your happiness is important, and without this balance, you will struggle to find a happy point or happy stage. Making sure you get dedicated time to yourself and have plenty of downtime is essential.
Nursing in any form is hugely demanding both physically and mentally, and if you do not have time away from the demands of the job, you can end up feeling swamped, which will negatively affect you both now and moving forward.
Maintain a Healthy and Balanced Lifestyle
As well as balancing out your time between work and play, it is also essential that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet. You are what you eat, so if you focus on eating snacks or soft drinks to give you the energy to get through the day ahead, or the next shift, then changes have to happen.
Eating well and eating fresh and healthy food where possible will give you all of the fuel and sustenance you need to perform your job and duties throughout the whole day. Exercise is super important too. When you exercise, you rejuvenate your body and burn calories in the process, ensuring that you maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise, as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, is important for all those working within the healthcare industry, especially nursing professionals. When you are looking after others, you must ensure that you lead by example.
Create and Utilize a Support System
When you have had a bad day and need to vent or let out some emotional stress, you need your family and friends there to support you and guide you. Family and friends can listen to you, and they can empathize, which is sometimes all you need, especially if you have been on your feet for over 12 hours.
Having a strong support system in place and having people to trust, rely and depend on is crucial for any nursing professional. You will get days that wipe you out with exhaustion, and you will also get those days where you are over the moon and elated.
Regardless of what has happened within your day, making the best out of a situation is easier to do when you have family and friends there to back you up.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
When you are trying to do your best, and you are trying to achieve lots within any given day, it can be easy to push yourself harder than you need to and harder than you are able to.
Pushing yourself will do absolutely nothing positive for you, either in the short term or the long term, so before you even feel tempted to take on that extra shift or before you want to forgo your break think about yourself and your wellbeing.
If you keep pushing without a break and without a support system in place, you could break and end up suffering from a breakdown or similar. A breakdown will wipe you off your feet, and will surely take you out of nursing, so, before it gets to this stage, why not slow down and work at a pace that is suitable for you and your working environment.