This year marks the beginning of my 36th year of nursing, and I still love it. I love saving lives and making people feel better emotionally and physically. I even like helping people die in comfort and with dignity. I make a difference every day in the lives of others. Here are four ways you can keep your love of nursing.
1. Keep learning.
Don’t let yourself get stale. Learn from every experience. Listen to anyone who will teach you. Look up anything you don’t know. Take away lessons from yours’ and others’ mistakes. You might have a lot of experience, but no one knows it all. That’s why there’s books.
2. Challenge yourself.
If you are bored at your job, take on another project. Look for a new job. Go back to school. Attend a professional conference. Keep yourself current. Take on a new role. I have been a staff nurse, a nurse supervisor/manager, a staff development instructor, a nurse practitioner, a writer, an editor, a college instructor, a consultant, a speaker, and a MDS coordinator. I have worked in psychiatry, public health, medical-surgical nursing, primary care, occupational health, long term care and in my own nursing business.
3. Be open to new people and new ideas
Listen to graduate nurses and nurses who are new to your organization. They might show you better ways to perform procedures you‘ve done the same way for years. You don’t have to adapt everything they do, but you can consider blending the old with the new. Use whatever works best for you.
4. Focus on the positive.
There have been some good times and some bad times in my nursing career. I have not always agreed with the nursing administration. The physicians and other nurses did not always treat me well. But no job is perfect. I found if I focused on the difference I was making to my patients, I could let go of the negatives.
A nursing career has a lot to offer. Take advantage of it. Love what you do! And be the best nurse you can be.