Monday, August 20, 2018

Words as a Barometer of Your Nursing Career

At no matter what point you find yourself in your nursing career, the words you use are powerful. How you talk to your patients and colleagues says a lot about you, and how you talk about your career, your work, and your life says even more. And we also need to consider how you talk to yourself. Are you choosing words that are empowering, positive, and indicative of your passion, expertise, and professionalism? Or are you stuck in a negative and defeatist loop?

We all have bad days, and we also need to be careful when we're at risk of falling into negative language traps that paint us into corners filled with bad feelings, resentment, and negativity -- all of which can contribute to burnout and compassion fatigue.

What words do you choose when it comes to your nursing career and your work as a healthcare professional? Even if things are bad, can you reframe your experience and find ways to see it in a different light?

passion led us here
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Monday, August 13, 2018

Your Nursing Job: The Same Old Bed of Nails or a Comfortable Old Shoe?

Some of us have nursing jobs that are feel like a bed of nails, and some of us nurses have jobs that feel like comfortable old shoes. Have you ever fallen into either of these categories in terms of your work experience as a nurse? I posit that either one can be detrimental to your career in the long run.


Monday, August 06, 2018

Defining Nursing Career Success on Your Own Terms

Every nurse and healthcare professional has the opportunity to define success in their own way. However, how many of us allow our nursing careers to be defined by someone else. How can we seize control of our careers and define success on our own terms?

How do you define nursing career success?
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Making the Case For Your Nursing Expertise

In nursing job interviews and other high-stakes career-related interactions, it's your responsibility to make the case for why you're an amazing nurse and the perfect fit for a particular position or healthcare organization. How do you make the case for who you are and what you bring to the table?

Make the case for who you are

Monday, July 23, 2018

When Nurses Receive Their Due

Most nurses will readily admit that they didn't choose nursing because of the astronomically high paychecks. Sure, nursing can be a relatively remunerative career, but there are plenty of other professions that are significantly more financially rewarding (and free of some of the challenges that nurses face on a daily basis). So, what if nurses were paid a whole lot more in exchange for saving ---and otherwise improving---the lives of a grateful public?

money
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Monday, July 16, 2018

Nurse, What's Your Personal or Professional "Everest"?


Speaking with a nurse colleague the other day, she was referring to something she’s attempting to do in her life outside of nursing as her “personal Everest”. These types of endeavors can be scary, and they can cause you to question yourself along the way. Is there something you want to conquer or master, either personally or professionally? Is there something in your sights that you just can’t let go of until you do it? 

When George Mallory was asked why he was going to attempt to summit Everest, he allegedly said, “Because it’s there”. Whatever it is you want to do, I bet you have a better reason that that. Can you find it?

climbing a mountain
Photo by Jackson Hendry on Unsplash

Monday, July 09, 2018

APRNs and 21st-Century American Healthcare

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are an increasingly important fixture within the 21st-century American healthcare system and nursing profession. Full practice authority is a central key to APRNs’ ability to fulfill the needs of the American public, and it’s time for such authority to be granted nationwide.

Nurse practitioner

Monday, July 02, 2018

Should I Quit This Darn Nursing Job?

Have you ever wondered when it's time to quit your nursing job and move on? Are you stuck in a job, uncertain where to go next as a nurse? Or do you just need a change of scenery? It's all about timing, self-care, finances, lifestyle and workstyle, career development, and other factors that impact how long you stay and when (and why) you go.

Exit
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Monday, June 25, 2018

Nurses: Come Out of the Woodwork

Although Nurses Week is long over, the public face of nursing still needs a regular shot in the arm so that the public knows what nurses actually do. As nurses, do we describe our work in a way that gets the point across? Does the public know that we're more than the media makes us out to be?

come out of the woodwork
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Tapestry of Nurse Collaboration

Collaboration among nurses and other healthcare professionals is central to the delivery of patient care. According to Merriam Webster's online dictionary, collaborate is defined "to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor". This particular definition is perfect for our purposes where the work of nurses is concerned.




Monday, June 11, 2018

Non-Traditional Nursing Careers: Where There Is No Box

Ask just about anyone what a nurse does and where a nurse works, and the general response is, "Oh, she works in a hospital." Apropos of that statement, when I tell someone I'm a nurse, they generally say, "So, do you work at the hospital?" I have nothing against hospital nursing, but there's more to our profession than meets the eye, and many of us are waking up to the multiplicity of non-traditional opportunities just waiting to be grasped by the savvy nurse.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Nurses, the Best Selfie is Internal

At a time in history when "selfies" are dominant in the depiction of our lives (and the potential measurement of our worth), the most important selfie for a nurse to take is on the inside, not the outside.

Selfies are part of our 21st-century culture, and there's no denying their popularity. In essence, it's our way of presenting a self-portrait to the world just like Van Gogh or Rembrandt would, except we can  effortlessly make dozens per day that can potentially be seen by hundreds or thousands of people. 

We have the habit of posting photos of ourselves having dinner with friends, walking on the beach with our dog, or relaxing on the hammock with a book and a glass of wine. In terms of our personal development and how we see ourselves as nurses and human beings, what if we shifted to taking "selfies" of what's going on inside of us? Rather than focusing on the outward appearances of our lives and careers, what if we delved more deeply into our motivations, fears, and joys? What if that which made us tick -- rather than the brightness of our smile or our curated life -- became the measure of our lives as nurses, human beings, and citizens?

more than just selfies
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Monday, May 28, 2018

New Grad Nurse Confidence: Stoking the Flame

Graduating from nursing school and becoming a new nurse is a remarkable accomplishment that can generate excitement, fear and loathing, anxiety, joy, and all manner of both positive and negative emotions.

With new nurses abandoning their nursing careers within the first 1-3 years at alarming rates, the nursing profession itself needs to wake up and smell the coffee regarding how crucial it is to support, nurture, and grow our new nurses into seasoned and confident professionals.

New grads need to pass the NCLEX, of course, and when that hurdle is accomplished, landing and starting a first nursing job is the order of the day. Where does new grad self-confidence come from, and how is it inspired and retained for the long haul?

New grad nurse
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Monday, May 21, 2018

Build a Firewall Against Negative Nurse Syndrome

As nurses, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly of life, society, and humanity. In the course of our nursing careers, we can encounter belligerent patients, impatient families, nurse bullies, arrogant surgeons, uncaring managers, and generally miserable nurse peers. So how do we stay positive amidst such negativity? How do we protect ourselves against those who would prefer to drag us down with them -- including other nurses?

Watch your mouth -- words matter
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Your Nursing Career: Attention and Intention

As a career coach for nurses, I frequently hear from nurses who feel they've been ignoring their own nursing career development for far too long and they're ready to give it the attention it deserves. Do you regularly give your nursing career focused intention and attention? If not, how can you begin?

Photo by Olloweb Solutions on Unsplash

Monday, May 07, 2018

Change, Personal Agency, and Wellness -- Celebrating Nurses Week 2018

As Nurses Week begins, what does the idea of nurses and nursing conjure for the majority of people when they think about nurses? Obviously, the public trusts us immensely (the Gallup Poll confirms that every year), so there's a lot behind who we nurses are and why we're so special.

Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

Monday, April 30, 2018

Nurses Take DC 2018: Nurses' Voices Matter

On Thursday, April 26th, 2018, I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of speaking in front of the United States Capitol Building at the annual Nurses Take DC Rally for Nurse-Patient Ratios. With the iconic Capitol dome in the background and the Washington Monument directly in front of me as I spoke to hundreds of fired up nurses, it was a powerful moment for me as a nurse and as a motivational public speaker.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Your Nursing Career's Differential Diagnosis

In medicine, nursing, and healthcare, a differential diagnosis refers to the process of differentiating between two or more conditions sharing similar signs and symptoms. In the context of your nursing career, this process can be equally elucidating. Is there a careful career examination in your future? If so, what would your differential diagnosis be?

your nursing career's differential diagnosis
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Monday, April 09, 2018

Nurses: Moving at the Speed of Trust

Seeking a career in nursing could be characterized as an exercise in trust. We nurses willingly endure a grueling educational experience; place ourselves in the hands of nursing professors and professional nurse preceptors; and otherwise trust that the blood, sweat, tears, and expense of pursuing our goal is worthwhile. In essence, we move at the speed of trust as we enter the universe of a nursing career.

moving at the speed of trust
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Monday, April 02, 2018

Nurse Innovators and Trailblazers: An Embarrassment of Riches

I recently spoke with a nurse career coaching client who's thoughtfully searching for what she should do next with her nursing career in order to more fully reach her potential as a healthcare professional.

As I've previously discussed on both this blog and my podcast, the sky's the limit in terms of what nurses are capable of, even though nursing schools (and by extension many of your nursing colleagues) will lead you to believe that acute care is the only place where "real" nurses choose to make their professional nest.

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

Monday, March 26, 2018

Nurse Bullies: A Plague On Our House

Sadly, there appears to be a desperate need for a continued conversation about bullying within the nursing profession. One would hope that the dawning of the 21st century would have seen a decline in such old school behaviors, but there are obviously those among us who haven't yet learned the lesson that collaboration and cooperation are the true keys to success.

bullying definition

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Shot of Nursing Self-Esteem

Do you hold yourself and your nursing skills in high esteem? Do you internalize and embody your value as a nurse? If not, it's high time that you did.

a shot of self esteem

Monday, March 12, 2018

Escape Velocity

There are many of us who desire change during the course of our nursing careers, but change can be hard to manifest for a variety of reasons: boredom, ennui, limiting beliefs, lack of imagination, low self-esteem, difficult life circumstances, finances, burnout, or perhaps a rut so deep that we can't dig ourselves out.

In order to break free of the earth's gravitational field, a rocket must reach 25,020 miles per hour. Is your needed escape velocity equally daunting? If you were to gain the momentum needed to make a change, what is the escape velocity you would need to actually make it happen?

Monday, March 05, 2018

A Soft Landing for New Nurses

In speaking with large numbers of new nurses over the years, I consistently hear that novice nurses are not often given the guidance, nurturing, and mentoring that they truly need to move from surviving to thriving in their new nursing careers. New nurses need a "soft landing" as they enter the field, and it's up to us seasoned nurses to make sure they get it.

a soft landing for new nurses
Photo by Alex Lehner on Unsplash

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Message to the Nurse's Future Self

So nurse, it's twenty years in the future, and you have two more decades of nursing under your belt. You've cared for thousands of patients, held thousands of hands, and looked into thousands of pairs of eyes. What do you remember, and what do your patients recall? What stands out for you? How does your career compare to your expectations, dreams and aspirations? How would you like that 20 years to live in your mind and heart? You can create it now.

The road to your nursing career future