Saturday, December 19, 2009

Of Nursing and Soulful Employment

At this point in mid-life, as my wife and I take a break from working and travel the country, I am giving a great deal of thought to my career, or what I think my career should be. Nursing is certainly the career track upon which I have been treading since 1996, and it is indeed a viable, flexible and (sometimes) attractive way to earn a living. While I have never worked in a hospital (which some nurses deem an irresponsible act of professional suicide), I have enjoyed many positions in the outpatient world, namely hospice, community health centers, home care, case management, and public health.

After almost fourteen years as a nurse, I am questioning what the next chapter will look like. Will I work with Latinos in New Mexico, Native Americans in Arizona, the rural poor, the affluent and sickly? Or will I find a way to make a living as a health and wellness coach, eschewing the world of nursing altogether? I have great desire to be an entrepreneur, but the world of self-employment is not always what it's cracked up to be. However, with my wife as my business manager, I may stand a chance at significant success!

This time of travel and self-reflection is helping me to disengage mentally from the world of work and employment, allowing me a golden opportunity to dig deeply and decide how I want to spend my time and earn a living. There are so many roads from which to choose, and nursing is, as a matter of course, one of the easiest paths to trod.

Of course, when push comes to shove and money needs to be made, a job as a nurse will certainly pay the bills, but only time will tell if there is indeed a nursing job out there that can truly feed my soul, for that is what I have decided work should really do.

Nursing can be a soulful occupation, and if I can work as a nurse and be fulfilled in that endeavor, then I'll be ready to sign on the dotted line. Til then, I will continue to examine my occupational navel and unravel the riddle of figuring out just what will make my vocation more than simply a means to a financial end.
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