Monday, August 15, 2022

5 Actions for Overcoming Nursing Career Attention Deficit Disorder

In the midst of a fast-paced, 21st-century life, it's possible for a hard-working nurse to experience what I call Nursing Career Attention Deficit Disorder (NCADD). In this context, the nurse in question loses sight of her goals and dreams, instead becoming scattered and distracted by life's myriad responsibilities and demands; she's pulled in multiple directions and feels like she's running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Can NCADD be turned around? Can our distracted minds be tamed in the interest of developing a more satisfying nursing career?

speed and attention deficit
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Monday, August 08, 2022

The Nurse Warrior: Fighting the Good Fight

Nurses, the hard-working lifeblood and connective tissue of the healthcare system, can often feel as if they are doing battle with elemental forces far beyond their control in their efforts to provide optimal patient care and fulfill their personal and professional mission.

While nursing can often feel absolutely quixotic or Sisyphean in nature, nurses battle on. Whether it's the COVID-19 pandemic, a natural disaster, the opioid epidemic, a mass shooting, or the challenges faced by the homeless, nurses the world over continue to fight the good fight no matter the odds. It is here that the archetype of the Nurse Warrior emerges. 


Monday, August 01, 2022

Your Untapped Reservoirs of Brilliance

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a nurse client who came to me for career coaching, and we were discussing a variety of issues pertaining to her nursing career. At some point in the conversation, I used the phrase, "your untapped reservoir of brilliance", and it has stuck with me since. What untapped reservoirs of brilliance are you ready to mine for your highest good?

Brilliance can mean many different things to different people; for me, it conjures a plethora of images and metaphors. Brilliance can manifest at many levels and in every aspect of life, and in terms of your nursing career, your brilliance---and the brilliance of others---can serve you in ways both imagined and unknown.


Monday, July 25, 2022

The Continuum of Nurse Career Growth

The growth of your career as a nurse can be consciously self-generated, or simply a result of happenstance and a laissez-faire attitude towards professional development. Neither of these options are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but a thoughtfully sculpted career is definitely fodder for a much richer, satisfying, and rewarding trajectory.


Monday, July 18, 2022

In Job Interviews, Look for the Question Behind the Question

 Job interview questions. They can cause a whole host of feelings, including anxiety, stress, consternation, and a big old boatload of worry. What questions can I expect? What scenarios might they ask me to describe? How can I address what they're truly looking for? How will I know what to say?


Monday, July 11, 2022

Doing Your Inner Work as a Nurse

Nurses spend a great deal of time providing care for others, and even in non-clinical roles they carry many psychoemotional weights on their shoulders. Nurses give physical care (including that which is immediately life-saving), compassionate connection, and spiritual succor, often in the form of motivational conversation and nurse-to-patient teaching.

What is a powerful way for us nurses to empower and elevate our understanding of human behavior, the human condition, and the nature of suffering? By assiduously doing our own inner work throughout a long lifetime of giving, loving, and feeling.

a clear mind

Monday, July 04, 2022

The Five Rights Of A Healthy Work Environment

Several years ago, I gave a presentation at a northern California nursing conference on the subject of healthy work environments for nurses. During my preparations, I spent a great deal of time pondering aloud about the scourge of nurse bullying and lateral violence, as well as why healthcare workplaces lend themselves so readily to unhealthy work conditions.

There are many reasons that bullying and unhealthy workplaces have become so common, and I’m sure that you, dear Reader, can rattle off a few without even thinking for more than a nanosecond.


Monday, June 27, 2022

The Three R's of Nursing

There are some very basic things that nurses look for -- and deserve -- in the course of their nursing careers. It's clear that this list could probably be expanded to include many other ideas as well. I posit  that there are "Three R's" of nursing, and I identify them as respect, remuneration, and recognition.


Monday, June 13, 2022

Is The Nurse's Glass Half Full?

It's no secret that there's a multitude of unhappy nurses out there in the world. From mandatory overtime to unhealthy nurse-patient ratios, I admit there are very valid reasons for this seeming epidemic of discontent. So, is the nursing glass half-full or half-empty? I guess it depends on who you're drinking with (and perhaps what you're drinking). 

Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

Monday, June 06, 2022

The "Shoulds" and "Coulds" of Your Nursing Career

In the world of nurses and nursing, it can feel like we are told what we “should” do with our careers much more often than what we “could” do. While the difference can seem subtle, it is actually something that can have a serious impact on the career path we choose and the subsequent satisfaction that we derive from our choices.


Monday, May 30, 2022

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?


Monday, May 23, 2022

The Quixotic Nurse

As a nurse writer and blogger, I often use metaphor as a way to express deeper ideas about nursing and healthcare. In the past, I've explored the myths of Sisyphus and Hercules as they relate to nurses and the nursing profession, and my nature continues to point me towards metaphor as a tool for understanding.

I've recently been considering the figure of Don Quixote as another metaphor related to our often beleaguered profession; although much has been written about Quixote and the author Miguel Cervantes, I don't believe anything has been written about the potentially quixotic nature of nurses. So, my friends, I give you the notion of "The Quixotic Nurse".

(Note: this post is much longer than my usual 500-600 words. Please bear with me and consider this long-form post as a necessary means to my desired literary end.)


Monday, May 16, 2022

Be Your Very Own Nursing Career Detective

If you're an older nurse, you might remember TV shows and movies with a private eye or detective carrying a magnifying glass as he or she doggedly searched for clues to solve a perplexing case. You might remember Columbo, The Rockford Files, or any number of shows or movies. If you're a younger nurse, you might be more likely to think of Sherlock with actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

When it comes to your nursing career, you need to be your very own private eye or detective because good ol' Sherlock or Columbo won't be able to help you with this particular case.


Monday, May 02, 2022

Nurses Week: Giving Thanks

Well, this is it, folks. This is the week that's set aside for nurses to be praised, thanked and stroked. Gratitude goes a long way in this world, so this is a week when clear and heartfelt gratitude for nurses can be found in many places, both expected and unexpected.

happy nurses week

Monday, April 25, 2022

A Message to the Nurse's Future Self

So, my nurse friend, 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. Or you've poured your heart and soul into research, healthcare IT, entrepreneurship, or other professional endeavors. What do you remember, and what do your patients and colleagues 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 on in your mind and heart? You can create it now.

The road to your nursing career future

Monday, April 18, 2022

Is Your Nursing Career on Autopilot?

Nurses, do you ever feel that your nursing career is on autopilot? Are you coasting, resting on your laurels, or otherwise sitting in the back seat of your career? This can work for a while, but it can eventually lead to boredom, ennui, and even burnout and an abandoned career. If you're on autopilot right now, would you like to get back in the pilot's seat?


Are you on autopilot in your career?

Monday, April 11, 2022

Hey Nurse, Got Resistance?

Have you ever found yourself resisting change? Has your nursing career stalled because you're afraid of taking a risk or doing something different? Change is indeed the only constant in the universe (aside from death and taxes), so it's something that we simply need to get comfortable with, over and over again.

What if we don't change at all...and something magical just happens?

Monday, April 04, 2022

Nurses, Parachutes, Stools, and the Career You Truly Want

Being a nurse is a wonderful career and avocation. In the course of attempting to build an amenable lifestyle and workstyle, things can get confusing, but there are plenty of resources for the earnest nursing professional who wants support in taking their career to the next level.

Nurses and parachutes
Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Your Nursing Career Legacy

Whether you're a nursing educator, researcher, nurse entrepreneur, or nurse clinician, creating a nursing career legacy is both recommended and essential. No matter your place in the nursing ecosystem, leaving something behind that has meaning for you will suffuse your career with a sense of accomplishment.

Monday, March 21, 2022

When the Career Cookies Crumble

As a seasoned career coach working with nurses and other healthcare professionals, I often hear stories from my clients that are both heartbreaking and maddening. Nurses and nursing students go through so much in their careers, and there can be plenty of pain, struggle, and blood, sweat, and tears along the way. And when things go south and a nurse's career seems endangered, it can be a frightening and worrisome time.

No matter the cause of a nurse's career cookies appearing to crumble, there's almost always a way to get things back to the way they should be. I've seen so many varied scenarios of how a nursing career can take a bad turn, and I've seen many nurses turn it around and get back on top once again.

crumbled cookie

Monday, March 14, 2022

Your Nursing Career Report Card

Remember the days when you'd run home with your report card to show your parents how you did in school? Or were you the kid who hid it at the bottom of your bag so they wouldn't see it? Well, your nursing career deserves a report card, too. How've you been doing and what grade do you think you deserve?

report card A+

Monday, March 07, 2022

A Strategic and Thoughtful Approach to Transitions in Life and Career

Life is filled with moments of transition: marriage and divorce, birth and death, graduation, dropping out, health crises, comings and goings, and everything in between. How we approach transitions can be influenced by myriad factors, including, but not limited to, our social supports; our emotional, spiritual, and psychological health; and the nature of the transition itself.

Whether it's a professional/career transition like getting fired or graduating from college, or a personal transition such as the birth of a child or the death of a loved one, transitions and how we tackle them matter greatly in the context of our lives, careers, families, personal development, and overall well-being.


Monday, February 28, 2022

Elevate Your Nursing Job Interview Skills

Job interviews are a source of stress for many job-seekers, and nurses are no exception. Nursing can feel like a rough and tumble profession when it comes to the high-stakes interview process, and for those nurses who are unsure how to articulate their value, the interview can seem like an insurmountable hurdle.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Feeding Your Nursing Career

Your nursing career is a lot like your body; it needs to be fed, watered, exercised, and well-rested in order to function optimally. What kinds of nutrition does your career need? What nutritional deficits does your nursing career demonstrate? Are you willing to feed your career as well as you feed your own body?


Monday, February 07, 2022

Day Shift vs. Night Shift: A Consistent Nursing Dilemma

As a career coach for nurses, I receive a lot of questions and complaints about nursing careers, and one of the most contentious and confusing issues for many nurses is whether to work days or nights. Perhaps you, dear Reader, have experienced such confusion yourself.

Days vs. nights is an old nursing puzzle that so many nurses face: Do I work nights and get the differential while ruining my social life, or do I work days and run my tail off when the residents, surgeons, NPs, and doctors are on hand all day to send me running with new orders and admissions?

When I was decided to go to nursing school, my wife was very supportive but she issued one warning: I could never work nights, and I promised her I never would. So, 22 years later, I've fulfilled my promise to the letter.

In the end, days vs. nights is the nursing conundrum that never gets old.

day and night