Those who have been working as a nurse for a number of years know it can be a tough job. Taking care of sick and injured people is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. As if that were not enough, add in long hours and hospital politics, and it’s no wonder you may have lost some of your passion for the job.
If you wake up one morning and wonder where your fresh-faced enthusiasm for the profession went, you are not alone. According to a 2013 study conducted by AMN Healthcare, almost a quarter of nurses age 55 or older responding to the study plan to leave the nursing field or decrease their participation in the nursing profession.
But you don’t have to lose your excitement for the profession just because you have been working in the field for a number of years. There are several things you can do rediscover your passion for nursing.
Become a mentor: Mentoring student nurses and new hires can help you find you excitement for nursing. Sharing your knowledge with nurses just entering the field can be a great way to remember what you first loved about the profession. Volunteer to train new nurses, teach a class at the hospital or apply at a local nursing problem.
Consider going back to the classroom: You may have been in school years ago, but learning is a lifelong process. The medical field is always changing, and new procedures and technology are constantly just around the corner. By going back to school, it may spark your interest in a new aspect of nursing. Consider earning a new certification, such as advanced cardiac life support, or take continuing education classes in something you are unfamiliar with.
Figure out the problem: Sometimes you can lose your passion for your job due to stress and burnout. Think about what the problem is. Do you still enjoy patient care, but do not agree with certain hospital policies? Are you always short staffed? Maybe it is not the responsibilities of the job as much as it is your particular place of employment.
Shake things up: Although it is not a great idea to quit your job if you don’t have another one waiting, moving on to something new may be just what you need. Whether you apply for a new position, return to school for an advanced degree, or transfer to another department, changing things up can help you recharge.
Work as a healthcare traveler: Working as a nurse traveler may provide you with the opportunity to meet new people and work in a new environment. Although working as a traveler brings a lot of changes all at once, it can be a great experience.
Take a break: Nursing is stressful at times. If you are under too much stress, you can start to feel burnt-out and overwhelmed. Everyone needs some downtime to relax and recharge. If possible, take a vacation or at least a few weeks off. Maybe a break is all you need to feel enthusiastic again.