My Gift To You This International Nurses Day
My gift to you This International Nurses Day 2022, is to celebrate all the work that each one of you does as a nurse every single day. I also wanted to say thank you from one nurse to another. This blog post is packed full of useful resources that I hope will be helpful for you.
Challenges this year
This year has been particularly challenging for many nurses. I know from my own circle of work colleagues that many nurses are simply feeling over it and are questioning why they even became a nurse.
I recently saw a post of a Facebook group where a nurse had posted about struggling to enjoy nursing. This nurse also wanted to consider what other career choices were available to them. They wanted to know what people had done outside of Nursing. This post attracted 160 comments from people who were either following the comments or were considering leaving or had left a career in nursing. Which for me sadly indicates the size of a growing problem, nurse attrition.
When work becomes a struggle
When work becomes a struggle and you cannot seem to enjoy what you once did, you can lose sight of your ‘why’ and why you went into nursing. Thoughts about leaving a job that you used to be passionate about can become a daily occurrence.
This is not just happening in the Nursing profession. Many people have struggled through the pandemic and are re-evaluating everything that they once were passionate about.
The global media is full of talk about the great resignation and ways to retain their staff or encourage them back into the workplace.
Nursing is not an easy profession to work in and the Pandemic has highlighted what many of us already knew, that support and recognition were already at an all-time low even before the Pandemic began. COVID-19 has exaggerated these issues even more as the nursing workforce was expected to do even more with even less. Many nurses have seen increased hostility from members of the public during the Pandemic. Many nursing teams have been placed under immeasurable pressure to care for patients whilst coping with high levels of staff sickness.
It is true that when things are tough, quitting seems to be the only option. I want to give a slightly different perspective in my blog post.
Taking care of you
Nurses are by nature very good at giving and caring for others and not so good at caring for and putting themselves first. I hear this from many of my nursing clients again and again.
Part of the problem is that if you don’t stop to recharge and learn to have some boundaries that protect you and your time for rest, then compassion fatigue begins to creep in. Once this happens it can become very difficult to be objective about what you really want to do. If you want to learn more about compassion fatigue here is a great short TED talk that can help you.
When is the right time to make a decision?
I have a saying that you should never make a decision when you are exhausted, stressed or emotional. The best way to make big decisions is to be in the right headspace and this can only be achieved when you take a little time out to re-evaluate where to from here. Making a big decision that involves a career change should never be done unless you have really and honestly considered if this is truly what you want to do. Knee jerk decisions can and do often lead to regret.
This is a great TED talk about how to make hard choices which can help you to have clarity when making big decisions.
Take a read of this article that talks about how to create healthy habits when you are feeling exhausted for some ideas about how to look after yourself to enable you to be able to make good decisions for yourself.
Making good choices
In my last newsletter, I wrote about how to make good choices when you are at a crossroads and don’t know which direction to take. In case you missed it here is the link. This newsletter also helps you to understand your values and how this helps you to make good choices for yourself.
Sometimes when you think about leaving nursing maybe what you really need is a change and a different direction in your nursing career. It is true that you can get too comfortable in a role and the thought of changing your role can create fear and anxiety.
Sometimes people stay in a role longer than they should for these reasons. This is because in taking a new role you are leaving familiarity and comfort behind. You are stepping into a new role where you have to learn the ropes all over again. Sometimes you might think about losing your long service leave or sick leave that you have worked hard to accrue, this can also prevent you from leaving a role.
You always have choices
When I coach nursing clients I always tell them that they have a choice. The choice is that you can find a role that makes your heart sing again. Remember that not all organisations are the same, some are more supportive than others. Your choice is to do your research and see which organisations appeal to your values. You can find a lot of information by researching and talking to other nurses who work in those organisations. If you want to learn more about your values take my test here and receive your free report.
What I do know is that taking no action will not serve you well in the long term. Whether that is setting boundaries about time for you, saying no, or being true to yourself and recognising that perhaps it is time for a change.
Nursing has so many career choices that enable us to make some great choices about our next role. The thing is that we have to be open to change and take a leap of faith to try something new. You never know it might just be the best choice that you have ever made!
If you are looking for inspiration about how other nurses have taken a leap of faith and taken opportunities then take a listen to Jacquie’s story (Sept 2020) and Joanne’s story (July 2020) on my Podcast Real Nurse Stories
To close, I want to say that the world needs great nurses like you. As a profession, we need to speak up and take action about what we need to support the profession in the post Pandemic phase. You have to do this for the sake of the next generation of nurses and nurse leaders. You need to be an active participant not passively standing on the sidelines. We all have a part to play to be the change that we all want to see in the profession.
Until next time, please celebrate International Nurses Day with your colleagues. I invite you to take time to reflect on all that has been achieved over the last year. Despite the long hours worked and the challenges that we have all experienced. There is still much that can be celebrated and acknowledged in terms of your contribution and the collective contribution of your team.
Are you feeling exhausted and totally over nursing? I can help you to make the right choices for your career. Contact me here to book a complimentary coaching session to learn how working with me can help you