Nurses, 2014 Is Here!

Well, it’s here. 2014 has arrived in all its glory and it’s up to us to seize the day and make it a good one.

Last week, I wrote a post entitled “Your New Year“, and in the context of that post, I suggested that the new year is as good a time as any to reevaluate and sincerely examine your career. I asserted that it’s a time to assess where you are, where you’d like to be, and to begin to lay the groundwork for the next iteration of your nursing career.

Where You’d Like To Be

Picking up where that post left off, let’s look more deeply at the question of where you’d like to be.

In my previous post, I wrote:

“Your career plans may have something to do with school, a higher degree, a certification of some kind, or perhaps an internship or other exploration of a new specialty or area of professional interest.

“If you know you need a change but aren’t sure what form that change may eventually take, it’s sometimes enough to acknowledge that you’re ready for something new (and that something new will occasionally make itself known in due course).”

Knowing what you want may seem easy (and perhaps it’s easy for you), but there are also some nurses for whom change can seem scary, expensive, or downright out of the question.

Now What Do I Do?

If you know what you want (ie: a new certification, to apply for a Bachelor’s Degree program, to learn a new skill), then your tasks are pretty much cut and dry, and you know what you have to do in order to accomplish your goal.

If, however, you have a need for change but aren’t sure what that change may be, then the inner work can be more daunting—or possibly more fun!

So, if you’re in a place where a change is needed but you’re not sure where to start, try a few of these on for size:

Informational interviews: Based on your potential desires, interview nurses in areas of specialty in which you have an interest, or ask for an interview with the DON or manager of a unit or facility that may be a place you’d like to explore.

Ask your potential interviewee for 15 minutes of their time (and you’ll probably get 30), and make sure you’re well prepared with questions, pen and paper, and always send a thank you card, not just an email.

Use social media: Various social media platforms (most of which I’ve discussed on this blog, sometimes in detail) are great places to seek inspiration, information or connection. Linked In, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are all great place to meet like-minded colleagues, and I personally think Linked In is one of the best sites for career-minded individuals. Use it well!

Journaling: Sometimes, you just have to write things down. Try taking notes or journaling to brainstorm your career goals and aspirations. Writing things down and looking at them more objectively can often be more productive than just thinking about them in endless loops.

It’s Up To You

Ultimately, it’s up to you in terms of what you do with your career. In fact, 2014 may not be the year for change in your professional life because of your personal life. Perhaps you have kids going off to college or a dying parent that needs your attention. That’s fine, and you need to honor your life and what’s happening for you right now.

Just bear in mind that change will eventually happen (since it’s the only constant in the universe, anyway!) so being ready for change rather than blind-sided by it is generally recommended.

Nursing is a wide open field with many opportunities and possibilities. Allow your mind to wander and explore, and you never know what might happen!

About Keith

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Keith Carlson is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, speaker, author, and popular career columnist.

With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. Keith’s two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show, offer inspiration and practical support to nurses seeking to create meaningful, satisfying lives and careers.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on many social media platforms, as well as at