Quote from AssociateDegree
What can nurses do to be more happy in their career? The answer is simple: stop looking at nursing as a job and look at it as a career. If you're not happy with what you're doing, do something else. Nursing is one of the few fields that offers so much diversity in practice, location, hours, education, etc. A career is a life and a life well-led implies change and growth.
Yes and no. I agree with you main idea. The reality is, you have to be able to work. Thus, as I have suggested in other threads, it is wise to have another position, whether it be per diem or PT. You really do have to protect your ability to work. I have seen the goofy stuff within nursing politics. It never ceases to amaze me--never, and that is after 20 years.
But I would say, in looking at nursing as a career, yes. Do things that will move you toward your advancing goals in your career.
Thing is, you have to do this, while also staying active and making some sort of living. In say, going back to school in order to advance, you may have to take a position or two that isn't your ideal position, but it keeps you active and helps pay the bills. You can deal with it b/c hopefully it gives you flexibility in achieving the academic goals, even if you end up making little less money or are doing what you ideally want to do in nursing. It's about the big picture.
You have to stay current, make a living, and continue to work on your goals. So if that means finding to positions that meet these criteria, that's what you must do. It may not be your ideal setting or area, however, since you are actively taking courses to move toward your goal, it's alright. You make the most of it specifically b/c it allows to work toward your goal, whereas working in other settings and with problematic schedules and needless stress would interfere with say your study time and GPA, thus affecting your future goals.
You are right. You have to look at it as a career, and you must continue to strategize, all while combining your work-life balance. It's tricky.
I remember throwing everything into my higher paying, highly specialized nursing positions that sapped up so much of my time and energy--and sucked the life out of me. I loved those places--the actual clinical work I did, but the more specialized, often times, the more politics--and the positions were often demanding and stressful enough by their own nature, without all the added political BS. I remember having to make a choice about doing what I loved, which meant working environments and schedules that were not conducive to a balanced life and top academic success versus getting better work/life balance and maintaining academic success. I truly missed what I did in those environments, but I did not miss the stupidity of the scheduling or the inane nursing/hospital/unit politics. In order to move ahead, however, there are times where you have to make a choice. In terms of long-term survival, I think it's about maintaining your ability to work as a nurse as you move toward your overarching goals.
So it's yes and no. It's a career, but it's also a job. How you balance and counter-balance that depends upon what is most important at the moment in order to help move you toward your future goals.