“Dreams for the next chapter of my career” And how those dreams keep changing...

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    Discussing how dreams for your career can change over time related to your personal goals and life events - and how those dreams keep changing.

    “Dreams for the next chapter of my career” And how those dreams keep changing...

    I wanted to be a nurse forever. I remember the adrenaline rush I got the first time I was on the hospital floor for my clinical rotation. The smells (not all great), the sounds (I heard IV pump beeps in my dreams for the first year), the urgency, problem solving and caring for another human being - it all had me hooked, hard.

    It felt good to be in healthcare. Like I had finally found my place. I passed my boards and landed my first nursing job at a top NYC hospital few weeks after my 21st birthday. Maybe it’s the freshness of the new year, but I can’t help but reflect back to my greener days. Over a period of ten plus years, life, aspirations, and attitudes can all change drastically.

    I spent the first six years of my career bouncing around frequently. No fear of a new challenge. I wanted to gain experience and try everything I could. If it interested me, I took a shot and applied. I was extremely ambitious. Climbing the clinical ladder every change I had. Taking on projects, going back to school for my bachelors degree, becoming a primary author on an abstract article and presenting at the Oncology Nursing Society Congress. I couldn’t be stopped. I swore for years I would have my NP license by the time I was thirty. Life had other plans.

    Here I stand at thirty one, no NP license in sight. And that’s okay. As it turns out it’s not something I’m interested in anymore. Pursuing that dream doesn’t appeal to my personal or professional goals anymore. The financial weight of accumulating even more student loans to not make much more in salary was also a factor. Going back to school is a major decision. If the end result is something you really want then go for it (regardless of salary). Reach that goal.

    I realized that just because this was a dream of mine at one time, it doesn’t mean it still has to be. It’s okay to reevaluate, readjust your course and let go. That’s one of the best parts of nursing - you can change your direction any time you please. When your current position no longer suits you or your lifestyle there’s a multitude of other options that await.

    When I started becoming fatigued at the bedside from years of being an oncology nurse I began looking into ‘non-clinical nursing jobs’. There are so many positions I didn’t even know existed! A nurse writer was one of them, funny enough. That same spark I felt when I first started nursing had returned! I knew I had to pursue this exciting new course.

    I’m still starting out as a writer, but it really satisfies me. I still work in pediatric oncology - doing case management/lead RN work a few days a week and bedside nursing one to two days per week. After years of many different nursing positions and different schedules, I’ve managed to create my ideal schedule. The constant change of scenery keeps nursing fresh for me. Ten years from now I hope to look back again fondly at all the changes in my career. Nursing is an incredible profession - teaching so many life lessons and giving us so many opportunities to transform. Here’s to many more fulfilling years in this line of work - in whatever facet you choose.

    What are your dreams for the next chapter of your career? How have they changed over time?
    Last edit by Joe V on Oct 19
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  2. Visit Ashley Hay, BSN, RN profile page

    About Ashley Hay, BSN, RN

    Over 10 years of nursing experience in several areas of Pediatric & Adult Oncology including clinical research, chemotherapy, transplant, hematology, proton therapy, GI surgery, wound care, post anesthesia recovery, etc.

    Ashley Hay, BSN, RN has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Oncology'. Joined Aug '16; Posts: 78; Likes: 263.

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    8 Comments

  3. by   Sunny2003
    I love the variety available in nursing. I also love the fact that there is always something to learn. I started out as an LPN. I am now an RN and will have my MSN in about a year. I too thought that I wanted to be a nurse practitioner. I have discovered that my real passion and talent is educating and coaching patients. My current goals are to complete my MSN in nurse management, obtain my board certification as a nurse coach and start my own coaching business. Who knows, that may change, but my passion for learning something new and creating personal goals will not. That is why nursing has been a great career choice for me.
  4. by   Tnurse24
    Could you elaborate a bit on the role of nurse writer please? this would marry my two passions as well and I'm very curious about it. What is the role of a nurse writer and in what settings can one become employed? What does a nurse writers day consist of?
  5. by   Ashley Hay, BSN, RN
    Quote from Sunny2003
    I love the variety available in nursing. I also love the fact that there is always something to learn. I started out as an LPN. I am now an RN and will have my MSN in about a year. I too thought that I wanted to be a nurse practitioner. I have discovered that my real passion and talent is educating and coaching patients. My current goals are to complete my MSN in nurse management, obtain my board certification as a nurse coach and start my own coaching business. Who knows, that may change, but my passion for learning something new and creating personal goals will not. That is why nursing has been a great career choice for me.
    Thanks so much for sharing & posting your comment - keep reaching for those goals!
  6. by   Ashley Hay, BSN, RN
    Quote from Tnurse24
    Could you elaborate a bit on the role of nurse writer please? this would marry my two passions as well and I'm very curious about it. What is the role of a nurse writer and in what settings can one become employed? What does a nurse writers day consist of?
    Hi Tnurse24! I'm very new to being a nurse writer but have learned so much in just a few months. I'm actually working on a future article discussing exactly that... my reasons for pursuing it, helpful resources, etc. I'm very green in this area of nursing but it's really given me so much satisfaction, merging my two passions, like you said. As for employment (many before me have said it and I couldn't agree more) don't quit your day job. It's very much a freelance position. It takes time to find find your voice (and what you like to write about) and to find work. I find myself constantly doing homework - researching going pay rates depending on the task, networking, brainstorming article ideas, and reading lots of blogs/articles/posts about becoming a nurse writer. Education is power! I'm so glad to hear your interest (we all have great stories to tell!) - and it honestly seems surreal that I'm on the other end of this question. I was dying to break into this area of nursing and I finally did it. I may not be making huge strides but even baby steps feel good. Best part is I enjoy learning about it just as much as I do writing original content.
  7. by   tnbutterfly
    Quote from Tnurse24
    Could you elaborate a bit on the role of nurse writer please? this would marry my two passions as well and I'm very curious about it. What is the role of a nurse writer and in what settings can one become employed? What does a nurse writers day consist of?
    It's great hearing that you are exploring being a nurse writer. You can always try out your wings here on allnurses. We accept articles from anyone. There is always an article contest going on.

    To find out more about this role, we have the Nurses Innovators Hub where you can connect with seasoned writers and innovators. There are several articles discussing the role of nurse writer.

    How to get started as a nurse-writer

    How freelance writing works

    Day in the Life of a Freelance Nurse Writer

    How I Became a Nurse Writer

    Freelance writing makes a great second career


    If you have questions, feel free to post them in the Innovators Hub.
  8. by   Tnurse24
    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, good luck with your writing and I look forward to seeing what you have to bring to us. Thank you for your inspiring post.
  9. by   BlueDawnRN
    When I first became an RN I told my mom that I might want to go for my NP in the future. I told her the school that I was getting my BSN through had a good transition program if I ever decided I wanted to do it, and that it interested me. My plans quickly changed. Apparently she had told everybody because I still find myself explaining at family gatherings to aunts, uncles, etc. that I'm not in school to be a NP and don't plan to be! She still asks me about it to this day!
  10. by   ElizabethScala1
    Thanks for sharing your story with us! Nurses are so lucky in that they have so many opportunities. I think that it is great that you have taken the time to reflect and honesty assess where you want to be and what your strengths are. Nurses can continue to learn, grow, and thrive. When we are doing that, we are of the best service to our patients. When we are not, we become stagnant and burnout. Great sharing of your experience to role model this behavior for others!

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