Realign, Reframe and Rediscover Your Joy Being a Nurse

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    Has your career evolved keeping up with the person you have become today? Our lives change over time and if our work isn’t evolving with us, we’re out of sync.

    Realign, Reframe and Rediscover Your Joy Being a Nurse

    Just like tires of a car that are out of alignment, our jobs may be leaving us feel we are having a bumpy ride each day. One day you are not the new nurse anymore. We experience new demands such as parenthood, or caring for our parents. We may be feeling overwhelmed or frustrated that our work doesn’t seem appreciated or valued in our current role.

    That's what happened to me. When I began my nursing career, I was working in critical care, partying with my coworkers after each shift and sleeping until I had to go into work the next day. Then several years later my lifestyle changed. No longer single, I was looking to start raising children. My family and friends were continually upset that I missed events and celebrations because I had to work. My life had become very bumpy. So, I started searching for an opportunity that was in the 9-to-5 weekends off world. I became a case manager for a major corporation and was introduced to computerized health care data and analytics. I was an informatics nurse before there was a term for it, and this knowledge, bolstered by my foundation in nursing, served my career time and time again.

    Today, after three decades in nursing, as the president of the National Nurses in Business Association, I get to do what I love most. Which is helping nurses to start, run and grow their own businesses. I personally believe every nurse should have a Plan B, (Business) and develop additional sources of income. The volatility of today’s healthcare systems is unsettling and additional sources of income provide financial security.

    If you are feeling like I was, out of sync and no longer finding joy in your nursing career, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water! Your education and experience is valuable and there are many ways to express your potential. Keep the following in mind:

    Realign – Use the rule; Lifestyle Leads, Work Style Follows, (excerpt Unconventional Nurse®). Everything becomes so much easier, powerful, and cohesive when your work and your life are congruent. It took me forever to get this one right, and once I did, I no longer felt I was fighting against the grain. Start with understanding your core values and if they are aligned with your job. You can also take a look at your natural preference for how you feel most alive, relaxed, and positive at work. Your work environment, (type of building, colors, lighting, sounds and smells) is very important. For many years, working in a hospital suited my personality well. As I entered my thirties, I became more sensitive, especially to the sounds. Look at the business culture. How do people treat one another? Be aware of your prime time and make sure the most important tasks are scheduled when you are most effective.

    Reframe – To create change, you have to reframe your focus. Look at everything with new eyes. The late Wayne Dyer was famous for saying “When you change the way you look at things, things change”. Well, this is so true. When we feel stuck, it really helps to objectively view our lives. This exercise helps: Imagine you are outside a room looking through a window and you see yourself, at home and at work. Then write down what you see. Little hinges can swing big doors, sometimes just small changes have a tremendous effect. You will discover new things about yourself every time you try something new.

    Rediscover – You are a nurse and you have everything you need right now to discover career fulfillment. It may involve small changes, or big changes to your current work situation. It always takes effort, and as nurses, you are not a stranger to hard work. I think you are amazing and I believe that nurses make great business owners. You can discover how nurses are starting: healthcare businesses, becoming consultants, advisors, developing additional streams of income, being authors, speakers, social media influencers, becoming encore entrepreneurs and so much more. Come and see for yourself at the annual educational National Nurses in Business Association conference on nurse entrepreneurship and career alternatives. I hope to see you there.

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    About Michelle Podlesni

    Since 1985 the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) is dedicated to advancing and promoting Nurses in Business, Nurse Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs. The NNBA is the ‘Voice of Nurse Entrepreneurship’ as a result of the active participation and contributions of its richly resourced membership. © 2017, Michelle Podlesni, All Rights Reserved

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