Did I make a mistake by changing jobs?

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Join the conversation! Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A

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Hi, Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I was a bedside nurse for 13 years and decided to pursue my masters. Following my bedside position, I moved into a non-bedside position. It was definitely a stressful position and required ALOT of work as I was responsible for one of the core measures. I did ALL performance improvement, education-all provider/nursing, testing for any changes in our computer system etc. I felt like a one man team unfortunately.

I eventually was able to get others to be more engaged and created an unofficial team of people helping to improve things. However, feeling solely responsible with very little official support became very frustrating. It also became increasing frustrating when teams around me were getting additional people to drive change. I worked 50-55 hours a week as a salaried person. However, we saw significant improvement and change this was inspiring and I wanted to continue to show improvement. I decided to pursue a new opportunity into nursing education within the same system.

I am feeling very overwhelmed because my focus for the last 3 years has been education surrounding this one topic. Some of the bedside educators also have given me the "ohh thats nice" and "what exactly will you be doing" response to my leaving my current position. I unfortunately believe that I am looked at as a "suit" and not a nurse because I wore regular professional attire to work and had more managerial responsibility. I am also nervous to take on a role and teach about many things I may not know much about.

I am feeling "resigners resignation" related to this anxiety. How do I tackle this new challenge in a positive way? Did I possibly make a mistake that I should seek to get my old job back?

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Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

146 Articles; 3,419 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

You have the skills to be an outstanding, effective educator.

Your Value

Trust me, your experience and expertise make you a valuable asset. You've successfully improved processes, led teams, and driven positive change. Acknowledge your achievements and bring that confidence into your new role.

You know how to research best practice, which is essential.

Professional Development and Resources

Being an educator doesn't mean knowing everything; it means learning how to find answers. Be transparent: "I don't know, but I can find out and get back to you," or "That's a great question. Can you find out for us?"

Join specialty professional organizations to have access to journals and best practices. For example, if you are expected to educate nurses on the oncology floor, join the Oncology Nurses Association (ONS). 

Find out what resources your organization will provide you as an educator, such as a subscription to UpToDate. Do they give access to CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) or another database? Google Scholar is a good resource as well.

Know Joint Commission's 2024 StandardsCDC regulations, and your state's nursing regulatory body.

If you had to follow only one piece of advice, I would recommend joining ANPD, the Association for Nurses in Professional Development. In time, consider getting your certification. 

Credibility

You need to know your organization's policies thoroughly. Nurses will reference incorrect information that gets passed down, like the childhood game of telephone.

It is up to you to verify all information before providing it. Continually point nurses to your organization's policies and procedures. Be a part of changing and updating policies.

You establish trust with your nursing staff by listening to their concerns and responding thoughtfully. You become seen as the person who will follow up with information and follow through.

Internal Network

It's essential to establish relationships with nurse managers, informal nurse leaders, and charge nurses to effect change, just as you did in your previous position. As an educator, having a wide range of contacts, such as a clinical pharmacist, a point person in risk management, and nurses in informatics and clinical documentation, is also beneficial.

These connections will help you expand your organizational knowledge and resources and increase your influence.

For example, biomedical engineers can help you find equipment for demonstrations and give you vendor contacts for information. Working with a contact in materials management can help maintain important supplies on the units.

Every department is an essential part of the healthcare team that delivers quality patient care.

I hope some of this helps and resonates with you.

Congrats on your new role, and I wish you all the best! 

Nurse Beth

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