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Five Ways to Reignite Your Passion For Nursing

Have you lost your passion for nursing? You are not alone.

Nurses General Nursing Article   posted

Specializes in Nurse Case Manager, Professor, Freelance Writer.

Most of us go into nursing after feeling some sort of calling or passion for helping others. However, some workplace situations can leave us struggling with burnout and searching for our passion. This post covers five strategies you can use to reignite your passion for the art of nursing.

Have you lost your passion?

  1. 1. Do you feel you have lost your passion for nursing?

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Five Ways to Reignite Your Passion For Nursing
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Going to work should not be dreadful. However, for many nurses, the stress, burnout, and culture can sometimes make it downright painful to get dressed and head to work. After days, weeks, months, or even years of these types of feelings, you might lose the love you once felt for the profession.

If you’re going through this, you must remember that you are not alone and that these feelings are normal. If they hang around for a few days or a month, it’s probably not too concerning. But, any longer than that and you may need to start looking at strategies to help you bounce back and reignite the passion you once felt for your career. Here are a few of my favorite things you can do to get back on track.

Take Time Off

Americans let 768 million vacation days go unused in 2018. This equals billions of dollars in lost benefits and often means that workers aren’t getting the rest, relaxation, and restoration they need. Unfortunately feeling like you’ve lost your passion for your work can sometimes be a double-edged sword. You feel burnout, so you keep working with the hopes of finding something that will reignite the passion you once felt. Unfortunately, it often makes the situation worse.

If you’re feeling disconnected from work, talk to your manager or supervisor about scheduling in a few “mental health” days. Don’t plan any major events on these days, instead book time doing something you love. Or, you may want to make an appointment to get a massage, pedicure, or other restorative treatment.

Treat Symptoms of Burnout

Burnout is a challenging condition. If you start feeling like every day is a bad day or you’re exhausted all the time, you might be dealing with burnout. Other symptoms to watch for include:

  • Feeling worthless or hopeless
  • Feeling bored or overwhelmed
  • Feeling under-appreciated
  • Exhaustion
  • Frequent illness
  • Headaches or muscle pain
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Change in appetite

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms of burnout, you need to get the treatment you need. Talk to those around you about how you are feeling. If you have a workplace mentor or a boss you trust, start there. They may have noticed these changes, too and can offer invaluable feedback. You should also try to increase your connection with your coworkers, but avoid interactions with negative individuals. You might also need to look for activities outside of work that can increase your feelings of meaningfulness and purpose.

Look for a New Specialty

Sometimes feeling overwhelmed and unhappy can be a sign that it’s time for a change. If you work in a specialty like hospice, oncology, or other high-acuity areas, you may need to consider looking for a new area of nursing to try. Not only can a change decrease your level of stress, but it can also help you find your passion through learning about new areas you never thought about before.

Work With a Coach or Mentor

Reaching out to another nurse who has maybe experienced these same feelings can be helpful. If you have a mentor, start there. If not, it might be a good idea to hire a career coach who is also a nurse. You can discuss your feelings with them and also ask them for ideas of other areas of nursing that could be a good fit with your background.

Take Care of Yourself

It seems that self-care, getting plenty of rest, and eating a well-balanced diet is a good answer to just about any problems we have in life. And, feeling burnout and drained at work isn’t any different. Carve out time to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-level activity each day. Find a diet that is low in carbohydrates, junk food, and sugary foods. You might want to consider one that is plant-based or at least has high amounts of fruits and vegetables. Finally, make sure you are getting eight hours of sleep every night.

Getting Back on Track

Remembering your passion for nursing can be challenging when you are in the midst of burnout and other feelings of disconnection from your work. You can use these ideas, but there are also many other ways to reconnect with your passion for the art of nursing, it just takes a little work and time.

Have you ever experienced burnout or “fell out of love” with nursing? What helped you get back on track?

Share your ideas with us by posting in the comments below. We would love to hear them.

Melissa is a professor, medical writer, and business owner. She has been a nurse for over 20 years and enjoys combining her nursing knowledge and passion for the written word. She is available for writing, editing, and coaching services. You can see more of her work at https://melissamillswrites.contently.com/.

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heres what I did .

Realize these things

1. You are greater than nursing

2. You cant change the hospital you can only change careers

3. There are better jobs that are less stressful that also pay more.

4. Learn to say things like No and ignore texts messages to come in on your day off

5. If you dont like your boss chances are youll get a new one in 3 months

6. There are no bad jobs just bad peoples that work at your job

I think people are experiencing

"moral injury"

not burn-out, as ZDogg MD says.....burnout is victim-blaming, IMO.....otherwise, good article!

Nursing and medicine are not what most people go into these days for. We care and many take our kindness for weakness. They take advantage of this fact too often.

We are serving too many demanding "masters" and often receive very little geniune reward or appreciation. And the constant abuse---- mental, physical, emotional, experienced by far too many, are, indeed, leading to forms of mental anguish. Not "burn out".

NewOncNurseRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in BMT.

10 hours ago, SmilingBluEyes said:

I think people are experiencing

"moral injury"

not burn-out, as ZDogg MD says.....burnout is victim-blaming, IMO.....otherwise, good article!

Nursing and medicine are not what most people go into these days for. We care and many take our kindness for weakness. They take advantage of this fact too often.

We are serving too many demanding "masters" and often receive very little geniune reward or appreciation. And the constant abuse---- mental, physical, emotional, experienced by far too many, are, indeed, leading to forms of mental anguish. Not "burn out".

I would also say that because of this, we need to treat each other well. Check in with each other. Be kind, go out of your way to offer help whenever you see someone. And if you have a float, be extra nice to them! Treat other nurses the way you want to be treated.

I would add one more suggestion, if it works for some. I started clinical instructing and my passion for nursing reignited as soon as I saw all the student nurses in my facility. I would be cautious if you're really burned out and not happy with nursing, then I would not suggest clinical instructing!

MSO4foru, ADN

Specializes in Hospice Home Care and Inpatient.

I have been a RN since 2005, worked as a CNA for 7 yrs prior to liscense. Every single year I am told to do " more with less". I am now 43 and work Inpt Hospice. And am still being told to do " more with less". I now usually have 7 or 8 ( again Inpt hospice) pts usually all total care pts. One of my CNAs counted # of times we needed to move/ reposition people just on one 12 hr shift. It was 17 x. And most of these folks were above 200 lbs. Where I work, we only get 2 CNAs at night. Its getting more difficult to domy job correctly. There is little to no time for family education- which is suppose to be the most important thing I do. As far as taking time off- we have to put in requests 3 months before and often it's not until week before that it gets approved or not. I am getting very tired of no support/ short staffing/ administrative BS.

I have been a nurse for almost 40 yrs and I still have my emotional roller coaster with nursing. I've worked 28 yrs in Critical Care to 10 yrs in informatics. Now I am a triage nurse in a large teaching institution. I love my job but there have been times I wanted to change careers. I have changed nursing practices several times and done different things in nursing which has reignited my passion at every turn. I haven't always loved nursing but then do you always love what you do? I can't imagine doing anything else though. As they say variety is the spice of life and variety is the thing that keeps me going as a nurse.

On 10/1/2019 at 4:53 AM, NewOncNurseRN said:

I would also say that because of this, we need to treat each other well. Check in with each other. Be kind, go out of your way to offer help whenever you see someone. And if you have a float, be extra nice to them! Treat other nurses the way you want to be treated.

Love this.

Going to work used to fill me with anxiety. I hated my DON and most of the people I worked with, the politics of healthcare etc. I even had what I thought at the time were the most impossible patients I had ever seen! Questioning myself of a regular about my career choice, I decided that I would find the "ideal job," that "unicorn" of a work environment because I knew I was born to be a nurse and was not about to let my first couple of years of bad experiences stop me from becoming the best nurse that I could be.

After 2 years of falling prey to horrid work environments, while Inwas simultaneously working on my BSN and then my MSN-FNP, I finally found that place where I felt I belonged. My work environment is better than anything I could have ever imagined, and I thank God that I did not give up.

I am currently working on finishing my MSN-FNP, and the company that I am a part of as a floor nurse has recently started their own devision with MD's and FNP's so upon graduation I will remain a part of this "unicorn" company that I am blessed to be a part of.

Nursing is definitely something you are born with the ability to do well, even if you don't think you are at first. Give it some time if it's for you, then you'll find your "unicorn" just like I have.

Best of Luck,

Tina A. Rookard BSN, RN

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