If it seems a bit odd to put together the three words “amazing”, “nursing”, and “career”, then you really do need to read through this blog post. Here’s the thing about the profession of nursing, it’s amazing! It’s also socially acceptable to not place a high priority on personal satisfaction. All of this is slowly changing, however. Most people love being a nurse, and know that being called a “nurse” comes with moral values of trust and truth. Typically, nurses put their careers first, and place the bar high for professional achievement, putting-up with the interpersonal challenges and the long hours that come along with the job.
Despite taking the high moral ground, and putting on a good show for everyone in their lives, most nurses face challenges in their career early-on. The first year is the most challenging for new grads, because they’re learning to think for themselves and are highly accountable to their clients and their families. They no longer can hide behind the veil of being a “nursing student”.
I remember vividly thinking to myself, throughout the first year of being a new grad, “I feel like a toddler all over again”. That feeling stayed with me for at least a few years, and didn’t lead me to feeling amazing. In fact, that feeling left me with anxiety that I would miss something important in my patient. I was happy to counteract this “new nursing grad” anxiety through a daily meditation session.
Being a nurse comes with the need to manage complex patients, systemic pressures, and sometimes difficult shifts. Nurses confront repeated physical and cognitive stress that can lead to burnout, or poor self-regulation. There’s no sugar-coating the challenges that come with the profession. But… you can thrive if you follow my tips below.
Finding The Amazing in Your Nursing Work
The Mindfulness Connection
The secret to living a happy life, and an amazing nursing career, is directly tied to your level of awareness. Mindfulness is a way of enhancing one’s awareness and attention towards the present moment (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Kabat-Zinn, 2003). It’s about saying “ok I’m feeling rushed right now. I’m going to stop for moment and take a breath and focus on the task.”
If you don’t like your life, you are somehow disconnected from your higher self. Whenever you face challenges in your life, whether it be at work or in your family, you can usually find the source of your problem in your body. You either feel aches and pains, stress, a feeling of anxiousness, struggle or a resistance to being happy.
That stress is directly tied to your disconnection from what makes you feel most at ease. As well, that stress can go hidden inside the body. To counteract it, and find the amazing parts of your day, try to create moments of mindfulness (see Mindfulness The Workplace).
Awareness, and mindfulness, can’t happen overnight. It takes a while to train yourself to pay attention to what’s happening inside the mind – and body. Both the mind and body hold incredible feedback systems. If you know what’s not good, you can learn to shift your thoughts to what you do want. That is the mindfulness connection, and it will help you find “the amazing” in your nursing work. Like the body, and the mind, the work we choose will reflect our current state.
If you’re not happy in your life, you may choose a nursing job that makes you feel more unhappy. And vice versa. If you’re setting yourself up to feel happy and content in your life, you will attract nursing work that supports that experience.
Make Choices In Your Daily Habits That Support You In Feeling Happy
One of the key tips for an amazing nursing career, immediately as you step foot into your new job, is to be intentional about how you want to feel day-to-day. In our digital hospital coaching program, The ProMind Experience, we spend a fair amount of time in this area. If you’re placing the intention to feel happy and content in your life, you will attract nursing work that supports that experience.
Here’s a list of daily choices you can make to feel amazing as a nurse:
- awareness that your work as a nurse has important purpose and meaning.
- this important meaning is always guided towards personal growth and life-long lessons.
- daily self-reflection, prayer or meditation can ease your physical and emotional suffering (the two main types of suffering)
- enjoying the adventures of learning, which come from having new patients.
- making mistakes allows us to experience growth and find new solutions to old problems.
The Power Of The Subconscious
Scientists and thinkers have been studying the unconscious mind — the part of the brain where things like memories and motivation occur — for hundreds of years. In my post on The Benefits of Mindset Coaching For Nurse Wellbeing, I discuss how the subconscious mind runs the show. The subconscious mind is the part of our brain that stores things like memories and motivation. It houses all our beliefs and habits.
For instance, if you have a subconscious belief that you are the type of person that can’t sleep during the day “no matter what”, you will not be able to get a good sleep after a night shift. No matter what you do, the poor sleep habits will STICK, because you actually believe that is the type of person you are. Likewise, if you believe that you’re the type of person that loses fat easily, you will naturally gravitate to healthy weight management habits and they will STICK.
Your Subconscious Programming As It Relates To The Profession Of Nursing
One of my top tips for an amazing nursing career is to consider your own unconscious programming. We see health care practitioners running from shift-to-shift, just getting through the day. The mindset is to “just get through this next rotation” because those 4-5 days are truly all about work, and getting themselves to and from the hospital.
New and experienced nurses may neglect some of the most well-researched stress-management tips because of their old programming. Think about all the things you say to yourself on a daily basis that you probably don’t even believe, but they just come from an old program.
Questions To Ponder As You Enter The Profession Of Nursing
- What do you believe nursing is all about?
- Did you enter the profession because you believe you were “called” to it?
- Do you believe that nurses will burnout in the first year, or in the second year?
- Or… do you believe that nurses will lead balanced and healthy lives, because they are trained as top-notch health professionals?
- Do you believe you will be bullied because you’re a “new grad”?
- What are you speaking about in your personal interactions?
Carefully consider the answers to these important questions. Once you notice that you’re saying things to yourself, your family and/or colleagues, or even your clients, you should shut-down that thought-pattern immediately and shift it to thoughts that support your wellbeing. This is part of Satori’s 5-Step System for Peak Performance that we cover in The ProMind Experience.
Essentially, it doesn’t really matter what you do, if you can hack your subconscious mind, through mindset coaching and personal development, you can make the mind believe something more supportive to having an amazing and balanced nursing career. Whatever you believe will come to pass, so pay attention! See our Peak Performance System diagram below.
Raise Your Expectations For Being Happy
One of the biggest causes for being unhappy is setting low expectations, which restricts your personal awareness. Go back to the question asked in the prior section: “Did you enter the profession because you believe you were “called” to it?”. In my opinion, there’s nothing more important than the answer to this question. If we look at Nursing’s origin, which dates back to the mid-19th Century, beginning with Florence Nightingale.
Nightingale claimed to have had “calls from God” that drove her toward alleviating people’s pain through nursing. If you believe that you had a burning desire to follow your own “calls from God” to pursue meaningful work and became a nurse, as a result, you will naturally flow to creating a happy and amazing career. But…you must establish this vision and expectation of happiness for yourself.
Supporting Nurse Retention With The ProMind Experience
Work-life balance and nursing wellbeing go together. By arming your employees with the right mindset strategies and personal development solutions, you can facilitate the development of personal wellbeing and sustainable healthy habits.
Satori’s The ProMind Experience enables hospitals to help frontline nurses achieve work-life balance in 7 weeks or less.
- The bonus training, Banish Burnout Bootcamp, offers tips and strategies to help with stress management
- Our Team Approach helps staff to navigate their own personalized health journey through fitness and nutrition
- Opportunities to build social connections with coworkers through the mindful clinician community
- Seamlessly “gamified” platform offers a fun experience that hits the dopamine button
- A fun and engaging closed community-based group to boost collaboration and enhance wellbeingAnd so much more….Sound like a good fit? Request a Discovery Call with me to see for yourself how The ProMind Experience(TM) can help improve work-life balance, and support new nurse hires from the start.
Articles on Mindfulness
1. Baking and Cooking as Mindfulness Activities
2. The Benefits of Everyday Mindfulness
3. Your Own Happy Pill Through Mindfulness Coaching
4. How Meditation Helps for Stress-Management
5. Episode 33. 5 Interesting Facts On Meditation
6. 4 Easy Steps To Build A Meditation Practice
7. Create Your Own Meditation Space – Episode 15 Satori Radio Podcast
8. Mindfulness In The Workplace – Episode 58
9. Benefits of Mindset Coaching for Nursing Wellbeing
10. Episode 22 on Creating Healthy Habits