Different Types of Nurses & Nursing Specialties

Different Types of Nurses & Nursing Specialties

There are so many different types of nurses in different specialties that work within the hospital setting.  So how do you figure out which one is right for you?

When I was initially toying with the idea of going back to college to become a nurse I had no idea how many types of nursing specialties there actually were.  I thought there was just a single “type” of nurse who did pretty much everything.

I was so wrong.  That just shows how little I actually knew about the nursing world back then!  In fact, I think many potential nurses who are contemplating getting a BSN may think the same thing as I once did.

The good news about starting out in nursing school is that you don’t have to make a decision about what type of nursing specialty you want to go into right away.  At least not until you get closer to the end of nursing school and start interviewing for jobs.    In addition, you can even change your nursing specialty during your career if you want (I did it and reignited my passion for nursing).  So, if you find you don’t enjoy one specialty after a while, you can look into others that might better suit you.

This particular post explores nursing career specialties within the hospital.  If you don’t want to work in the hospital, that’s OK.  There are a ton of opportunities to explore as a new grad nurse outside of the hospital setting too!  However, if the hospital setting is for you (as it was for me) then this is a quick and dirty explanation of the different types of nurses and nursing specialties that may be available to you!

Nursing Specialties & Opportunities In The Hospital Setting

There are literally dozens of different nursing specialties and levels of care in the hospital to choose from.  When deciding on a specialty it may help to start with the level of care that works best with your personality and then work from there.  While some nursing students think the intensity of working in an emergency room might be exhilarating, others may prefer to start out by learning on a medical surgical unit instead.

The next step may be to consider which patient age groups you would most enjoy working with.  For example, a nursing school friend of mine knew from the moment she applied to nursing school that she had to be a pediatric nurse.  Yet another student friend was passionate about working in the geriatric community.  Some nurses find that they love working with newborn babies or children, while others find that they enjoy the intensity of managing patients at the ICU level of care.

Lastly, as you start studying more about the different body systems and doing clinical hours, you can decide which specialties that you are most interested in.  Being a student nurse is a great time to learn all about the different types of nurses in the hospital you might want to work in!

Hospital Levels of Care

Medical/Surgical Care

Medical Surgical Care, otherwise known as Med/Surg, is the largest nursing specialty in the United States.  Med/Surg nurses care for adult patients who are acutely ill with a wide variety of medical issues or are recovery from surgery.  Nurses on these units often care for 4-5 patients (or more) depending on acuity.

Telemetry Care

Telemetry Unit patients are often more acutely ill and need constant monitoring.   Patients here are monitored with telemetry monitors that allow nurses to review a patient’s vital signs constantly so they can give more detailed care.  Often, Med/Surg and Telemetry patients are referred to interchangeably as many Telemetry Units have both types of patients.

Intensive Care Units

An Intensive Care Unit, otherwise known as an ICU or Critical Care Unit is a unit that provides a higher level of intensive patient care.  Patients in the ICU often have severe and life-threatening injuries which require constant, close monitoring.  Nurses in the ICU usually only care for 1 or 2 patients at a time due to the high acuity of the patient care.

Emergency Room

ER nurses treat patients in emergent situations who are involved in a trauma or other life threatening injuries.   These nurses deal with patients from all age groups involving many different levels of patient care.  You may have patients with illnesses and wounds ranging from dog bites or minor burns to more serious conditions such as strokes or other trauma victims.

Patient Age Groups

Hospital units are also broken into different age groups to offer more specialized care.  This is also something to consider when deciding on a specialty you want to work in.  Some of the age groups include:

  • Newborns
  • Pediatrics
  • Adult
  • Geriatric

Hospital Specialties

There is a general list of hospital specialty units that many nurses work in:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Thorasic
  • Neuro/Trauma
  • Medical
  • Orthopedic
  • Radiaology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Liver Transplant
  • PACU
  • Emergency Room
  • Neonatal
  • Urology
  • Surgical
  • Gynecology
  • Operating Room

Are you thinking about becoming a nurse and wondering what nursing specialties might be best for you?  Or do you have any other questions about the different types of nurses in the hospital setting?  Please leave a comment or question below!

Nurse Health: Self Care For 12 Hour Shifts

Nurse Health: Self Care For 12 Hour Shifts

Are you a nurse who works long 12 hour shifts? 

If the answer is yes, that’s awesome!  You are working in an honorable and philanthropically rewarding field.  But unfortunately, if you are like a lot of hardworking shift workers you may at times feel overworked, exhausted and even burned out.  

Everyone knows that 12 hour shift schedules can be extremely demanding.  What are you doing for yourself to ensure that you stay healthy and thrive

With a little preparation and focus on your personal well-being you can be both a healthy nurse and give great care to your patients.  Its time to focus on nurse self care!

Nurse Health: 11 GREAT tips for nurses to THRIVE while working a 12 hour shift schedule:

#1.  Sleep

Nursing schedules revolve around a need for 24/7 patient care.   Sleep deprivation is a real concern, especially for those working night shift.  Nurse self care starts with a good night (or in some cases day) of sleep.  Here are a few tips to encourage healthier sleep habits after you complete a 12 hour shift:

  • Turn off the tv (an hour of sleep is always more important then another episode)
  • Calm your mind and body with a few easy yoga stretches (hint:  yoga props such as a mat, yoga blocks, and a strap can be helpful with restorative stretches).
  • Take a hot shower
  • Try meditation (Headspace is a great meditation app for busy people)
  • Use good ear plugs and a sleep mask
  • Get into bed an hour earlier then you normally do (& see how much better you feel after one week!)
To be a healthy nurse you must get a good night's sleep.

Nurse self care should be a priority.   That includes getting a good night sleep!

#2.  Exercise

Get your heart rate up on your days off!  The benefits of exercise have been well documented is is essential for nurse self care.  It is no secret that regular exercise helps control weight, boosts overall energy, improves your mood and helps decrease stress levels.  Not only does exercise benefit the nurse personally, but it also helps nurses have the stamina to give better care to patients as well.

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A yoga session or brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.  Which, in turn will help manage caregiver burden and help you feel your best.

Exercise is great for nurse health.

Nurse, get your heart rate up!

#.3  Grocery shop 

Grocery shopping is so important for nurses and other hospital workers to ensure good nutrition.  It is no secret that healthy food choices are crucial for overall good health and well-being.  Make sure you are filling your plate with high density vitamins and minerals.  You simply can’t maintain good energy and stamina over a 12 hour shift on sugary snacks and fast food!

Plan ahead by creating a grocery list of the foods you want to eat while you are at work.  That way you wont be tempted to reach for something unhealthy when you have a few moments to eat in-between caring for patients.

Tips for nurses to make healthy meals fast:  Try making a big batch of quinoa, brown rice or black bean pasta to have handy in the fridge.  These are a few great staples that you can build a nourishing meal around.  When you get hungry you can mix in a protein, veggies, nuts or seeds, dried fruits, or even just enjoy them with a little olive oil and sea salt.   The key is to have healthy food that is easy to prepare BEFORE you get super hungry.

a well balanced diet is important for nurse health and wellness.

A well balanced diet is important for nurse health and wellness.

#4.  Eat a healthy breakfast

Studies show that eating a nutritious breakfast (as opposed to the dougnuts and other goodies often found in the breakroom) can help give you:

  • More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity and maintaing stamina to survive through a 12 hour shift.  
  • Improved concentration, which can help you give better patient care. 
  • A diet higher in complete nutriants, vitamins and minerals.

Tips for nurses to ensure that you have a nutritious meal ready before each 12 hour shift:  Make several mason jars of overnight oats with a variation of these flavors: blueberry/strawberry/raspberry, peanut butter and maple, banana and walnut, or almond and raisin.  You can add ground flaxseed or chia seeds for extra protein and antioxidant benefit. Then top it off with a dash of cinnamon for a delicious ready-to-eat breakfast.

Oats: a simple yet nutritious way to start a 12 hour shift!

Oats: a simple yet nutritious way to start a 12 hour shift (nurse self care can be tasty!)

#5.  Pack your lunch 

Packing a lunch will help ensure that you make wise food choices when you are in the middle of a shift and starting to feel tired.  And it will save you a little money to boot!   

Here are a few items I use for packing my lunch that help me through every 12 hour shift:

Healthy nurse habit:  pack your lunch!

Healthy nurse habit: pack your lunch!


#6.  Incorporate healthy snacks into your shift

Nurse break rooms are notorious for having sugary snacks like donuts, cookies, or other unhealthy junk food all within an arms reach.  Sweets are so tempting to nibble on when you are tired and need a little extra energy.  But then a few moments later you crash and are even more tired.   On another note, eating nutritious and easy snacks will keep you energized during a 12 hour shift. 

Pack snacks like these in your lunch bag to help keep your blood sugar levels balanced during your shift:

  • Baby carrots, broccoli or other veggies & hummus
  • Celery and almond butter
  • Strawberries, blueberries
  • Granola and yogurt
  • Almonds or cashews
  • Avocado toast
  • Sliced apples and peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese with pineapple or banana
  • Trail mix
Almonds:  a healthy nurse snack!

Almonds: a healthy nurse snack!

#7.  Don’t overdo caffeine

Many studies suggest that coffee and tea have incredible health benefits while also giving you an extra boost of energy.  Unfortunately caffeine can also have the opposite effect by leading to rebound fatigue after it leaves your system.  Therefore, its a good idea to aim for moderate caffeine intake to help minimize rebound fatigue.

Additionally, one of the drawbacks of too much caffeine late in a 12 hour shift is that it can also cause insomnia.  And nurses need their sleep to help recover from the hard work we do taking care of patients each day!

Extra tip:  Green teas (like this one) can give you an energy boost with extra antioxidant benefits and without the caffeine jitters!

Green tea:  high in antioxidants!

Green tea: a healthy drink for 12 hour shift workers!

#8.  Get good shoes

It is not uncommon for nurses to be on their feet for 8 to 12 hours or longer during a shift.  That is why is it absolutely essential that you wear comfortable and durable shoes during your shift.

I have been alternating between my Dansko clogs and New Balance tennis shoes as a nurse for over 6 years.  My feet thank me for it.  Invest in a quality shoe that is built to protect the feet of busy hospital workers who are on their feet all day.

“I wish I didn’t invest in comfortable, sturdy shoes” said no nurse ever.  

Nurses must invest in good shoes to maintain foot health.

Nurses must invest in good shoes to maintain foot health.


#9.  Remember to drink water

Have you ever worked an entire shift and realized at the end that you forgot to drink water for the entire day.  It is so easy to do when you are extremely busy with back to back patients and heavy work assignments. 

Invest in a good water bottle with a seal-able lid (to prevent accidental spillage).  Keep it where you do most of your charting in the nurses station.  And try to make it a priority to drink your water every hour during your shift to stay hydrated.

Here are a few favorites:

Make you own chia seed water:  Add 3 tbsp of organic chia seeds to your water bottle and mix well (you can add more or less to your liking).  Within a few hours the seeds will blow up in size and into a gelatinous consistency.  

(Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium.  Just another easy way to add nutrients into your busy day!) 

Drink water throughout your 12 hour shift and stay hydrated!

Drink water throughout your 12 hour shift and stay hydrated!

#10.  Wear compression stocks

Compression socks or stockings are a non-negotiable for healthcare workers who are on their feet for 12 hour shifts!  Here are 3 very important reasons why compression socks are a must-have for every shift worker:

  • Prevention of varicose veins:  Standing for long periods of time causes valves in the veins to become weakened, causing blood to collect in the veins. This causes the veins to enlarge, increase in pressure and stretch, causing unsightly varicose veins.
  • Improved blood flow and decreased risk of blood clots:  A study by The Society of Occupational Medicine found that wearing compression stockings significantly decreased lower limb venous pressure in nurses who stood for very long hours. 
  • Decreased swelling of ankles and feet:  Swollen ankles and feet are a common side effect of being on ones feet for a 12 hour shift.  

Many nurses who wear compression socks say that their legs “feel more energized” after a 12 hour shift.  Pregnant shift workers are especially at risk of leg swelling (due to increased blood volumes during pregnancy) and should consider wearing them to prevent venous issues.

Nurse health: wear compression socks for venous health

Nurse health & your venous system: wear compression socks!

#11.  Do yoga 

Nurses need yoga, period.  Not only does yoga replenishes depleted reserves after a 12 hour shift,  but a relaxed and more focused nurse is able to give better patient care.  

Yoga’s amazing benefits on physical and mental health are well documented in literature. The Mayo clinic has stated that “yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate” among many other benefits.

Nurse self care in the form of yoga is scientifically proven to be beneficial: 

  • Stress management. study published in the National Institute of Biotechnology Information investigated the effects of yoga on stress coping strategies of ICU nurses. After only 8 weeks of yoga the results showed that the participating ICU nurses had significantly better focus coping strategies and a major reduction in perceived mental pressure.  (If that is what can happen after only 8 weeks, imagine the impact a regular, permanent yoga practice could have on stress management levels!).
  • Prevent or eliminate chronic low back pain.  Chronic back pain in the nursing population is a common ailment. An evidenced based review at the Texas Women’s University reported that estimates of chronic low back pain among nurses range from 50%-80%.  Yoga not only increases flexibly, but increases muscle strength and prevents injuries such as chronic lower back pain.
  • Prevent burnout and compassion fatigue:  study published in Workplace Health & Safety on yoga for self-care and burnout prevention of nurses found that yoga participants “reported significantly higher self-care as well as less emotional exhaustion upon completion of an 8-week yoga intervention.”  
Nurses need to practice yoga for self care

Nurses need to practice yoga for self care.

Are you a nurse who is experiencing burnout and want to live a healthier life?  Nurse self care should not be an afterthought. Do you have any other self care tips for nurses that you would like to add? Leave a comment! 

 

Get your FREE copy of “The Nurses Guide to Self Care”

Alternative Medicine:  Unique Careers Within Nursing

Alternative Medicine: Unique Careers Within Nursing

Do you currently work as a nurse and have been thinking of a career change? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring nurse looking for an unusual avenue? Here are a few unique careers to consider within in the field of nursing.

Work on a cruise ship

Many modern cruise ships are able to accommodate thousands of passengers. When out at sea, access to a hospital is limited, which is why it’s essential to have nursing staff on these ships. Getting into this role can be challenging as positions can be very competitive – while cruise ship nursing can be tough due to the variety of patient problems and limited facilities, you get the benefit of being able to spend your days off seeing the world, as well as taking advantage of the cruise ship facilities. It’s the ideal job for people that want to travel and are young with no commitments.  Sites such as this one can help you to find cruise ship vacancies.

Work for an air ambulance

Air evac teams are pretty much paramedics of the skies – it’s their job to rescue people from remote locations who are injured and bring them to a nearby hospital or clinic. A medical background can be great when trying to get into this niche career. There are various air evac companies and it’s worth doing your research to find the best ones by reading air evac testimonials and reviews. An accident and emergency background can sometimes be better suited for this role.  

Work in the military

Nurses are also needed in the military to look after soldiers suffering injuries, sickness or mental health problems. This is an expectedly high-pressure job, but it can allow you to see the world and feel as if you’re serving your country. You’ll often need to do some military training on top of being trained as a nurse. There are military nursing courses that you can take if you’ve not yet got a nursing qualification.

Become a home nurse

If the above jobs are all a bit too wild for your tastes, you could always consider becoming a home nurse. Many patients that choose to stay at home need 24 hour care and this requires qualified medical nurses to take shifts monitoring them at home. Many people that want a break from the fast paced environment of a hospital pursue this avenue, although if you’re working for a company you may find that you’re having to attend to multiple patients every day, every week.

Become a legal nurse

Legal nurses are required to help with legal cases where the opinion of a medical expert may be needed. This could include helping to interpret data to be used for injury claims or helping to defend against claims of medical malpractice. On top of having a nursing qualification, you may also need to take certain legal training to pursue this role.

Have you considered any of these exciting and unique careers within nursing?  Please leave a comment below!

Is Nursing a Good Career For Moms?

Is Nursing a Good Career For Moms?

Is nursing a good career for moms?

As a mom and second-career registered nurse I have a lot of information to share about this topic – all from personal experience!

In fact, one of the main reasons I decided to become a nurse is because I wanted a better work-life balance.   In my first post-college career I worked in the corporate world working 50+ hours a week.  At the time, my career also required that I travel frequently for business meetings – often for up to a week at a time.  That is a long time to be away when you have small children!

At the time I also had a few nurse friends who told me that they really appreciated the flexibility nursing allowed them when they decided to start families of their own.  Nursing was already a career that I was very interested in because I had a desire to work in a field where I could help others and make a difference in the world.  And since starting my own family was something that my husband and I eventually wanted, becoming a nurse started to make a lot more sense.

So 9 years ago, I went back to college to earn my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  Going back to school again as an adult was very challenging, but ultimately very much worth it in the end.

As a nurse and mother who has worked in a few very different careers I can give honest advice to the question, “is nursing a good career for moms?

Here are the pros and cons to being a working mother in the nursing profession:

A Nurse and Mother with a small child

Benefits to being a nurse & mom:

1.  Nursing is flexible.

One of the greatest perks of being a nurse is the flexibility.  It is possible to make it work with nearly any schedule. Hospitals are open seven days a week, 365 days a year, and they need a lot of nurses to help with patient care.  There are day shifts, night shifts, mid shifts and even 4 hour break relief shifts available to many nurses.  The flexibility also allows for many moms to go back to school and earn an advanced nursing degree which can help create even more career opportunities.

There are also many times that that nurses can work in a day-  including 8, 10, and 12 hour shifts.  In the hospital setting most shifts are usually 12 hours.  However, you can also work as a nurse in a doctors office, where shifts may only be 8 hours a day.  And in some hospital specialties, such as the PACU or Cath Lab, nurses often work 10 hour shifts.

2.  A five day work week becomes 3.

Unlike most professions, many full time nurses work 3 days a week instead of 5 (a benefit of the 12 hour work day).   That means nurse moms get to be home at least four days a week to spend solid, uninterrupted, quality time with their families.

And as an added bonus, you will be able to run errands during the non-busy hours.  For example, I can take my kids with me to go grocery shopping on Tuesday and Friday mornings – and we are usually one of only a few shoppers there!  Running errands is so much easier when the roads and stores are less crowded.  If fact, since I became a nurse I can hardly stand shopping on the weekends.

3.  There is no travel required (unless you are a travel nurse!).

Travel is a lot of fun in the years before you start a family. But once children come along that overnight business trip doesn’t seem so exciting anymore. In nursing you have the option to go to the same workplace each time you go to work. Unless you are attending a nursing conference there really is no reason that you would need to travel for business.

4.  Nurses can work per diem.

Did I mention that nursing is flexible?  The greatest benefit I have found being nurse mom is that I have the option of working per diem. Per diem literally means “by the day.” As a nurse you have an option to work the days that you want to work and stay home with your children on the days that you don’t.

Here are a few benefits to per diem nursing:

  • Higher pay then a career nurse
  • Work as little as one day a week or as many as five days a week (as long as there is a need for an RN)
  • Make your own schedule
  • Cancel shift the day before if you are needed at home
  • Add on a shift at the last minute

5.  You can leave your work at work.

Nursing does not require that you maintain a home office.  In general, nurses do not have to bring work home with them.  It is a great feeling to be able to leave your work at work.  Best of all, you are not constantly worrying about quotas, reports that you need to turn in, or managing other employees – all of which many moms who work in business or other industries often have to do.

Here are a few things that moms should consider about the nursing profession:

1.  Nursing is hard work.

I would not get into nursing if you think that it is an easy job. I assure you, it is not. In fact nursing is the hardest work that I’ve ever done in my entire life.  You will need some recovery time on your days off because nursing can be a very physically and mentally challenging job.

Because the work is so stressful and can often lead to burnout, I always emphasize how important it is that nurses take good care of themselves.  Good nutrition, exercise, yoga and meditation are a few great ways that nurses can make their own health a priority.

2.  The shifts are long.

Since most hospital shifts are 12-13 hours long you likely wont see your children at all on the days that you work.  Therefore, from the time you get up until the time you go to bed you will be focused on things entirely outside of your family.  For that reason I do not work back-to-back shifts, because I just don’t want to be away for my children for more than one day at a time (another reason per diem nursing works for me!).

12 hour shifts make for a very long workday.  An unfortunate side effect is that you are going to be extra tired on your days off when you are with your kids.  But lets be honest, being at home with your children can be exhausting too!

3.  You may have to work night shifts.

Some nurses like to work the night shift.  Unfortunately, many nurses, especially nurse moms, do not like to work night shift.   Working graveyards is hard on the body because you are constantly fighting your bodies natural circadian rhythm.  Over time this can cause or exacerbate nurse burnout.

In addition, depending on where you work in the hospital they may have mandatory rotating shifts, meaning that all nurses alternate between night and day shifts.  Talk about a confusing schedule!

4.  You will likely have to work some holidays and weekends.

Hospitals never sleep, and that includes holidays and weekends.  While many people are enjoying a “family day” on a Saturday or Sunday, nurses are often working to take care of patients.  Unfortunately,  sometimes that can mean missing time with the kids, birthday parties, sporting events and other special family outings.

There are many trade-offs to being a nurse as a mother.  Sometimes you will miss important events but as an exchange you can be home during the week on days that everyone else is working.

Are you considering nursing as a profession?  Leave a comment below!   

P.S.  Sign up for our newsletter below exclusively for nurse moms!

7 Ways To Beat Nurse Burnout

7 Ways To Beat Nurse Burnout

I experienced nurse burnout after 2 years of being a nurse.

That’s right.  After only TWO YEARS, I was already feeling over stressed, exhausted and negative about my career.

When my mind finally wrapped itself around this understanding, I thought I’ve barely graduated with my BSN and i’m ALREADY burned out? How am I going to continue in the nursing profession for an entire career?  

I was frustrated, confused, and to be honest, a little heartbroken.  I was passionate about helping others and I did enjoy the mental stimulation that I got as a nurse.  But I couldn’t figure out how there were nurses on our unit who had been doing the same thing for the last 5, 10, or even 20 years.  Didn’t they feel the same way?

Lately, I have spoken with a lot of nurses about their experiences with burnout. The truth of the matter is that most, if not all nurses feel spent and exhausted  at some point over the course of their career.

Do you feel exhausted, anxious, physically ill, or dread the thought of going to work each day? If so, you too may be experiencing burnout. Here are some tips that can help you overcome this chronic, stressful state and learn to thrive again.

7 Ways To Beat Nurse Burnout

7 ways to beat nurse burnout:  reclaim your passion!

 1.  Find a work-life balance.

Are you rotating days and nights?   Constantly working overtime?   Or maybe just working too many hours per week?  That may work for a while but it is not a very good long term plan.  Everyone needs a break, especially nurses!  Consider taking a vacation (or stay-cation) and plan a few solid days of  “me” time.  A little TLC can go a long way.   You simply can’t continue to take good care of others before taking care of yourself first.

Becoming a per diem nurse helped me find a better work-life balance.  What can you do to help balance your life?

2.  Make your health a #1 priority.

One of the best things a nurse can do to help prevent nurse burnout is to take good care of themselves.  Often this notion is counter intuitive to nurses because the nature of their job is to constantly put others needs in front of their own.  Ask yourself, what do I need to be healthy?  Here are a few suggestions:

3.  Find the “why” in your burnout.

What is it that is really causing you to feel the burnout?  Try writing your thoughts down at the end of a few shifts to help figure out what is overwhelming you.  Is there a pattern?   Perhaps you need to plan your shifts differently.  Are there a few personalities in your workplace that you are not jiving with?  Or, maybe you just are not inspired by your chosen specialty.  Give yourself permission to be brutally honest about what you need to overcome nurse burnout.

4.  Challenge yourself.

Are you under-challenged at work?  There are so many ways to challenge yourself as a nurse:

  • Become a certified nurse in your specialty (or a completely new specialty!)
  • Take on a charge nurse role.
  • Be a preceptor to novice nurses on your unit.
  • Take on additional committee roles.
  • Attend a nurse conference.
  • Change your nursing specialty.
  • Consider advancing your nursing degree.

5. Surround yourself with positive support.

Compassion fatigue and nurse burnout is so common among nurses.  Left unchecked, it can lead to mistakes, unhappiness or even depression.   Share your burnout struggles with a close comrade from work who can empathize with your struggle.   If that doesn’t help, consider talking to a trusted mentor, a therapist, or find a career coach that can help you work your way out of nurse burnout.  Nurses are self-giving creatures by nature, but we must give to our own needs as well.  Crawl out of your shell and start talking it out!

6. Find an outlet.

What do you do on your days off that may you happy?  If you don’t have a stress-reliving outlet, then its time to find one!  Is your inner artist craving a creative outlet, such as painting, designing or even scrap booking? Does a day on the golf course  or an afternoon on the tennis court bring you joy?  Maybe you have been so busy that you have forgotten how wonderfully distracting in can be do become enveloped into an activity that you love do do.

Research has shown that finding a joyful outlet can enhance your mood, increase energy, lower stress levels, and even make your immune system stronger. Today is the time to find your joy!

7. Consider new options.

Have an honest discussion with yourself about your career.   Are you a med/surg nurse who has always dreamed of working in the ICU?  Or maybe you are an ER nurse with an interest in becoming a flight nurse.  A change in specialty might be exactly what you need to tackle nurse burnout.

On another note, nurses don’t have to work in a hospital.   Perhaps working with injectables in a dermatology office or as a home healthcare nurse would be a better fit . There are so many nursing careers to choose from.   The sky is the limit.  Go find your nursing passion!

What do you do to beat nurse burnout?  Leave a comment below!

My “About Me” Page and Our Huffington Post Interview

My “About Me” Page and Our Huffington Post Interview

My “About Me” page

If you have taken a peek over at my About Me page you may have read that nursing was NOT my first career.  If fact, I did’t even discover that I had a calling for nursing until after I had been working in the medical sales field for about 9 years.

Ill press rewind for just a minute…   Once upon a time, I worked in the competitive field of surgical equipment sales for a fortune 100 company and a few medical device startups.

I knew I didn’t love the career, but I made a pretty good living.  It also allowed me to travel for work and I was able to afford to take a lot of incredible overseas trips.  After a few years in the sales grind, I knew I wanted to do other things.  The problem was that my resume said I was a medical device salesperson.  So what was I supposed to do?

That voice in the back of my head continued gnawing at me, little by little.  Every day a small piece of my soul was being eaten up by working in a career that I had no real passion for.

Until finally one day, after a near mental break down I made the difficult decision to leave the field.  I went on a quest in pursuit of greater clinical medical knowledge and a desire to help humankind.  After years of scratching my head I had finally discovered my new path.

I was going to become a Nurse!

It has been 9 years since my near mental breakdown that forced me to make an incredible life change.  Nursing school was one of the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  But I am so thankful everyday that I did it.  Ultimately, it was the best decision for myself and and for my family.

nurse power

Here I am showing off my badge bloom…

Our Huffington Post Interview

My whole point in writing this post was to talk about a really cool experience that I had recently…

A journalist at the Huntington Post recently contacted me through my blog.  She asked if my husband and I would be interested in being interviewed for a piece that she was doing about what it was like being married to an ER nurse.   Of course I said yes!

(I was a journalism major in college and still have an itch to write, which is one of the reasons I blog).

Nursing is challenging.

I want to be an advocate for nurses because I think we tolerate things that would never be tolerated in any other field (but we do it anyway because we’re awesome).   I also really, really want to find a way to help nurses take better care of themselves.  Plus, I am extremely passionate about being a nurse and have a passion for helping others.  So, I was excited to share some of my thoughts (and I was also intrigued to see what my husband had to say about being married to an ER nurse).

If you are still reading this and want to take a look at our Huffington Post article you can read it here.

Thank you for reading my blog and free free to leave a comment.  I appreciate that your took the time to read this!

Sarah