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5 ways to make a professional difference

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I think it’s safe to say not many nurses are 100% happy with their jobs.

There are a myriad of idiosyncrasies and challenges we face every day that make our jobs and responsibilities difficult to manage.

We encounter everything from staffing or equipment shortages to professional practice barriers and continuing education costs, just to name a few.

Nurses are notorious for ineffective complaining. The only way to effect change is to become less reactive and more proactive. It’s one thing to have a new idea or voice, but you need to have that idea and voice heard.

Here are just a few things you can do to effect change:

Practice what you preach

Be the one to set the example, and not the one being made an example of when it comes to practicing compliance and performing daily responsibilities. It can be as simple as wearing the proper uniform or following the simple “no drinks” policy at the nurse’s station.

Become a part of something bigger

This can be at the local or national level. Join a committee at your place of employment, join the local state nursing chapter, or register online for the ANA. Get involved and be heard.

Be a part of the solution

It will do you no good to be a part of the problem. Finger pointing and blame placing is a passive way of redirecting focus. Take the proactive step to enrich and elevate all those around you.

Share your ideas

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. I think every nurse out there should start a blog, join Twitter and participate in any other social media outlet available. It’s absolutely amazing how empowering it is to find others who can truly empathize with your passions. Whether anonymous or not, get your words out there.

Move up the chain

Advance your education however and whenever you can. Whether that means going back for collegiate work or gaining additional nursing skills, knowledge is power. That knowledge and experience also will help you move up the chain of command. Some of the best nurse leaders started out as highly motivated charge nurses!

In the end we all want to be heard–what better way to have your wonderful voice and powerful ideas put in motion?

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