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Thriving as a nurse: finding healthy work environments and more

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

Feeling overworked and underpaid? One bad shift away from a nervous breakdown? We’ve all been there. That’s why it’s so important to check in with yourself about where you’re at work-wise. Are you thriving or simply going through the motions? You deserve to be happy! One great resource? Our Scrubs Blog Carnival!

Digital Doorway recently featured a fantastic roundup of wisdom especially for nurses needing a pep talk about their careers. Check it out below:

I am thrilled to be hosting the Scrubs Magazine Blog Carnival for Nurses today, and it’s an honor to provide the readers of Digital Doorway with a glimpse into the quality and depth of talent that exists among the nurse blogger community.

Today’s theme is “thriving as a nurse,” and I have no doubt the entries will inspire and move you in myriad ways. (Note to reader: the bold and italicized title of each blog will lead you to the specific entries for the carnival.)

Healthy Work Environments

RNDeer has shared a very important post that focuses on how to identify a healthy work environment. Not only does this post list the characteristics that we know are important, but it also shares questions for the earnest nurse to ask when interviewing for a new position. If you want to thrive, you certainly need an environment that makes it possible to do so!

Spending Our Time Wisely 

Over on Empowered Nurses, we’re reminded in a brief and thoughtful post that working in an environment where we’re unhappy is not the best way to spend our precious time and talents, and although change can be daunting, being happy is a wonderful reason to make change happen. Wonderful advice!

Measuring Success 

Meanwhile, Nurse Gail share a thoughtful and inspiring correspondence between her and one of her readers. Gail uses this opportunity to list her criteria for thriving as a nurse and how she measures success. (Hint: It’s not just money!)

Magic and Beauty 

On Self Employed Nurse, we hear how nursing is certainly not a terribly glamorous profession (if one takes into consideration the various bodily fluids and other less-than-savory experiences that nurses may encounter during their careers). At the same time, this blogger elucidates the magic and beauty of nursing that can be reflected in moments like witnessing the birth of a baby or being on the receiving end of sincere gratitude from a patient. Magic and beauty can be found most anywhere if you look hard enough!

Meditation and Mindfulness

Thriving as a nurse has many aspects, and my friend and colleague Jerome Stone of Minding the Bedside tells his nurse readers that having a meditation practice is a sure way to combat stress, and he shares resources for how to begin a successful meditation practice. Jerome is an expert in this regard, and his mission of bringing mindfulness and meditation to nurses could not be more timely.

Self-Care

Elizabeth Scala of Living Sublime Wellness is the self-care queen in my book, and her post describes how a simple practice of expressing gratitude can be a powerful took for self-care. (For those of us reading Elizabeth’s post, we can begin by just being grateful for her!)

And over on Elizabeth’s Rejuvenation Collaboration blog, she adds the power of self-reflection, self-love and self-care to the juicy pot!

Self-Responsibility and Positivity

Brittney Wilson, aka The Nerdy Nurse (and the illustrious founder of this carnival), addresses nurses’ attitudes, reactions and perceptions in her post. Positivity and taking responsibility for our experiences are Brittney’s keys to thriving as a nurse, and her observations are important food for thought.

Adding fuel to the positivity fire, Brittney also shares a brief blog post over on NurseJournal, driving home three important aspects of how to thrive as a nurse.

Underscoring the importance of positivity and self-responsibility, Brittney makes sure we nurses get this crucial message by also including one of her recent posts on Scrubsmag wherein she highlights a post by Alicia-Joy Pierre of Transitions in Nursing. Alicia reminds us that some nursing jobs can feel like “a code brown sandwich” and there are indeed ways to turn that situation around!

Gratitude for Nursing 

As you can see from the posts included in today’s carnival, thriving as a nurse has many aspects worthy of consideration and reflection. Self-care is certainly a major cornerstone of a thriving career, and I’m sure our contributors would all agree that changing our perception is also an important key to taking responsibility for the trajectory of our lives as nurses.

For myself, I’m eternally grateful for my 18 years as a nurse and for the ways that nursing has shaped my identity and world view. Many nurses can feel stuck and pigeonholed by this noble and satisfying profession, but I personally perceive and experience incredible freedom and flexibility in my life as a nurse.

Currently, I’m a nurse who works part-time for several home care agencies while also balancing blogging, professional writing, Internet radiocoaching, consulting and public speaking. I absolutely love the diversity of my working life, and I’m constantly tweaking the ways in which I can make it work even better for me. With many pokers in the fire, I juggle a professional life that’s satisfying, exciting and full of surprises and challenges.

For you, dear reader, the answer is in finding what helps you to gratefully put your feet on the ground each morning. Whether it’s labor and delivery, hospice, coaching, writing, home care or the ICU, the secret is in your perceptions, your ability to care for yourself, taking responsibility for your career and your experiences, knowing what’s best for you–and making it happen!

Hostile and dysfunctional workplaces don’t deserve you, nor do cynical and burnt out colleagues. Look for work environments that support your growth and your happiness. Care for yourself and care for others. Reach out to other healthy, happy nurses, and take responsibility for your career, manifesting the professional experiences that will help you to thrive as a nurse.

Nurses, you deserve to thrive! 

This post is a collective effort of nurse bloggers as part of the Scrubs Mag Blog Carnival. If you are interested in participating, find out more details and sign up here.

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