Nursing Careers

5 Signs that You May Need to Switch Nursing Careers

Nurses have a tough job, and the idea you once had of the profession may have changed. While you may have had the fire and mental fortitude needed to handle physically and emotionally demanding work before, you may have little left to give. You may be going through the motions, or dread having to get up to go to work. Your work then starts suffering, as well as your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that you may want to consider switching nursing positions.

You’re Always Feeling Exhausted

This is one of the first signs that something is wrong. If you used to always be full of energy but you’re now dragging your feet and barely able to stay awake during shifts, then it might be a sign that you’re burning out. If that’s the case, you need to do something right away to address the situation. You might need to take time off, change schedules, or look at another position.

You’re Craving Change

If you’ve been at the same place of work for your whole career or always worked in the same role, then you may want to change the scenery. In this case, you might want to move to another type of facility, position, or in another part of the country.

Working in a smaller rural clinic might be a good choice for you, or maybe you want to move to something more specialized that would align with your skillset and is completely different from what you’re doing now.

This is why many nurses decide to move to fields like midwifery or family practice later on in their careers. It allows them to work on one specific role and have more control over their days. Shifts become much more structured, and therefore less stressful, and working in a field that you’re actually passionate about will add a few extra years to your career.

The best thing is that you don’t have to leave your current position to get those new credentials. You could get your midwifery degree online while you maintain your current job. Another great thing about this is that you may be able to fill open positions where you’re currently working and transition immediately after getting your degree.

You Hate the Idea of Going to Work

We understand that not everyone can do what they love, but no one should be doing something they absolutely hate either. If you get stomach aches every time you have to go to work or before shifts, then it’s a clear sign you need to look for something else. This could be because of a hostile environment or the workload. Either way, you need to get some help and see if there’s something out there that would be a better fit for you.

Some people might simply be physically exhausted. We often overlook how physically demanding nursing jobs can be, and if you feel like your body can’t take it anymore, you might want to look at something with a slightly slower pace or where you won’t be directly involved with patients.

Your Work Has Lost its Meaning

Most nurses come into the field with a desire to make a difference. But there may come a time when you feel like just another cog in the machine and don’t have the impression that you’re making a change or that your work is appreciated. Some may be able to handle the selflessness of it, but some may start to get demoralized by it.

If that’s your case, then know that there are plenty of roles that you can fill that will allow you to have a direct impact on the people you work with. For instance, there is a growing shortage of nurses in academia right now. This would give you the chance to form the next generation of nurses. Or, you could choose a program that would allow you to run your own practice. 

You could also go for a position that would allow you to care for patients over the long term. Many don’t like the idea of working with patients without seeing the outcome or their progress. Fields such as chronic care and home health allow you to build a real rapport and relationship with your patients. This might be all that you need to give your job some significance and that extra boost to actually get up in the morning.

You could also decide to go in a completely different direction. Some nurses decide to move into advocacy or work with charitable organizations. Others might want to become bloggers and help other nurses still in the profession, or you might want to move into research or an administrative role. These are all options that will allow you to have a real impact on the profession and are a nice change of pace as well.

You Feel Like You’re Not Fulfilling Your Potential

There might be a time as a nurse when you realize that you could do what a lot of people above you are doing. You may even feel like you could do it better. You might be asking yourself why you’re still doing those routine tasks when you could be doing so much more.

This is another case where switching could be a good option. Like we mentioned earlier, getting your credentials is now easier than ever. All it takes is dedication and good planning and you could be on your way to getting the career you’ve always wanted. 

The most important thing here is to not limit yourself. If you have just gotten started, know that you’re in a great position to learn on the ground and add some feathers to your cap either through part-time or full-time studies so you can prepare yourself for your next chapter.

If you notice any of these signs, we suggest that you consider changing directions and seeing what’s available out there for you. The possibilities are almost endless, and there are many ways that you can advance your career without disrupting it, so make sure that you consider those options as well.

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