New Year, Time to Take Stock
Happy New Year!
A new year brings new opportunities and is a time to reflect and plan your personal and professional goals for the upcoming year.
Throughout my nursing career, I have taken the time to periodically evaluate my nursing career. It is important to stop and think about your current nursing role and how it impacts your life and career goals.
Do you still find your role fulfilling? Do you enjoy going to work each day? Perhaps these questions are harder to answer right now after dealing with a pandemic and all the challenges you have faced over the past 2 years.
However, maybe facing those challenges has provided you with a different perspective, and you should evaluate your career goals based on your new lens.
Do you still find your role fulfilling?
Do you enjoy going to work each day?
Medical-surgical nurses have never been more in demand, and our specialty has become more legitimized as employers have come to understand that an experienced medical-surgical nurse provides immense value to patients and to healthcare organizations.
Think about how you might take advantage of this moment to advance your career if that is a goal of yours.
I have never been one to plan out my entire nursing career. I have always looked for roles that allowed me to use my strengths and personality traits to succeed; really, I’ve looked for roles where I can be my authentic self.
For example, I was more drawn to care of adults in nursing school, and I loved my medical-surgical clinical rotation so it wasn’t hard to discern that adult medical-surgical nursing would be a great place for me start my career.
A couple of years into my medical-surgical nursing practice, I felt like I needed a change and went to work in the perioperative setting. I found myself bored because the work was more monotonous and lacked the variety that I enjoyed in a medical-surgical setting.
Therefore, I quickly found myself back on a medical-surgical unit, where I became more engaged as a charge nurse and preceptor. I joined committees and used my voice to represent my peers in important situations with hospital leaders. As I combined medical-surgical nursing and leadership, I found fulfillment once again.
As I combined medical-surgical nursing and leadership, I found fulfillment once again.
I have stayed in medical-surgical nursing throughout my career—I obtained CMSRN certification, was a nurse manager on a medical-surgical unit and got progressively more involved with AMSN.
I am now considered a medical-surgical nursing expert in my consulting firm and get to represent nurses across the world as AMSN’s President. I have never felt the need to leave med-surg because I have always found a role that allowed me to stay close to my favorite specialty while advancing my career.
As you evaluate your career goals and think about where you want to practice throughout your nursing career, you may not have to make a huge change to get the fulfillment you seek.
You may want to practice in a different specialty, but I encourage you to take your medical-surgical background and credentials with you. They will serve you well wherever you practice, and AMSN will continue to support your career growth and help you to maintain your CMSRN even if you pursue other avenues.
One more thing I want you to consider as you take stock of your nursing career is how the next role or position may affect your personal life? Make sure you leave time for fun or build fun into the role.
For example, signing up for a mission trip allows you to travel and gain valuable experience serving an underserved population. Instead of changing roles altogether, you may want to try a new role on a PRN basis like substitute school nursing, community health nursing, or teaching nursing school clinicals to see if you like it enough to do it full time.
Whether you are happy where you are, or ready for a change, AMSN has a wealth of career resources to meet your goals including the CMSRN certification and micro-credentials in leadership and behavioral health with others on the way soon.