Nurse burnout happens. No nurse is immune. If you are a nurse you are at risk for burnout.
Remember how it felt to be a brand new nurse?
The only thing more shiny than your new stethoscope was your happy face.
I diagnosed myself with nurse burnout when I started thinking that driving my car off a cliff sounded better than going to work.
I was able to get back to my nursing happy place and I am in love with nursing again.
Here are some ways to get you back to happy-dancing your way to work.
1. BLOG! I love it and I’m not the only nurse on the interwebs! If you are not a writer then read nursing blogs. There are all flavors of nursing blogs, from informative to hysterical.
2. Go back to school. Getting your BSN, MSN or DNP will make you more marketable and open up more options.
Going back to school will reenergize you about nursing.
You will read a LOT about new nursing research, which will get you out of a nursing rut.
You will be so busy making powerpoint presentations and writing discussion posts, you will have no time to think/complain about work.
3. Get certified in your specialty. If you are burned out then you probably have been a nurse more than 2 years. Congrats!
That means that you are qualified to become certified in your specialty.
There is a certification for just about everything nursing related.
Maintaining certification means that you will need to keep up continuing education in your speciality, which will prevent you from becoming stagnate.
4. Take your vacation days!! Everyone needs a break. Nursing is stressful.
If you don’t take vacation for yourself, then take it for your patients. Being a relaxed and refreshed nurse will benefit them.
5. Celebrate wins. We are always focused on what we need to improve and what we are doing wrong.
When you or your team have a win, celebrate!
6. Take some time for yourself. Nurses know how important self-care is, but its difficult to find the time. Find it!
7. Join a committee. Make changes. Give your input. Does your hospital have shared governance or unit representation to make decisions? If yes, join. If no, start it! You can change nursing practice.
8. Be active. Exercise can help improve mood and is a great outlet for work frustrations.
9. Go to a Nursing Conference.
There is nothing better than going to a conference full of nurses. People think that ComicCon is weird, but they have never been to a nursing conference! We have crazy nurse fun!
It is a great time and it is a place where you are reminded why the heck you became a nurse.
10. Spend some time with your work buddies away from the call lights and nurse rounds.
11. Attend a continuing education course or webinar about a topic that interests you.
Will you be inspired by experts talking about the topics that they love.
12. Quit. Not nursing, but quit your job. Sometimes you really don’t have nurse burnout, but job burnout.
One of the best things about being a nurse is the vast opportunities you have for employment.
If you need a change of pace, location or specialty do it. Give a proper notice and leave on good terms.
You never know when you may work with those nurses again. (It will happen.)
Nursing is a rewarding profession. If you feel yourself getting disenchanted, actively try to get the magic back.
If you are successful you will be back to the new grad feeling which is good for you and your patients.
How do you beat the nurse blues? Leave your suggestions in comments.
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© 2015, Carrie Sue Halsey. All rights reserved.