Re-Engage Your Passion for Nursing
Laura Wisniewski | Nursing Voice
Perhaps you always dreamed of becoming a nurse when you were younger or you may have been attracted to nursing as a second career. At some point you understood the true value that nurses contribute to the lives of patients, the community and humanity.
There were many hurdles to stride getting into and surviving nursing school. The competition was intense and schedule grueling. You persevered through the long nights studying, endless nursing care plans and exhaustive exams.
Graduation came and the state exam is over. You placed your diploma into a frame and moved on to the next phase of your career. Soon after you began your first job as a nurse. How long was it before disillusionment set in? What were the factors leading up to it? How did you deal with it then? How are you dealing with it now?
If you have been able to maintain a high level of passion recognize that many of your colleagues have not. They could benefit from your example however even the most highly engaged nurses become discouraged and may disengage at times.
Understand the cost of disengagement
Much is being written about the consequences of employee disengagement. What industry could be more impacted by this phenomenon than healthcare? Nursing disengagement leads to increased medical errors, absenteeism, increased turnover and burnout. The disengaged nurse negatively affects the decision of others to enter nursing. An engaged employee is more than twice as effective, productive and creative as their disengaged counterpart. A high level of engagement in the nursing workforce would profoundly effect patient outcomes and attract others to the profession.
Acknowledge that your passion may have dwindled
You were once proud of being a nurse and excited about all the new things you were learning. Sometimes it may seem easier not to remember. Perhaps looking back you now tell yourself, “I was so naïve.” Maturity and cynicism are not the same thing. Enthusiastic new nurses are often told by their role models; “You’ll get over it, I did.”
Simply to survive the current environment of healthcare you may have developed a thick coat of armor. Many nurses are neglecting self care further depleting their ability to cope. Some nurses are dealing with the stress in other unhealthy ways. Remember these are choices and you can also choose to react in healthy self empowering ways.