When you’re feeling stagnant and not sure what the next steps should be in your nursing career, there’s nothing like having a to-do list of what might move the needle for you in the months to come. On episode 183 of The Nurse Keith Show, we delve into 10 ways to move the needle of your nursing career!

  1. Get on LinkedIn and social media: LinkedIn and social media are important for keeping your finger on the pulseof the profession and the healthcare industry, meeting people, and showcasing your expertise and leadership.
  2. Update your resume every 6 months: This is a basic need for any professional – an updated resume can make everything easier, from job applications to applying for a seat on the board of directors of your favorite non-profit or volunteering for an organization you admire.
  3. Take better care of yourself: There’s nothing like self-care and personal wellness to move the needle of your career. When you feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually, anything is possible. And when you feel totally stuck or unwell, your vision for your life can become quite narrow.
  4. Grow your network continuously and learn to do it effectively: colleagues, friends, family, even those who don’t work in healthcare are worthy of having as part of your network. Everyone knows someone – you never know what connections can happen when you’re open!
  5. Appreciate the career you’ve had and the work you’ve done to get where you are: This is American Thanksgiving this coming week, so it’s a great time to dig deep and feel gratitude for the amazing opportunities that nursing and your career have afforded you. In many countries, the dream of becoming a nurse or professional can be completely untenable – if you’re educated and gainfully, you’re better off than so many people on this troubled planet. Over half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day, and about 80% lives on less than $10 a day.
  6. Think creatively and take off your blinders to the possibilities: Creative thinking is the energy that will move the needle for you in so many ways. Feeling blocked about what’s possible won’t make novel things happen – creative thinking is the key to new ideas and opportunities!
  7. Make sure to have fun and enjoy your life: Having fun and experiencing leisure and pleasure are crucial to personal, spiritual, and emotional wellness. Many people work so hard and deny themselves pleasure and enjoyment – this should be a no-brainer, but our addiction to being “busy” in this culture can preclude us making time for the simple things like a walk in the park, reading a book in our favorite chair, or spending time at a museum or art gallery.
  8. Consider what you want in the short-, mid-, and long-term: A SWOT Analysis can help get you there: When we’re faced with life plans, it can all seem overwhelming, but when we break it all down into the short-, mid-, and long-term, this can help us to see the forest for the trees. When we divide our life, career, and plans into these stages, it’s easier to make thoughtful plans for our future.
  9. Consider certifications, trainings, or another degree: Sometimes, just sometimes, a certification, special training, or another degree will help you move forward. I don’t believe in going to school for the sake of going to school – I’m more supportive of pursuing something that has a fairly good promise of return, financial or otherwise. If a certification or degree will help you feel more skilled, knowledgeable, or otherwise empowered, it doesn’t have to be about money or a promotion – perhaps it’s just about feeling more professionally prepared for what you face every day in your work life.
  10. Work with a coach! Those of us who provide specialized coaching do so because we have specific types of expertise to share. A coach can help you to dig deep inside of yourself for your motivations and desires, identify and set goals, and then hold you accountable as you move forward towards what you truly want. Coaching is simply a tool to get you where you want to go with the guidance and support of someone who’s committed to your success!

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This episode of The Nurse Keith Show is brought to you by Rasmussen College and their online RN to BSN nursing program, which is designed for working registered nurses who want to earn their BSN while balancing family, work and school.

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Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses.

From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast.

Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at NurseKeith.com.