The 10,000-Foot View Of Your Nursing Career, The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 106

On April 24th, 2017, I updated and republished a blog post entitled, “The 10,000-Foot View Of Your Nursing Career.”

The 10,000-foot view — the bird’s eye view — can be expansive, and it can also give you a touch of vertigo. And when we can’t see the forest for the trees in our nursing careers, we need to get in that hot air balloon and get above it all so that we can take in the expanse and see our career in its entirety, away from the daily muck and mire.


I wrote:

When contemplating your career, there’s a lot
of detail to consider: your resume, cover letters, thank you letters, Linked In profile, interview skills, the employers you’re interested in contacting, etc. These details can feel overwhelming, and you need to tackle them one at a time. Otherwise, the breadth of depth of your career to-do list can feel like too much of an uphill battle that even Sisyphus would consider avoiding.

For some, the details are a comfort. One day, you tackle the resume; the next day, you make sure your cover letter is flawless. And the rest of the week, you begin filling out the new job search spreadsheet that you created to track your applications. Don’t have one? Better get started!

Like I said, vertigo is possible, but there’s so much to do and see.

The 10,000-foot view examines where you’ve been over the arc of your career, where you currently are, and where you may want to go, no matter how circuitous or confusing the potential path (or paths) may appear at this point in time.

From this larger perspective, you don’t just ponder how much you like or dislike your current job or area of nursing specialization. Rather, you examine:

  • Where you’d like to be in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, or beyond
  • Your level of satisfaction with your career so far
  • The overarching feeling of accomplishment that you’ve experienced
  • The things you still want to accomplish, no matter how seemingly far-fetched
  • Your career “exit strategy”
  • What you hope to gain from this career path over the years to come
  • And so much more

In your need to pay the bills, put the kids through college, pay off student loans, and get enough sleep, the 10,000-foot view may be more than you’re willing to take on right now, and that’s fine. However, bear in mind that it’s always there waiting for you, even if you ignore it. The bigger perspective can’t really be dismissed forever, even if you keep your eyes covered or your head under a rock. 

Nurse, this episode is all about finding your bigger picture, seeing from that bird’s eye view. Read that original blog post, listen to the podcast, and begin plotting how you’re going to lift your eyes to the horizon, see the forest for the trees, and move your nursing career forward.

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Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith was previously the resident nursing career expert at

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.”

He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and has written for,, MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline, StaffGarden, Working Nurse Magazine, and other online platforms.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur.

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