Intention, Attention, and Your Nursing Career | The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 159

As a career coach for nurses, I frequently hear from nurses who feel they’ve been ignoring their own nursing career development for far too long and they’re ready to give it the attention it deserves. Do you regularly give your nursing career focused intention and attention? If not, how can you begin?

Paying attention to your career

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The accompanying blog post that inspired this episode of The Nurse Keith Show can be found here. Here are a few quotes from that post to whet your appetite to read the whole thing:

It’s kind of a cliche to say that energy flows where attention goes, but sometimes cliches are undeniably true and simply overused to the point where they lose some of their power and meaning.

If you spend your working hours focused on how dysfunctional your management is and how terrible your colleagues are, that level of attention to the negative will keep you locked in a pretty cynical place. Likewise, if your marriage is falling apart and you have little personal bandwidth for considering what to do about your career, then your “attention hog” of a marriage will just continue to dominate your consciousness and your energy.

Attention is a potentially powerful force in the ongoing feeding and watering of your nursing career (and your life, in general, of course). You can choose to focus your attention on physical health, exercise, parenting, gardening, or any other areas where you want your energy to flow.

No matter how focused your attention may be, we each have varying attention spans for certain areas of our lives and careers. For example, when it comes to earning CEUS, you may have precious little attention for the kind of learning that feels as if it’s mindlessly done in order to renew a certification or license. Then again, working with your nursing mentor may be a place where you apply rapt attention and personal resources.

Attention can be short, moderate, or sustained in nature, and one way to get your attention to pay more dividends is to truly imbue it with your most specific and targeted intentions.

Apropos of your nursing career, the cultivation of both attention and intention is paramount. As we’ve discussed above, your attention can only be fully sustained when your intentions are fully realized and clear.

Energy does indeed flow where attention goes, and if you’re dwelling on the negative in relation to your nursing career and/or personal life, those negative aspects will remain your psycho-emotional focus. However, if you can change your focus and bring your attention to other key areas of your life in need of energy (e.g.: your nursing career), you can then use your crystal clear intentions to move those areas of attention in the direction of true change.

Intention + attention are the keys to the equation — are you ready to add up the ingredients and catalyze change and growth in the interest of your nursing career?

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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.

As of May of 2018, Keith is the host of Mastering Nursing, an interview-style podcast showcasing inspiring, forward-thinking nurse thought leaders and innovators.

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

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