Have you ever done a SWOT analysis? It’s a common tool used by professionals in a variety of industries, and it can be applied to any aspect of your life, not just your nursing career. On this episode of The Nurse Keith Show, we explore how to use a SWOT analysis to examine your career, what you want out of it, what’s holding you back, and how to leverage your career in a positive direction.

SWOT analysisWhen conducting a SWOT analysis of your nursing career and lifestyle/workstyle, there are various ways to go about it, but the most important thing is to utilize the SWOT acronym to examine your life and career from the multiple perspectives of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. All of these are valuable mines of data about your life, your work, your personality, and how to leverage them in a positive, forward-thinking way that will enhance both your life and your career.

American Sentinel UniversityIn a SWOT analysis, you use it as an exercise to identify the strengths you possess, the weaknesses that limit you, the opportunities that exist for you to take advantage of, and any possible threats against which you should make plans. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:


  • What’s working?
  • Where do your strengths lie?
  • Can you toot your own horn?
  • Take the opportunity to elucidate what’s awesome about you/your business/etc
  • Own your strengths
  • Recognize where your career/your business fire on all cylinders
  • What’s the power behind your personal brand?


  • What could you improve?
  • What are your limitations?
  • Which activities are in conflict with your natural style?
  • What are others likely to see as weaknesses?
  • What tasks or responsibilities do you dread?
  • Where do you feel over-committed?
  • You can find those with strengths that bolster your weaknesses and help you.
  • A weakness can be a strength in cognito
  • As a clinician, look at your strengths; is one of your clinical weaknesses an area you really want to grow and change? Why is it important to you?
  • If you feel stuck and there’s a clinical skill deficit that’s holding you back, learn that skill if you’re moved to do so.
  • If you feel you “should” learn a particular skill but aren’t really interested in it in your heart, why bother?


  • How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
  • What knowledge or experience could you gain to address current weaknesses?
  • What resources do you have available to you to increase your capacity to act?
  • How can your peers help you?
  • Has your business idea become too “precious”? Has it ossified?
  • Are you a wide open book, open to unforeseen opportunities?
  • In clinical practice, “the way it’s always been done” can hold us back and keep us from innovating. Why are things being done in a certain way? Is there evidence for doing things differently?
  • Trying something new is an opportunity


  • What trends could harm you?
  • What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?
  • Are you examining yourself deeply enough to see what’s what? Self-awareness is key!
  • Financial stuff is often an issue. Money is a tool. Is it working for you? How is the economy impacting you, your family, your career, and/or your business?
  • Are you feeling blocked and limited by competition?
  • Are you held back in your career choices by the need for health insurance or a 401k?

There’s so much more, and listening to the podcast will elucidate these issues more deeply!


American Sentinel UniversityThis episode of The Nurse Keith Show is sponsored by the good folks at American Sentinel University. As a fully accredited online university, American Sentinel offers a variety of courses related to healthcare and nursing, including RN to BSN, and five MSN programs: Informatics, Case Management, Nursing Education, Nursing Management, and Infection Prevention and Control. They offer an RN to BSN/MSN, a program, as well as two tracks for those wishing to pursue a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. American Sentinel also offers a certificate in Prevention and Control that assists clinicians in acquiring the knowledge they need to develop best practices for infection prevention and control. Please visit AmericanSentinel.edu/NurseKeith for more information.


The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by Tim Hallowell of The PodcastingGuy.com; social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

Please consider leaving a review of The Nurse Keith Show over on iTunes; this helps more nurses and healthcare professionals find the show and benefit from the information being shared. Just visit iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for The Nurse Keith Show under podcasts, and leave a review, and voila. Thanks!

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 NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

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

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 currently writes for MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline.com, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

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. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives.

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