On episode 67 of The Nurse Keith Show, we discuss

the need to pivot in your nursing career.

Back in June of 2015, I wrote a blog post entitled,”Are You Ready to Pivot in Your Nursing Career“. There’s much to say about the need for career change when the time is ripe, and that blog post has received a lot of traction since it first launched.

Are You Ready to Pivot in Your Nursing Career?

Here’s an excerpt:

The notion of “pivoting” appears to be a buzzword in some business and entrepreneurial circles these days. Even though I tend to shy away from such ubiquitous viral terms and phrases, this one can indeed fit the bill for nurses and healthcare professionals who want to remain relevant in a constantly shifting marketplace and industry. We’re not just in it for the money, but earning a living is important, and knowing how to stay in the game is a crucial aspect of being a 21st-century professional.

Remaining Marketable

Do you want to remain marketable in a shifting landscape? If so, the advice in that blog post is universally applicable:

So, if you’re a nurse and you want to remain savvy, marketable, and up-to-date in the job marketplace, how do you do it? Do you sit back and let your career just happen to you? Or, do you take the bull by the stethoscope and make it happen?

If you’re a surgeon who has a particular specialty, do you rest on your laurels and do the same thing the same way forever? No, you continue to remain abreast of changes in your area of practice, pivoting and shifting with proven evidence-based approaches that improve your efficiency and outcomes.

Remaining marketable is an ongoing process; it’s not something to simply leave to chance, no matter your industry or profession. If you need to earn a living, staying relevant and up-to-date isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Staying Relevant

Staying relevant means being willing to pivot when there’s a sea change in your profession.

Are you having a hard time finding a job in your chosen area of nursing practice because you don’t yet have a bachelor’s degree? Maybe it’s time to go back to school.

Has your entrepreneurial venture lost some steam because the nature of the market has changed and you’ve continued to do the same thing while experiencing diminishing returns?

Staying relevant has to do with reading the writing on the wall, keeping your ear to the rails, and talking to (and listening to) other individuals who have more knowledge and experience than you do.

Here’s an example of how I pivoted:

When I first began offering coaching for nurses, I was almost entirely focused on health and wellness, work-life balance, and burnout prevention and recovery. No matter how determined I was to help nurses improve their well-being, nurses continued to ask me for career advice, not health and wellness support. Even though I really wanted to impact the nursing profession by coaching nurses to care for themselves more assiduously, the feedback I received from the marketplace was that the product I was offering was not in as high demand as I originally thought it would be.

So, what did I do? I pivoted. I was already doing career coaching for some of my clients, and I dug right in and gained as much expertise as I could in the areas of support that my clients were calling for. I became a Linked In expert, studied salient and contemporary information on resumes, cover letters, and interview skills, and I created individualized programs that have proven highly successful in helping my nurse clients in achieving their professional goals.


You can ignore the Universe’s messages for only so long, but you generally do so at your own peril. Learning to pivot at appropriate times is crucial to your continued relevance, whether you’re a nurse, lawyer, entrepreneur, salesperson, mechanic, or doctor. You want to support your family and keep money flowing into your back account, right? If so, keep abreast of your profession, and listen deeply to what’s happening in your neck of the professional world.

Listen to the voices that you hear. Pay attention to the ever-evolving zeitgeist of your industry. Know what other people are thinking, and if you work in an evidence-based profession, follow the evidence when it pertains to you and your area of expertise.

Pivoting is not necessarily turning on a dime; it’s steering the ship along the path that feels most relevant. You may need to turn on a dime in order to escape the sabertooth tiger that’s nipping at your heels, but most pivoting in the areas of business and professional development can involve the luxury of thoughtful and conscientious action in the interest of forward movement and professional success.

The NNBA and Networking Nurses

In the fall of 2015, I recorded episode 29 of the Nurse Keith Show from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I was glowing from a glorious time at the annual conference of the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA). Well, from October 14th to 16th of this year, I’ll be back at the 2016 NNBA conference with bells on, and I’m super psyched that Kevin Ross and Elizabeth Scala—my partners in crime at RNFM Radio—will also be with me.

The National Nurses in Business Association 2016 annual conferenceJust as a heads up, the three of us from RNFM Radio will be putting on a pre-conference workshop where attendees will be able to learn the basics of podcasting, and actually go home with all of the information they need to actually launch a podcast on a shoestring. There are other great pre-conferences on the schedule, as well, but we obviously want you to come to ours because it’s going to be fantastic. Check it all out here.

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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