5 Things You Deserve From Your Nursing Career
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing roles are expected to grow by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, a much faster than average rate when compared to the average across all industries.
With new positions opening every day, find an employer that will value your contributions and give back what you need and want from your career. To that end, here are five things to keep in mind as you advance in your nursing journey.
1. Attention to Quality
While numbers alone can’t tell you if an opportunity is right for you, they can tell you a lot an organization and its direction. Unfortunately, there’s no master list that ranks all nursing workplaces.
However, quality metrics do exist, especially for hospitals and other larger care organizations. A great place to start is an organization’s National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) score.
2. Good Working Conditions
As a nurse, you may often work less than perfect hours and feel the pressure of high-stress responsibilities. But even highly demanding (and rewarding) positions should include measures to protect well-being.
A key area to pay attention to is time away from work. Make sure a position includes a reasonable amount of paid time off and allows for some flexibility if you need to adjust your schedule from time to time.
3. Fair & Desirable Pay
Nurses are drawn to helping people. It's part of why they chose nursing and aren't Wall Street bankers. But that doesn't mean you should minimize your worth or the importance of salary.
Find a position where you’re reasonably compensated according to your education, experience and responsibilities. Working in a job where you don't feel you're paid fairly is a sure way to burn out and resent that job down the road.
4. Work-Life Balance
While you may be dedicated to your work, it’s important to also consider your personal life when choosing a position. Do you want to live close to family? Do you need Saturdays off for your kids' soccer games?
Make a list of your ideal position, divided into "must haves" and "would be nice." You may not find one that meets every item, but having a clear guide to what you want will help ensure you won't make sacrifices you’ll later regret.
5. Opportunities for Growth
When you’re looking for a new job, it can be easy to think short-term. Do yourself a favor and instead think ahead from the start.
Look for information about advancement in recruitment materials. Ask about programs for professional development, whether it’s internal job shadowing or funding for continuing education. If your goal is to one day be in leadership, ask if those positions are filled internally.
Even if you're intentionally looking for a short-term position, it’s important to think about the big picture. You never know what lies ahead, and you don’t want to have to do the entire job searching process all over again in a couple of years.