Today’s nursing field offers so many different avenues and opportunities, that wanting to change the focus of your current nursing job is not so unusual. But sometimes, as with any job, we find ourselves needing to make a change to our current career path. If you can identify with any of the following, perhaps it’s time to consider a nursing job change (in no particular order):
1-Your nursing career goals are no longer supported. Nursing jobs are available in so many clinical and non-clinical areas, that if you’re ready to try something new, you have to be in an environment that can support your goals. For example, being a nurse specialist in a private cardiology office, may not offer the opportunity to become a general patient advocate in a hospital.
2-Your job is eliminated. Remember—health care is a business, and most nurse employers are usually tied to a bigger, corporate structure. Unfortunately, even with the nursing shortage always in the news, nursing jobs are not immune from corporate downsizing, mergers, or restructuring. The good news, however, is that a layoff is a perfect time to reevaluate your career path, or find a nursing job that provides a new challenge and opportunities.
3-Your personal needs have changed. When you started your current nursing job, perhaps you were in a different place in life—i.e., single, didn’t mind a long commute, long hours were easy to manage, and your salary was adequate. But maybe things have changed, and you have other life obligations that require you to manage your time and money differently. Likewise, maybe your need to be in one place has changed and you’re ready to spread your wings and become a travel nurse. Everyone’s life goes through changes, and nursing is one of the few careers that offers great flexibility to meet your personal needs.
4-Your daily work environment is affecting your well-being. This one is tricky: has your work place gone through changes (personnel or policy); or has your tolerance to certain job-related stresses become less manageable? Whether the environment has negatively changed, or you are experiencing some burnout in your current nursing job, work-related stress has a very real effect on your health. It may be time to remove yourself from a situation and pursue a different nursing job option.
Your reasons for wanting to make a nursing job change must be based on your career goals and how you want to live your life. But don’t jump quickly from one bad situation into another! Some say we spend at least 1/3 of our adult life working at our jobs, and finding that work/life balance is not always a quick fix. If you need to make your working hours more rewarding, invest the time to find the best job that meets both your professional and personal needs.