6 Pieces of Career Advice Nurses Should Keep To Themselves

I have literally heard every single one of these things at one point in my career or another. Although intentions may be good, people should keep this kind of advice to themselves!

Don’t go back to school. I have seriously heard this on multiple occasions! Well-meaning people will actually tell other healthcare professionals not to go back to school. They’ll site all kinds of reasons—you have a family, you have small kids, it will take up too much of your time. What is so infuriating is that no one—not even once—said this to my husband while he was in law school. But people continue to say this to me frequently. This is one of the biggest injustices we do to each other as healthcare professionals. All of us should be encouraging each other to further our education.

Work overtime. Don’t do it! Don’t get use to an extra day here and there. The money is addictive and before you know it, it will be your new norm to work 5 twelve-hour shifts a week. I grew up with a mother (who is also a nurse) who constantly told me to work. You’re young, she’d say. So I would work any and every extra day I could. If only I could go back…

Certification isn’t that important. That’s right, I’ve actually heard people say this because “we don’t get more money for being certified.” This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Although money is important, certification is about personal professional growth and development. Every nurse should be certified because it’s better for you and your professional practice. If you have ever told another nurse this, hang your head in shame! Just kidding…but next time, consider encouraging your coworker to get certified (and go ahead and do it too)!

Get away from the bedside. Straight-up, I know bedside nursing is hard. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting and charting never gets easier. But instead of encouraging each other to get away from the bedside, maybe we should focus on making bedside nursing a breeze. That wasn’t a joke…anything is possible!

Work a job with no weekends and no holidays. Please remember I said this: working a job with no weekends and no holidays sounds like a dream-come-true (for most people). But if that means working five days a week, be careful what you wish for!! Trading no weekends and no holidays for five work days during the week is no joke. It means getting creative with doctor appointments and parties at your children’s school.

You need to work on a medical-surgical unit before attempting to work in a specialty. I know I’ll get blasted for this one, but seriously—give me a break! Although medical-surgical experience won’t hurt you, there’s no reason why you have to have it before going into a specific specialty. The nursing process is the same regardless of what unit you’re on. If you know you’re destined for OB, why torture yourself with a population you’re not passionate about?!

Until my next delivery <3

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