The shock of not landing your dream nursing job

Stories - Theme New NurseWhen we are in nursing school, we all have an idea of where we would like to be when we become a nurse. Some of us dream of the ICU or the ambulances blaring up to the ER or the intense concentration of the OR.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen in real life. In reality, even your ideal job may not be what you initially envisioned.

When you are looking for your ideal job and don’t get it, you may feel demoralized. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are stuck in a job you don’t love.

Keep looking

To quote Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.” If you want a job in the ICU, then keep circulating your resume around.

It may feel like you are beating your head against a wall, but you never know when an opportunity may appear. Don’t give up, no matter how unlikely it seems that you will get the job you really want.

So, keep resumes out there, call nurse recruiters, and scour the internet for jobs that meet your needs. It will take a lot of work, but it is worth it to find the job you have a passion for.

Learn what you can from a less than ideal job

Everyone seems to put down nursing home jobs and working med-surg. Little do nurses know that these are some of the best places to learn how to actually be a working nurse.

It’s a shame that no one wants to work these specialties anymore, but the short staffing and pressures of the job make it less than ideal in some people’s minds. You can learn so much from working on a med-surg floor that will translate to ICU, ER, or anywhere you have in mind.

Instead of focusing on the negatives of being in a job that is not exactly what you want, focus on what the positives are. No nursing gig is 100 percent enjoyable all the time, and learning to deal with this pressure is something that will make you a better nurse.

Seriously assess what your “ideal job” is

You may really want to go into a certain specialty, but is it really what you want? In the ICU, you only have two patients, but those patients are so time intensive that you are literally running the whole shift.

That may not be what you want. Perhaps working with residents you see every day and bringing some light into their lives is really what you want to do.

The fact is that you probably don’t really know what your ideal job actually is. Everyone has a dream of what nurses in other specialties are doing, how they are having so much fun.

The truth is that you may already be in your ideal job and not know it. Of course, pursue what you want, what your passion is, but don’t take your “interim” job for granted.

You never know where you are meant to be.

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