While an incredibly fulfilling job, nursing can also be a difficult profession at times, and there’s no shame in recognizing that nurses need support, too. Nurses spend their whole days and nights supporting and caring for their patients, but they also deserve support and care of their own.
In order to build and maintain a sustainable nursing career, nurses need support they can rely on. Luckily, there are many ways that nurses can support other nurses, join a nurses support group, and determine the best ways to support themselves. Here are six ways that nurses can support themselves and build the foundation for a career that lasts.
The popular advice for packing for your next job, especially if you’re travel nursing, is to only take what you need — and most people don’t think of home decor as being a vital part of a nurse’s support system.
But if you make each house you live in feel like home, then it can be a true sanctuary after a difficult shift. Having a place to truly unwind and be yourself will let you fully relax, which is necessary in a high-stress job like nursing.
Make it a point to stay in touch with the people you care about, including colleagues you may pass hurriedly in the hallway but not make time to chat with after work — nurses need to support nurses, too! Be intentional about maintaining your friendships and relationships. A person who loves you is the best form of support a nurse can ask for, and one of the most important aspects of the work-life balance.
Groups of nurses supporting nurses can help you find the right community of people who “get it.” Whether you have questions about different hospitals or just need to vent to people who know what it’s like, a community specifically for nurses to support nurses can be invaluable.
A nurses support group is a great resource for any nurse feeling tired, discouraged, or misunderstood by family or friends who can’t grasp the intricacies of the job. Get support from nurses who know exactly what you’re going through.
In order to have a wholly-fulfilling career, make sure you’re constantly improving and learning new things. Medical science is constantly evolving, and it pays off both emotionally and financially to have your finger on the pulse of what’s new.
Whether it’s picking up tips from other nurses supporting nurses, attending a (virtual) seminar, or enrolling in an ongoing class, continuing education is one of the best forms of support for nurses available.
The nurses who enjoy a sustainable and happy career in the nursing field are the ones who understand stress management. Managing stress properly can look like many things, whether it’s indulging in self-care on your day off, learning how to take a five-minute break when you need one, or meditating after each shift to put the day behind you. When you prioritize stress management, you’ll find more relief and more joy in each day.
When you’re busy doing the actual work of nursing, don’t make getting your next job more difficult than it needs to be. By outsourcing the job hunting for the perfect position to a medical staffing agency, you save your time and energy to focus on what’s truly important: caring for your patients.
Of course, it’s important to always review and understand your contracts, as well as do the paperwork that can only be done by you. But there are reputable staffing agencies who support nurses in their quest to find specific jobs in specific locations. Staffing agencies take the work of finding particular jobs off nurses’ hands, so by taking advantage of these services, you’ll have more free time to relax outside of your shifts.
Everyone, even nurses, need support. By building your own nurse support system, which might include being a part of a formal nurses support group, or simply an informal group of nurses supporting nurses, you can ensure you’re building a sustainable, fulfilling exciting career!