Use these 5 questions to help you decide if it’s time for a new nursing job
If you’re constantly referring to your #NurseProblems, maybe it’s time to consult this list.
Nursing is a tough career, one where your work environment can make or break your day. But are you having a bad day or are you experiencing something much worse?
Is your life filled with… #NurseProblems?
If that hashtag is on the rise in your life—and depending on how you answer the following questions—it might be high time you start investigating some #NurseSolutions—as well as a new job.
1. Do you feel appreciated at work?
Nursing is not easy work, but it should be fulfilling and beneficial. When it’s neither, you’ve got some choices to consider.
Are coworkers respectful of your time, or do they leave you to cover for them more often than you’d like? Are you given positive feedback or recognition for your accomplishments? Can you remember the last time you had a raise?
Your job may be hard, but if you feel truly appreciated at work, it may be worth staying put. Being shown a little appreciation for what you do goes a long way. If you are not feeling appreciated or, even worse, if you’re feeling underappreciated, it may be time to start looking elsewhere.
2. Are you bored?
Boredom at work is usually linked to a lack of challenges or intellectual stimulation. Knowing your job so well that you could do it in your sleep isn’t a bad thing, and most people prefer working in an environment that is stable and consistent. However, if you continually find that you are not learning or doing anything new, a job can get old really fast.
If you are bored, ask yourself if your job has opportunities for learning or growth, or if there are other projects or tasks you could take on. If there are not, you may want to find a job that offers more variety or opportunity.
3. Do you like your schedule?
Although most doctors’ offices run an 8-to-5, Monday-through-Friday schedule—these hours don’t work for everyone. And as a nurse, you could potentially work only on the weekends, take three 12-hour shifts throughout the week, or even choose a part-time job working less than 30 hours a week.
Compromises always have to be made, but one of the benefits of nursing is finding a schedule that works for you. If you don’t like your current schedule, your first step may be talking with your boss about a change. If that’s not possible, you can start looking for a new job with your ideal schedule in mind.
4. Is your compensation where you want it to be?
Everyone wants to make more money. But when it comes to compensation, it is important to look beyond your salary and consider benefits such as time off, holidays, your schedule, retirement planning and other, less-tangible perks like how well you get along with your co-workers. You also need to be reasonable about what you can make as a nurse based on where you live and what specialty you work in.
In 2015, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $67,490, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Your salary depends on the facility at which you work and the region you live in; the highest-paid nurses (NPs) made $97,990 per year, while the lowest-paid nurses made less than $45,000 per year. However, with many opportunities for advancement through continuing education, nursing remains a steady, well-paying career.
If you decide your salary isn’t where it needs to be, you will likely find that it is easier to get a pay raise by taking a new job rather than relying on your current employer to give you a big raise.
5. Are you burnt out?
The key to preventing burnout is to know the warning signs. If you feel sick and exhausted all the time or dread the approaching workday, you might be experiencing the first stages of burnout. Other warning signs include insomnia; feeling despondent or unappreciated, as if nothing you do makes a difference; lack of motivation; and insensitivity with patients.
Before you make any decisions chat with a manager or career counselor to get a sense of your burnout level. Through research, once you diagnose yourself with a case of burnout, you can take action to reverse the process. Channel what energy you have into your job search. You’ll still have to maintain your current work responsibilities—we get that nurses can’t just go through the motions at work—but do the best you can while on the clock, and save your best when it comes to revamping your resume, networking with colleagues and applying to new jobs.
Eric Darienzo is president of RNnetwork, a travel nurse staffing company based in Boca Raton, Florida.
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