Blue graphic, stethoscope with heart | Passion for nursing

7 Ways to Rediscover Your Passion for Nursing

How can you rediscover your passion for nursing? Do you feel like your nursing job has become just another role to fill and a list of boxes to check? Are you continually waiting until you can give your report, clock out, and go home? 

You pursued a nursing career because you wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, but now you’ve lost your passion for nursing. Long days, demanding shifts, difficult patients, staffing issues, and toxic work environments can all strip the motivation you started with as a nurse.

It’s no surprise that more and more nurses are losing their passion for nursing. It can be difficult to feel fulfilled at work when it isn’t what you pictured nursing to be, and you’re exhausted and burned out. Maybe you even find yourself saying, I don’t want to be a nurse anymore.

When these feelings come and you’re ready to call it quits, remember that an unsatisfying nursing career doesn’t have to be your reality. In fact, this is not how it’s supposed to be. 

Instead, take this as a sign that something needs to change. Step back and reevaluate how you can rediscover your passion for nursing again!

What to Do When You Don’t Want to Be a Nurse Anymore

First, you must figure out why you don’t want to be a nurse anymore. At one point you felt called to be a nurse and went through nursing school. You devoted your time, money, and energy into pursuing your career. What happened? Get to the root of why you lost your passion for nursing.

Odds are that you still love being a nurse and you just don’t like certain things about your current nursing job. Being overworked as a result of inadequate staffing, dealing with a toxic work environment, missing out on family time because of your scheduled hours, losing sleep, the high stress environment, or lack of support from management are just a few reasons nurses lose their passion.

Once you know why your passion for nursing has dwindled, then you can find solutions and make changes that you can control. Maybe it’s saying no when management asks you to work overtime, talking with nurse management to change your scheduled hours, switching to a less stressful specialty, finding a facility that treats their nurses well, or even managing nurse burnout head on.

Nurse in blue scrubs charting

7 Ways to Rediscover Your Passion for Nursing

You CAN rediscover your passion for nursing. It just might take some trial and error to see what works for you! Try out some of these ideas below and experiment with different ways to bring about that initial love you had for nursing. 

1. Write a Nursing Bucket List

Make a nursing bucket list to get inspired and excited for all that you can accomplish as a nurse. Write down what comes to mind and add it, then review it every year to see what you can check off. Here are some ideas!

  • Obtain a Master’s Degree in Nursing
  • Speak at a Ted Talk event
  • Start a nurse blog
  • Become a nurse practitioner
  • Mentor a new nurse
  • Join a nursing organization
  • Volunteer at nursing events
  • Get promoted to a management position

2. Set Career Goals

If you’re feeling stagnant and want to be challenged more, find ways to move forward in your nursing career. Having goals can push you to excel and become the best version of a nurse you can be!

Switch to a different speciality or department that you’ve always wanted to try. Gain more experience by taking a new class or a professional development course. Set out to acquire a specific certification or pursue a higher degree.

3. Work with a Nurse Coach or Mentor

There are plenty of nurses who have walked in your shoes and experienced similar feelings as you. It might be a good idea to reach out to a trusted veteran nurse and ask if you could meet for coffee once a month. Ask questions, gain insight, and have them hold you accountable in preventing nurse burnout and furthering a nursing career that you’re happy with. There’s also nurse coaches and mentor programs online that do one-on-one meetings, courses, and even group sessions that can be encouraging.

4. Attend a Nursing Conference or Retreat

Taking the time to invest in yourself can ignite your passion for nursing again. At conferences or retreats you’re surrounded by other nurses and like-minded people who value their career and want to push themselves in positive ways. You can learn from speakers and educational workshops, acquire valuable information, find new opportunities through networking, and much more!

5. Prioritize Days Off

Rest, relaxation, and restoration do wonders for your nursing career. If you’re not taking the time to recover between shifts, you’ll burnout. You’ll inevitably start dreading your work as a nurse because it doesn’t feel like a choice, but rather a burden.

It’s also important to pursue life outside of work. If you’re balancing your work with enjoyable activities, hobbies, and time with family and friends on your days off, then you’ll be more eager to return to work refreshed and ready to jump back into action. 

6. Reflect 

Every now and then it’s helpful to reflect on your nursing career so that you’re reminded of why you do what you do. Recall moments and stories so that you can reminisce, get inspired, and regain hope.

You can do this on your own and write in a journal, or you can bond with fellow nurses by sharing together to remember why you started and why you stay. Here are sample questions you can turn to.

  • When did you know you wanted to become a nurse?
  • What is your favorite memory of nursing school?
  • Do you remember the first patient you cared for? What was it like?
  • What was your most emotional moment as a nurse? Scariest moment? Funniest moment?
  • What patient had a big impact on you?
  • Who do you look up to as a nurse?
  • What has nursing taught you as a person?
  • What do you want to be remembered for as a nurse?

7. Consider Per Diem Nursing

Per diem nursing is a great solution if you’re feeling overworked and have a loss of passion in your current job. Per diem nursing allows for flexibility and work-life balance as well as options to work in a variety of settings and gain experience in different nursing areas. Take your career into your own hands with per diem nursing and choose when and where you work!

Rediscover Your Passion for Nursing with nurseIO

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, but as with any career, it’s your job to continue making sure you’re happy with where you are! 

nurseIO is a web and app based healthcare technology platform that connects per diem healthcare professionals to open shifts at local facilities. Sign up today and reignite your passion for nursing using the nurseIO app!

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