What would it look like if this fall you were a little more in control of your life as nurse, a little happier, a little more excited? If you are tired of just going through the motions and are ready to add some pep to your step, try implementing a couple of these ideas to your nursing care plan!

  1. Get clear on what you want. We are not single dimensional beings. We are multi-dimensional. We need to consider all aspects of self, including areas such as the spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and even financial. We set out a plan for our patients, so why not set out a plan for ourselves? What do you really want within each of these areas of your nursing life? Set an intention. If we don’t know where we want to be, how will we know when we are there? Take some time to get crystal clear on what you really want.
  2. Ask for what you need. It seems the closer people are to us, the more we think they should automatically know what we want and need. This is a false belief and only serves to aggravate both us and them. Just as we cannot be expected to anticipate all of our patients needs, it is no one else’s job to read our minds and figure out our needs. It is our responsibility to make our needs known and ask (kindly) for what we need. Come from a place of integrity. It’s more than everything we do, it’s who we are.
  3. Coming from a place of integrity means being truthful and honest. It means being reliable, it means coming from a place of trying to build rather than break, to help rather than hurt, connect rather than crumble. It is treating our patients the same, whether someone is watching or not. When you live your life with integrity, your reputation will precede you and when you err, it is more likely that you will be easily forgiven and people will give you the benefit of the doubt. Always come from a place of nursing integrity.
  4. Praise more. Look for the good in people first. Fight that habitual tendency to bark out the first negative thought. You may have to look deeper, harder or longer, but it will be worth it to find something genuine and kind to say. Most of our patients are not at their best when we serve them. They are having a rough time, and we can make a difference with only a few carefully chosen words. Same thing holds true in our personal life. Greet people like you are happy to see them, consider holding your tongue and decide if that criticism or harsh tone is really necessary. To improve every nursing relationship, praise more. Share. It’s just the right thing to do.
  5. Share your tangibles and your intangibles. Share your nursing knowledge, your expertise and your gifts. Help those who are stuck, give to those who have less than you, encourage those in whom you see potential (and even those in whom you don’t). Have no expectations, ask for nothing in return – just share.
  6. Be a problem solver. Shift from asking “How come…?” to asking, “How can…?” How can we find another way to look at this issue? How can we gather more information about this? How can we create something better? The masses can point out the issues, but the movers do something about them. Shift from being a problem observer, to being a problem solver. Gravitate towards what’s good for you. Our bodies naturally gravitate to what is good, and repel from what is bad. This goes for food, people and thoughts, too. Increase your physical activity by 10%, limit poor food choices, put up boundaries around those things in your life that are sucking the wind out of your sail. Gravitate toward the good! If you want to bring great things into your life as a nurse, start now, plan now, do it now! You will reap the benefits of nursing wellness, and so will others!