Nursing Professional Development Week is filled with possibilities. While professional development practitioners support nurses on the frontline throughout the year, it’s this week that the healthcare community gets to focus attention on the value these professionals provide.
This week also coincides with the back to school season, a time for fresh starts, excitement, and renewed organization.
You may be a caregiver to a child who is back in school and/or you may be heading back to the classroom yourself to further your nursing education. You recognize that pushing the reset button is crucial to growing in your professional life. You appreciate the support of professional development practitioners year round and are inspired to set yourself and students under your care up for success.
Let’s CareRev up your efforts and brand this September as your new January!
Resetting your professional goals
Kicking off your season of renewed professional improvement in September brings you to an exciting intersection: the energy of the summer and the reflection of the fall.
- Reevaluate your apps: There’s an app for almost everything. But have you downloaded the ones that work best for you and your professional development? Maybe a new app with a medication guide would be helpful. Or maybe an app that shows patients how to save money on prescriptions could help you deepen your bedside connections. An app that allows you to create your own schedule could give you more time in your day and opportunities to take on nurse entrepreneurship. (CareRev has you covered there!) Take stock of what’s working well and what else you need and then devote one hour to app clean-up on your phone.
- Make your routines more efficient: Are you taking extra steps while checking in with patients or charting? Could you swap scrolling social media on your downtime and watch a 30-minute webinar on your specialty once a week? Think about when you could tackle responsibilities in shorter, more consistent increments and when you could focus more on one task at a time. Make a list of how you could revise your routines in a simple notebook or your phone and then implement one small change each shift.
- Ask for support: You just clocked in for the day. Your busy morning will start with assessments, checking vital signs and blood work, administering medications, and talking with patients and their families prior to afternoon discharge. You may hesitate to reach out for help, but task yourself with accepting it’s OK - and expected - to do so. One unit member’s help can give you back much needed time in your day, cut down on your stress, and help you deliver quality care. Bonus: you can repay the favor to your colleague on a day they need it.
- Put yourself first: September brings the beginning of flu season. As a nurse, you know that when you catch the flu you risk passing it on to your colleagues and to patients. But you may feel guilty requesting time off, especially if your facility is facing a staffing shortage. If you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t take care of anyone else. Focusing on how to best prevent health issues such as the flu - and properly caring for yourself during the flu - will help you bring your best self to each shift.
Taking stock of your personal goals
The season of fresh starts doesn’t stop at professional improvement. September can be the perfect time to get clarity on personal goals and put wheels in motion that make those goals your new reality.
- Make healthy choices each day: This can feel easier said than done, but it’s OK to take it one step at a time. Pack lunches for yourself and your loved ones with foods that boost your immune system. Make time for preventive care. Set an optimal sleeping schedule that best suits your lifestyle with the help of sleeping apps. Try adding just one extra hour to your sleep each night to strengthen your immune system. Give yourself permission to prioritize managing your stress.
- Build healthy habits at home: You’ve got projects you want to complete, educational milestones you want to pass, and loved ones who need your support. Set boundaries with your time and efforts. Be present off the clock; once you clock out for the day, leave talk of work at work. Find an interest that declutters your mind and inspires you to take action on those projects and milestones.
- Focus on your needs: The holiday season will soon be upon us. You’re worried about balancing the expectations of loved ones while prioritizing your mental health needs. Reach out for expert support in developing well-being techniques and life skills. (CareRev has you covered here. Our partnership with the Ginger app provides professionals on our platform 24/7/365 access to mental health via smartphone.)
- Create comfortable spaces: This doesn’t have to be about choosing the perfect lighting or ordering that big cozy chair you saw on TikTok. This can be about creating spaces that inspire you, keep you organized, and challenge you to focus more on your well-being. For your home, this can be a simple space devoted specifically to your interests. For your car, this can include a front seat, back seat, or trunk organizer that helps keep things in place for you and your loved ones - pets included.
In the spirit of recognizing the exceptional impact nursing professional development practitioners make each day, let’s remember these words from Florence Nightingale:
“Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.”
Our platform is built by a nurse for nurses just like you who are looking to reclaim their careers. We stand ready this September to support your professional and personal needs as a modern nurse.