At Mayday Healthcare, we’re often asked about building a career as an agency nurse. Over time we’ve heard all sorts of advice about how to succeed in a nursing job, so here are our top nursing career success tips:
Establish your goals
What do you want to do this year? Set yourself an achievable target - something that’s in your control. Your agency nursing career success won’t come overnight, but aiming for realistic goals will motivate you and keep you moving forward on your path. Your goals, especially if you are a agency community nurse, can be whatever you see fit, whether it’s volunteering work, engaging with a new community or completing a community nursing training course.
Ask a mentor
A fantastic way to shape your future is by leveraging your professional nursing network and finding a mentor. Is there a nurse you admire? You could gain some incredibly valuable advice from a guide, coach or mentor. You’ll get first hand exposure to what your future might hold by talking to someone in a position that you aspire to be in one day. Develop your understanding and enrich your knowledge by finding a nursing mentor. Equally, is there someone in your work life that might benefit from your insights? Becoming a mentor yourself will be highly rewarding and may have an enormous impact on the future of someone more junior than yourself.
Find your tribe
Surround yourself with ambitious, driven people in the nursing community. There’s an idea that people can either be a “radiator”, someone who radiates positivity and motivation, or a “drain”, someone who saps energy and has a negative outlook. Consider your network - do you admire the nurses you mingle with?
Work on yourself
As an agency nurse, something you can do to maintain a healthy balance between work pressure and job satisfaction is to take time to learn. Focus on positivity, and invest in yourself, to grow and develop. Not only will this uphold your competency but also, challenging yourself can be truly rewarding. Working in a nursing job, you’ll have access to on-going education and training to stay up-to-date with treatments and techniques, so be sure to embrace these opportunities.
Nursing jobs are stressful. There’s no point in sugar coating it. Downtime is paramount to a healthy mind and body, particularly when working as a nurse. Make time for fun and find space in your schedule to establish a life beyond work. Despite being surrounded by people, nursing can be an isolating career at times, so call a friend, go for a coffee, or practice some self-care. There’s also never a wrong time to take up a new hobby! If you look after yourself, it will be much easier for you to in turn look after others. Some people try mindfulness exercises, yoga or meditation.
Be aware of your situation
Speaking of stress…another very important thing to take note of is your surroundings. It’s key to know the difference between tolerable stress, and toxic stress. Is your environment unbearable? Understand how to vocalise this with your team and don’t let it wear you down. As a nurse, stress can have an adverse affect on the quality of your patient care, and more crucially it can have repercussions on your own mental and physical health. Be aware of behaviours or signals that are indicators of stress, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
So here are some of our tips for driving your career forward and maintain your path to success. Thinking about a change of direction? Contact the Mayday Healthcare team today to discuss your next nursing job.