You all know that’ nurse. The one who seems to have endless energy. The one who meets challenges head-on and with optimism and only positive energy. The one who manages to maintain a balance between a blooming career and her life outside of work.

So, what is the secret?

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In nursing, your career can go many directions. Some nurses find their job extremely fulfilling and rewarding and feel pride and joy in each day. Others struggle with the lifestyle, constantly feeling exhausted, anxious and pushed to their limits. What’s the difference between the two?

One of the biggest factors in career satisfaction is owning your life. What actually does this mean? When you ‘own your life’, you have a sense of control over where you are in your nursing career and where you’re headed. It’s not about controlling every little thing you possibly can, but rather about having enough autonomy to keep yourself on the path that you want to be on. You are in a place where you direct your career, and your job doesn’t control you by completely taking you away from other aspects of life that are essential for your happiness.

Flexibility is one of the most sought-after factors that applicants in the healthcare industry look for when applying to jobs, yet it’s one of the most difficult things to secure in real time.

Imagine having the luxury of being able to take time off during the holidays, spend a month traveling abroad every year, or stay home with the kids during summer, all while building a nursing career that continues to progress and provide you with professional development. Having that flexibility is the secret of the happy nurse. Impossible, you say? Thorough research will tell you that some companies offer much more flexibility than others. Do your homework. They exist.

Many nurses forget that they are in a landscape where healthcare facilities need them, meaning that there are often more opportunities available than they realize. If you are stuck in a rut, perhaps it is time to look around for a position with more flexible options. But staying in a job that never allows you any time off is a recipe for disaster. Something has to give.

Remember that in everything, you have a choice. A choice to be miserable and stuck, or a choice to be happy?

Are you ready to become a ‘happy’ nurse?
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