Prior to becoming a nurse I worked in many different healthcare settings (mostly academic health centers). I began my nursing career in a neurosurgical intensive care unit setting. I loved critical care nursing but I missed the administrative aspect of healthcare. So I decided to follow my passion and apply for a Master of Science in Nursing Administration degree.
As a nurse administrator I get to do what I love on daily basis. Operations, financial management and leading others are a few of my favorite things about being a Director of Nursing. I have been able to find my true self within nursing.
My advice to younger nurses is to explore all of the options nursing offers. At the same time, try to find an area you love to become an expert. I once asked a nurse who won a Clinical Nurse Excellence Award the secret to her success and she said “Staying at the same place has contributed to my success.” Working at the same organization (over 30 years), focusing on her specialty, and building relationships allowed her to become a renowned clinical nurse . As part of a generation X, I understand the need explore and navigate the plethora of specialties but it is important to envision future goals as we execute short goals .
- If you feel stuck, set up meetings with people who do what you are interested in
- Explore options other than what your colleagues are doing- follow what you love!
- Think of the schedule options/flexibility the job or academic program offer. Is it feasible? Will it work with your work schedule? Are you able to learn online or do you prefer a classroom setting?
- It’s OK to not know what’s next. Take your time and enroll in a program or make a move when you have found an area of interest or curriculum that excites you.
Enjoy the ride!