Nurses: Time to Spring Ahead, So You Don’t Fall Back

spring aheadYes, winter just won’t seem to let go this year, but spring is right around the corner.  For nurses, spring brings feelings of hope and rebirth.  In hospitals the census is usually down, and L&D is as busy as ever.  It is the time to pack up the old and move onto the new.  But spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your med carts; it’s also a good time to update and refresh your professional profile.

For nurses, we are so focused on taking care of our patients, that we put ourselves last.  Now is a great time to look back at your previous year’s accomplishments and brag.  Nurses are professionals, and we should represent ourselves as such.  One way to do this is to update your resume, LinkedIn and other social media profiles.  The world moves at an amazing pace it is sometimes surprising when you look back over a period of time and see what you have accomplished.  Doing so will also help you realize there may have been missed opportunities for networking in our field.  As big as the nursing profession is, it is still a very small world.  It’s beneficial to reach out to other nurses, administration, management, or physicians. These are the contacts that we touched base with but with whom we never followed up.  Use this time to reach out to them, learn about what has changed on their end and share what has on yours.

And speaking of changes, why not update your photo on LinkedIn and post changes to your profile for others to see.  Sometimes that’s all it takes to jog someone’s memory or generate some interest.  Nursing is such a diverse field, where freelance work is plentiful.

But don’t stop there.  While no one would argue on the merits of social media, it does have its limitations.  Don’t be another face in the crowd. Pick up the phone, attend nursing conferences, seminars or job fairs.  Enroll in advanced education courses, or rack up those CEU’s. Start conversing with people, share your thoughts, experiences, and observations.  Share your opinion, distinguish yourselves from others. Don’t be another ignored text, email or piece of paper in the stack of resumes accumulating in an office fax machine.

Alexander Pope coined the phrase, “Hope springs eternal.”  And as we witness every spring, when the flowers bloom, the trees sprout leaves and the clocks move forward giving all of us a fresh start.  But new beginnings don’t mean forgetting the past; rather it means learning from it, making yourself stronger, wiser and more formidable.  So don’t sit back and accept complacency, move forward and start anew and be the best nurse you can be!