Nurses tackle overwhelmingly burdensome clinical responsibilities and challenging routines to regulate and improve patient care quality. However, most nurses fail in creating a healthy work-life balance, and their personal lives are grossly compromised. Thousands of nurses struggle to build personal lives, as they hardly get a chance to engage in activities beyond work.
How will you enjoy your personal life if you spend your waking hours at the hospital and return home to sleep? Most entry-level nurses without advanced specializations have 12-hour shifts that leave them exhausted and drained. Nursing professionals struggle to attend important family milestones, holiday dinners, and precious celebrations, creating emotional rifts and strains.
It’s natural for nurses to prioritize their patients’ well-being and neglect their personal lives to give their best clinical processes and outcomes. However, losing your personal life and loved ones will hardly encourage you towards professional growth. In most cases, nurses struggle with inflexible and demanding schedules because they lack advanced specializations and clinical training.
Do you know that higher education and clinical specializations can help you enjoy a healthy work-life balance? That’s right. Keep reading to explore practical strategies for nurses to manage their professional and personal lives harmoniously.
Expanding Your Clinical Authority
Most family nurse practitioners with extensive clinical training work standard 9-5 shifts, returning home at a reasonable time. They don’t have to put in long and exhausting shifts at odd night hours because of their clinical expertise.
Expanding your clinical authority with specialized training and higher education will help you build a flexible work schedule.
Nurses have much to gain by investing in their skills and moving past menial and administrative nursing duties. Click here to learn more about online RN-BSN nursing degree programs, which may open lucrative healthcare leadership and case management opportunities.
Professionals with BSN degrees enjoy steady financial growth and high marketability, with multiple employers offering lucrative opportunities. Modern-day healthcare sectors struggle with acute shortages of skilled physicians and trained nurses. And pursuing a BSN degree in a market dominated by staffing shortages will help you advance your career.
The online learning route makes it easier for nurses to combine full-time professional duties with the pressures of continual learning. You can learn and grow at your own pace without physically, emotionally, and financially burdening yourself. But remember, BSN programs are not the limit, and executive leadership roles come to MSN and DNP professionals.
Exploring Opportunities That Offer Flexibility
Networking the healthcare industry and connecting with recruiters is crucial to staying in the know of lucrative opportunities.
The ongoing staffing shortages have pressured healthcare leaders into increasing recruitment efforts and hiring skilled nurse practitioners to takeover physician duties. Healthcare facilities rely on skilled nurse practitioners to perform primary care duties, while executive nurses lead teams towards quality improvement.
If your current job denies flexibility and healthy schedules, it’s time to look for other opportunities within the industry. Building connections with industry observers, fellow nurses, healthcare recruiters, and employers are wise to land lucrative opportunities. Nurses must gain membership in state and national associations led by nursing leaders to facilitate networking.
Building a network and exploring opportunities will help you find a nursing position that facilitates a healthy work-life balance. However, this isn’t possible without investing in advanced training and clinical skills that make you a sought-after nurse practitioner.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Do you agree to perform exhausting night shifts to collect higher paychecks? Do you stay back beyond your usual 8-9-hour shifts to check on your patients and stick around for emotional support? How many hours do you spend visiting patients to engage them in meaningful conversations after your shift ends?
Nurses are natural caregivers and nurturers, and they go above and beyond to care for their patients and show concern. But putting in additional hours and efforts comes at the cost of disappointing yourself and your loved ones.
It would help if you reclaimed yourself as an individual, family member, friend, and community member to enjoy a fulfilling life.
For instance, instead of spending time with your patients every day, schedule weekly or bi-weekly meetings. And use that time to go out with your friends, or spend time with your children and spouse.
Nurses experience overwhelming bouts of occupational stress, and they must prioritize self-care to regulate their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s natural for nurses to heal and nurture others and act negligently regarding their health. But compromising your wellbeing can drastically impact your clinical prowess by increasing the risk of errors and inefficiencies.
Prioritizing self-care will help you create a healthy work-life balance. The idea is to set priorities around your lifestyle and make time for a health-focused life shift. You need to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals and create a regular exercise regime.
Despite staying on their feet all day, nurses need dopamine-releasing exercise sessions to regulate their mental and physical energies. Running around hospital corridors and departments doesn’t constitute exercise, even though it’s unbelievably tiring. So, find an activity that allows you to recharge and recuperate your strength.
Nursing is your superpower and healing gift, but your life doesn’t have to and shouldn’t revolve around your career. It’s crucial to find and reclaim yourself as a person and invest time in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Don’t hesitate to take time off and take up constructive hobbies, like glass painting, gardening, or retail therapy.
Managing your professional and personal life is a process that begins with a decision to prioritize your wellbeing. Your work carries immense significance as you save precious lives and avert adverse health outcomes as a nurse. However, your work should never undermine your importance as an individual who deserves care and compassion.
It’s essential to extend the same compassion towards yourself that you shower on your patients. Staying attuned to your needs will help you avoid physical burnout, occupational stress, and strained relationships. And developing clinical specializations will help you find lucrative opportunities with flexible schedules.