Nurses, Is it Time Explore?

July 01, 20243 min read

As nurses we are often faced with the questions of what’s next? What do I want from this job?

Many of us went to nursing school on the notion we wanted to help people. What happens when the healthcare system begins to fail us as nurses. I hear often how nurses feel that they no longer can do what it is they went to school for – care for people.

The changes in the healthcare system dictate the care that we are permitted to deliver. Often, we are task doers and find that checking boxes is not fitting for us as a nurse. This begins to cut into our personal core values.

What we find next is the exploring stage. We look at other jobs that may meet our needs. If you have attended one of my FNI info webinars, you know I say these jobs often are temporary topical fixes. We are nurses, we know all too well we cannot put a Band-Aid on a throbbing arterial bleed. The issues in today’s healthcare system are palpable and systemic throughout. IF changes were to come – and I say that very loosely – it will take years to implement those changes across the board.

What happens when you begin to look inward and ask yourself what is it that I want to do in this industry? Not what do they want me to do…we know what they want. Drag the carrot, lock us into more student loan debt so we will be stuck in their burning system.

What if you saw an opening to break free from the burning bureaucracy? What would you do? Where would you go?

This is where reverse engineering comes into play. As nurses, these are not terms we typically use in our daily verbiage, but let me explain this more. Reverse engineering is simply the understanding of how something works. For example, understanding how the business of healthcare works.

I digress … let's focus on our own destiny vs a corporate structured entity. What is it you want out of life?

This could begin with your purpose or the lifestyle you are craving for yourself and your family. We have to take the time to look inward to get familiar with what it is that we want. As nurses we are living in flight or fight mode. Long and exhausting shifts are leaving us with little time to explore what our potentials are. That may be by design if you think about it. Sure, we take breaks and vacations but are we really taking the time to relax, breathe, and think about the other potentials available to us?

A few tips if you are interested in finding your way through the darkness:

Get back to you and who you are.

What brings you joy? What excites you? What could you do that you would enjoy so much that you would not feel like it is work? This does not have to be related to healthcare. Don’t play small with this … they’re your dreams and visions!

What is it that brings you joy or personal fulfillment?

Have we forgotten that personal fulfillment should be on the table of life still? Is there an area that you would like to learn more about? Possibly going back to school. Just make sure you are doing it for you and not to fulfill someone else’s quota to meet their kickback initiatives. Do you have a business idea or innovation that is brewing to be created?

Take time for yourself to entertain the possibilities that exist within you.

We are working so hard and so much that we have become a society that lives for vacations. We dread the end of them because we dread the return to work. It doesn’t have to be this way. Stop escaping your life through vacations.

Create a life that you don’t want to escape! It is possible if you just explore what it is you want out of your life.

To learn why nurse entrepreneurship is on the rise, visit

Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is a former bedside nurse turned nurse entrepreneur. She is the owner of Everyday Divinity, and the Foot and Nail Institute.

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