Real Talk - Advice from Nurses in the Field

Written by Madison School of Healthcare On Wednesday, 16 March 2016. Posted in Nursing

Real Talk - Advice from Nurses in the Field

Having a mentor is important. Plato had Socrates; Daniel (the karate kid) had Mr. Miyagi; We all have Oprah. When you're looking for advice in life and in your career, sometimes you need guidance from someone who knows exactly what you're going through because they have been in your shoes.

This is particularly true for nurses, most of whom have to balance long hours at work with family time and achieving their professional goals. Our RN to BSN online program teaching staff, all practicing nurses, shared their advice on standing out in the work place, how to "have it all," and what it takes to make it in the nursing profession.

On standing out:

"Giving back through community volunteering looks good on a resume, but you also gain experience and make a difference. To be impactful as nurses, we need to go out into the community. It also gives you exposure to people that you don't normally see at the bedside."

— Cynthia Payne, RNC, WHNP-BC, CNM

"Nurses need to make themselves marketable through their education, becoming a member of organizations and volunteering, as well as having an up-to-date professional portfolio and references from professors and past employers."

— Joyce Johnston, DNP, MBA, VHA-CM

On balancing work, professional goals and family:

"People have to realize that you have to set goals, short term and long term, and you have to make choices. You have to budget your time. It takes commitment and it takes real determination. But you also have to pace yourself."

— Sandra Kleiman MSN, RN

"Develop a support team that includes family members, friends, or neighbors. Have family time that is planned; For example, block out Friday from 8-10 for family movie nights. Remind your family that you need time [to handle other obligations] in order to participate."

— Amanda Walker, DNP, MBA-HCA, RN, CNOR

On what it really takes to be a nurse:

"Not everyone can be a caring nurse. There are some innate qualities you need to be effective."

— Cynthia Payne

"If you don't have it in your heart and you don't have compassion, you need to work somewhere else. In our profession it makes a big difference."

— Sandra Kleiman

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Madison School of Healthcare

Our community comes first – explore our student- and alumni-contributed content to get the inside look at online learning, healthcare careers, and beyond. We share real perspectives from healthcare students, professionals, and industry experts to keep you up to date on the healthcare space and set you up for success in your career.