By Lindsay Jean Thomson
Most of us know how demoralizing the job search can be – how it feels to put yourself out there, imagine yourself creating a new future, and then...crickets.
I remember reaching out to Arinze because it was my first week at Incredible Health. He told me about how tough his job search had been, how the long commute had been getting to him. I could hear how defeated he felt to be putting so much effort into the job search and not get any responses. Then he told me: "Incredible Health changed my life!"
Within two weeks of finding Incredible Health – with Molly as his Talent Advocate! – Arinze had an offer for the role and shift he wanted. He went from commuting over three hours to working in his own neighborhood. That's the kind of change that improves every aspect of your life. Nurses work hard. Their job search shouldn't be.
Watch the short video to hear from Arinze about his experience. And if you want hospitals to apply to you instead of the other way around, take a few minutes to create a free career profile here.
By Lindsay Jean Thomson
Taking care of yourself is particularly important for nurses, who are at greater risk for compassion fatigue and burnout than the general population. It's even more important for nurses to practice self-care during the busy holiday season, which often means more shifts, colleagues on holidays, and all of the extras that holidays can bring. Even the fun ones!
The last thing most of us need is more on our to do list, so here are simple ways you can practice self-care during the holidays.
1. Stick with the basics.
It's probably obvious, but if you're not feeling great then start with what you know you need: that means sleep, water, movement, and nutrition. If you're too busy to hydrate, set a reminder on your phone or watch.
2. Keep up your routines.
Whether that's working out a certain number of times a week, going to church every Sunday, or keeping a daily journal, stay committed to the practices that are already helping you feel your best. It can be tempting to try to fit in more, but be gentle with yourself. Try setting a range, which will give you give you some wiggle room. For example, your goal might be to exercise five times a week, but anything over three is still feels good. Find a range you're comfortable with and stick to it.
3. Rank your priorities.
Between life and work, there are endless pulls on your time and energy. What are you going to put first? Only you can prioritize your priorities. What are the things that are most important to you to do (or not do!) on a regular basis?
4. It's okay to say no.
"No, thank you" is a complete sentence. It can be tempting to justify why, but try stopping at no. You don't have to explain why you're not attending the party or why you will not be participating in the bake sale.
5. Ask for help holding up your priorities.
Rather than thinking of your "no" as turning someone down, think about how it can be an invitation for them to support you. For example, "thanks for the invite, but I'm committed to keeping up my yoga practice during the busy holiday season. Would you like to come?" Or: "I'm doing my best to keep to my self-care routine, can I text you for support? An accountability buddy would be really helpful." People love to be helpful. And when you model self-care, you encourage them to too. Win-win.
6. Be prepared.
We all know the saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Meal prep. Scheduling your workouts in advance. Blocking out a section of time to be with your family without your devices. Decision fatigue is real – if you pick one day to make your decisions about scheduling and priorities for the week, you'll have less decisions to make in the moment.
7. Rest is part of self-care.
Missed the walk you were "supposed" to take after dinner because you were watching Netflix? Maybe that's what you needed. Rest is important too. Maybe even the most important!
8. Spend less time on social media.
If you spend 30 minutes a day on social media, that's over 180 hours over the course of the year...which is about a month of work. Yes, really. Social media is designed to keep you engaged. If you find yourself scrolling without control, try setting a timer, downloading an app that restricts the amount of time you can spend in the apps, or put your phone in grayscale mode.
9. Any day is a good day to hit restart.
Let's say you set your range for one of your priorities and didn't meet it. Okay! It's just information. Reflect on whether the goal you set was serving you or if you want to make some adjustments. New day, new goal. Onward.
10. Make a list.
Feeling lost? When I'm especially overwhelmed, I'll make a list of the things that I know will make me feel better. Most of them are free or cheap and don't take much time. For example: go for a walk. Call a friend. Drink more water. As I check them off my list, I feel better for doing them and for following through on the commitment I made to myself.
11. Reconnect to your purpose.
At work and at home. The more engaged a nurse reports feeling with their work, the less likely they are to feel burnout. Feeling the pressure of making the perfect meal or buying the perfect present? What's your real purpose? It's probably to connect with the people you love. The rest is just extra. Ground yourself in what really matters to you, and you'll be on the right path.
Happy holidays from the team at Incredible Health! Wishing you and yours all the best.
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By Rachel Jones
Have you ever felt lost and alone while trying to find a nursing job? Sometimes it can feel like you’re throwing applications to the wind with no support. But no more. Meet: Incredible Health Talent Advocates. We believe nurses deserve better, so we’ve assembled a team of Talent Advocates to support you through the hiring process so that you can get the best job for you. They’re basically your personal career coach. Talent Advocate Molly took over the blog to share her tips for tackling the job hunt. Get to know her story, and learn how our Talent Advocates can help you make your next career move.
Tell us about yourself.
I started working in the ER in Baltimore after graduating from nursing school. I decided to move to Mexico after going on vacation and meeting my husband. In addition to helping nurses create a career they love, I own a small organic reef-safe sunscreen business.
What got you into nursing?
I got into nursing because I wanted to do something that would help make a difference in people's lives. When I started working with individuals with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries, I realized that I had an interest in the medical field and found it very rewarding.
How would you describe your job as a Talent Advocate?
As a Talent Advocate I help nurses through the interview process, beginning with interview preparation for their first phone interviews. I help them keep track of where they are in multiple stages of the process with different hospitals. Many hospitals have different procedures and it can become overwhelming to navigate it all! I offer support and feedback all the way until they receive an offer, helping them weigh the pros and cons to ultimately find the best job for them. I love it! It is very fulfilling being able to assist and alleviate some of the nervousness and unknowns that happen when applying for jobs.
What do you love most about your job?
My favorite part of the job is telling candidates that they will be receiving an offer. There was one nurse who cried happy tears when I told her and thanked me for changing her life! I frequently hear from nurses: "I couldn’t have done this without you.”
What’s the most common thing nurses ask you?
The most common question I get from nurse candidates is “Can you help me with salary negotiation?” Often candidates think it comes down to only the hourly salary. While that is certainly a motivating factor, I encourage them to take other aspects into account, such as the location, benefits, sign-on bonus, and loan forgiveness.
What’s one thing you want nurses to know?
My biggest advice to nurses in the job hunt is remember the reason you became a nurse and remain confident during the interview process.
Want a Talent Advocate of your own? Create your free career profile here to get personalized career support.
By Julie Monroe, RN-BSN
You’ve passed the NCLEX and are enthusiastically searching for your first nursing job. Should you work med/surg for a few years or jump straight into a specialty? Or maybe you’ve been a nurse for years and feel completely burnt out, wanting to do something else with your training and experience, but what?
Today’s nursing job market can be hard to navigate because of variable employment opportunities, rapidly evolving technologies, and expectations of applicants that didn’t exist even a few years ago (we’re looking at you, BSN requirements). However, as the nursing discipline grows and develops, there are fresh possibilities for career paths, entrepreneurship, and positions in niche markets. There are also an increasing number of mentoring and personal development outlets for new nurses to gain skills and confidence as they begin their careers. With so many exciting new nurse avenues, direction and advice from an objective expert can be helpful. Enter career coaching for nurses.
What is career coaching for nurses?
Career coaches work to help people evaluate where they are in their careers and determine where they want to be in the future. Coaches then assist them in outlining a path with specific steps and action items to achieve these goals. While generalized career coaches can offer valuable advice, nursing is a unique field and requires the understanding and experience from coaches who have also worked as nurses and understand the dynamics of the profession.
Nursing career coaches are nurses who have expertise in career management and development, especially within the healthcare system. Some are board certified as nurse coaches through the American Holistic Nurses Association, while others draw from their job experience and continuing education that has maximized their skills in their own careers. These coaches can benefit nurses at any stage on the spectrum, from new nurse graduates to nurses in the latter stages of their careers who are looking to make a change.
Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, of NurseKeith.com, is a well-known registered nurse, blogger, podcaster, writer, and board-certified nurse coach who works with nurses from varied backgrounds. “I coach across what I call the nurse career lifespan,” says Carlson, “from nursing students just getting out of school trying to figure out what they’re doing, to older nurses who are coming into the profession from another career. Some people come to me because they want to make a transition, but they don’t know what to transition to. Others know exactly the transition they want but they don’t know how to do it. They might feel their resume isn’t strong enough, they don’t know how to use LinkedIn, or they don’t know how to network.”
Nurse career coaches understand the healthcare system as well the demands and nuances in nursing. They are experts not only in career and personal development, but also in the nursing scope of practice. This puts them in a unique position to help nurses think outside the box and find novel ways to use their education, clinical skills, and patient care experience.
Some nurses seek out career coaches to help them find and prepare for new positions or brush up on career-related skills. Others, like new nurse graduates simply need extra mentorship and coaching to gain their licenses and feel confident and competent in their first nursing roles.
Tiffany Gibson, BSN, RN-BC, CPN, a long-time pediatric nurse and nurse educator, created New Nurse Academy to bolster confidence in new nurses through NCLEX test prep and an online mentorship and residency program. She is concerned that nursing schools are primarily teaching to the state boards instead of helping students translate their knowledge into their jobs as new nurses.
“Nurses pass the NCLEX, but then they get real life patients and are still dumbfounded about what to do,” Gibson says. “It’s a whole new world. I want to be a mentor, to guide them, and to help smooth out that transition from nurse to professional.”
How can a coach help me with my career?
Nurse coaches provide a range of services based on individual needs. This could include basics like optimization of resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills, but many coaches also offer extended mentoring sessions that cover a range of career-related subjects. In her online residency program, Gibson conducts weekly video meetings with novice nurses to discuss practical questions in nursing as well as broader themes like nursing philosophy and ways to develop both confidence and competency in practice. She also helps nurses of all levels of experience define their career goals and interests when searching for a new position.
Where can I find a nurse career coach?
Nurse career coaching is a relatively new field, but it’s growing rapidly. Here are a few tips on where to find a mentor or coach to help you shape your dream nursing career:
By Jessica Badeaux, RN
Most people cringe when they hear the word networking, but a survey conducted by LinkedIn found that over 70% of people have been hired through their personal connections. You might be thinking: I already have a job. Or: nurses are in demand, I don’t need to network. Or even: I already know a lot of nurses! But building your community of fellow nurses and healthcare professionals is about more than helping you land your next job. Nurses network to connect with like-minded professionals, find educational opportunities, mentorship, and more.
There are a lot of events for nurses out there, and navigating them can be daunting. Here’s an overview of the types of events other than conferences, and why it might be worth your time to attend.
1. Hospital events
Most hospitals host events that are open to anyone in the healthcare industry, not only hospital employees. This type of event is particularly useful if you’re new to the area or have a specific hospital in mind that you want to work at. Networking with current employees may give you the advantage of finding out about upcoming openings before positions even hit the job board.
2. Talks, workshops, and CE classes
It’s safe to assume that you have at least a little bit in common with the nurses who are attending the same educational events as you. These events are a great way to strengthen your skills and connect with people who care about similar topics. And as you build your network, offering to host or lead educational events will help you to develop your leadership and presentation skills. Check out local nursing associations, healthcare centers, alumni groups, nursing schools, and event listings like Eventbrite to find talks and workshops.
3. Nurse meetups
Your work is challenging. Sometimes the best way to unwind is to hang out with people who get it by socializing outside of work or educational events. Similar to education events, you can find nurse meetups and more casual gatherings online. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, it could be a good opportunity to create something new. Chances are that if there’s something you’d like to be doing, other nurses would too.
3. Online communities
Okay, so maybe this isn’t technically an event but nurses are hanging out online all of the time. Bonus: you can connect from the comfort of your home. There are a lot of active groups on Facebook and other social networks. #NurseTwitter is alive and well. Online communities are great for asking questions, sharing knowledge, and having fun too. We love a good meme!
Here are a few tips before you go to an event:
One more thing: Incredible Health hosts wellness events like spa night, education events, meetups and more. We’d love to see you there!
In 2018, the median income for an RN was $71,730 per year. Salaries for nurses vary quite a lot by state, with California leading the way with an average RN salary of $106,950. Wherever you live and work, if you’re considering a job offer it’s worth putting some effort into negotiating before you accept a new position.
Why? Most people are leaving money on the table, and it adds up over time. In a study from Glassdoor, they found that the average American could be earning approximately $7,500 more per year than their base salary. Not only is that a lot of money, but compounded over the course of your nursing career it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Convinced? Great! Let’s make sure you get the best possible offer. A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about money, but most employers expect negotiation to be part of the hiring process. It’s not uncommon for an initial offer to leave space for the bargaining that is likely to occur. Remember: you already got the offer, and that means they want to hire you. You’re just working out the specifics.
Here’s how to negotiate for the best salary for your new nursing job:
1. Understand the pay structure.
Do you know how the hospital or organization pays? Some institutions are unionized; salaries are set by the union in this situation, not the person or department you are interviewing with. There are also organizations that have a tiered pay structure based on years of experience, years with the institution, certifications, education, and more. Salary for these employees is a calculation based on the employee’s “inputs”, which leaves less room for negotiation.
2. Do your market research.
BLS, Glassdoor, and Payscale are great resources with salary information across industry and geographic locations, as well as job outlook, growth, and worth. While nurses are in demand virtually everywhere, some regions have a particularly high need. Where there is a high need, there’s more room for negotiating salary and signing bonuses.
3. Put your credentials to work for you.
Have you done research, been published, gotten advanced certifications, or have professional affiliations? Come to the negotiating table with examples and evidence of the extra work you have done to make yourself an exceptional candidate.
4. Know your worth.
Go into the negotiation knowing what salary range you’re comfortable with and what you’re willing – and not willing – to compromise on. Say the numbers out loud. Try saying them without any justification or explanation. Imagine that the number is a complete sentence and punctuate it with a period. A successful negotiation starts with a strong mindset and clarity on your wants and needs.
5. Work with them.
A negotiation doesn’t have to be adversarial. You’re working towards a shared goal: getting hired and starting your new role. They’ve already invested a lot in just trying to find you! Ask for their help in coming to a fair offer. Your work is valuable, and the right hospital for you will want to compensate you fairly.
If you’re looking for help with any stage of the hiring process, we can help. Our Talent Advocates are there for every step of the job search, from making your resume shine to preparing you for interviews and negotiation. Create your free career profile here to get personalized career support.
By Mary Sweeney, RN, BSN, CEN, ONN-CG
Whether you’re a seasoned nurse or a new grad, interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking. An interview is your first impression with a potential employer, and can make or break your hiring experience. While there’s no magic formula, here are a few steps you can take to increase the likelihood that you’ll get an offer for the job you want.
Nurses are in demand, but you still have to interview.
The good news: jobs for nurses are projected to increase 12% over the next decade. However, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, “the supply of new nurses entering the labor market has increased in recent years. This increase has resulted in competition for jobs in some areas of the country.”
What this means for you: a job interview is your best opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition and it’s also your chance to see if this employer is a good fit for you.
Here’s what you need to do to prepare for your nurse interview.
1. Practice your answers.
It may feel silly, but say them out loud. You can even record yourself speaking and listen to your responses. Common nursing interview questions include:
Tell me about yourself.
Why do you want to work here?
Why did you become a nurse?
Tell me about a difficult patient and how you handled it.
You may be asked how you would handle a clinical scenario with a patient. Take a breath and think through how you would handle it. You’re a nurse, you know the answer. Keep it short and simple. The STAR framework can also be used for clinical concepts. Practice a few scenarios before your interview.
3. Ask questions.
“Do you have any questions for us?” It’s not uncommon to draw a blank at this point in the interview, so prepare a few options ahead of time. Asking questions shows that you have initiative and are interested in the role. Remember: you’re also interviewing them. Think about what is important to you in your next role and hospital. Potential questions you might ask include:
4. Dress the part.
We have occasionally had nurses ask whether or not they can wear scrubs to an interview. While we’ve been known to make a “dress for the job you want” joke, the simple answer is: no. Your image is your first impression, even before you shake the interviewer’s hand. Dress professionally – this means a suit or business separates, no scrubs or denim.
5. Write a thank you note.
Write a follow-up email as soon as possible and thank the interviewer for their time. Reiterate your interest in working for their organization and be specific about why. An authentic thank you note makes a difference, especially if they’re considering other nurses for the role.
Remember, a job interview is not only your first chance to make a good impression on the employer, but it’s also their first chance to make a good impression on you. Reflect on your goals and priorities before the interview, and you’ll walk in feeling strong and capable.
And if you’re in the market for a new position, create a career profile. Nurses on the Incredible Health platform get free coaching and support from our dedicated Talent Advocates. Having someone on your side can make all the difference.
America faces a health care crisis as it quickly heads toward a 1 million nurse shortage. As of 2018, healthcare became the biggest labor workforce in the country, but it also suffers from the largest shortages. Our demand for healthcare is increasing, but our supply of healthcare workers is not keeping up.
This carries serious consequences. Studies show medication errors increase 20 percent and deaths rise 4 percent when nurses are overworked, and when units are understaffed. Plus, their risk of burnout increases. Sadly, suicide rates among nurses today are nearly double the national average.
By Tyler Faust, R.N
Social media usage has grown exponentially over the past decade and is a powerful force in our world. It is estimated that there are 3.4 billion social media users today. Social media use connects people from all over the world and allows people to express and share their lives and perspectives with the world. Despite all the good that social media has brought, there are definite drawbacks to sharing parts of your life with the world. Whether looking for your first nursing job or transitioning to a new nursing job, nurses should follow these social media guidelines to ensure your social media usage isn’t hurting your chances of a new job.
Know Your Social Media Account Settings
Nurses using social media should be aware that social media platforms usually have privacy settings on them that allow users to control who can view their content and what content they can view. If you have not recently reviewed your privacy settings, double-check to see what they are. Pretend you are a random person looking to get information on you. If you Google your name or search your name on a social media platform, what will you find? You can choose to allow only certain groups of people to view your information, generally family and friends, not strangers. If your privacy settings are correctly set up, a hiring manager won’t be able to review your account and make any potential judgments about you.
By Crystal Norris, R.N.
One of the most intense, stressful things that can happen in someone's life is to find out a loved one is in the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). When our loved ones are seriously sick or injured, we can only hope that the best of the best are caring for them. Critical care nurses are the angels of the hospital. They care for patients where life is sometimes hanging on by a thread. It takes an extraordinary nurse to care for someone at their weakest. In this article, we will discuss the things that critical care nurses do during a 12-hour shift. We will also discuss the skills and certifications that nurses interested in this field should acquire to care for patients in dire situations.
Critical care nurses are primarily responsible for continually monitoring a patient's condition and being aware of subtle changes that may show signs of improvement or deterioration. These nurses work with a comprehensive healthcare management team that includes doctors, respiratory therapy, and case management to ensure proper care for these sensitive patients.
Critical care nurses also are in charge of all bedside care for ICU patients. They are experts in assessment, intravenous access, and infusion, including central line maintenance, medication administration, tracheotomy, and ventilation care. Keeping a running log of patients' care and status is also an essential part of critical care nursing. Also, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, as well as advanced cardiac life support skills, are crucial in the field of critical care nursing.