Your main professional goals as a nurse are to provide high patient care while earning a decent salary.  To achieve this and maintain personal and professional satisfaction throughout your career, here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Practice good communication with patients and colleagues

There is a lot to think about during the workday. Working with many other people and practicing good patient care requires constant communication.  It’s easier to make mistakes without good communication, and patients can feel like they are not being listened to.

If problems in the workplace make communication difficult, this needs to be brought to the administration’s attention before it causes any further problems.

Aim for a good work-life balance

Nursing can be emotionally and physically challenging. Therefore, nurses must find a way to balance their work and home life. This means finding methods to leave work behind as much as possible at the end of the day so you can offer your family as well as yourself attention and care.

This can be hard at first, but successful nurses get better at it over time. The alternative is emotional and sometimes physical burnout that impacts to quality of patient care and has a long-term effect on personal relationships.

Taking some vacation days occasionally is helpful, but setting aside some time each day for self-care is even more critical. Doing an activity that is just for you—like reading a book and having a cup of herbal tea—can do more for your well-being than you might think.

Find a mentor in the workplace

Older and more experienced nurses are often more than willing to offer support and advice to those just starting their career path. Beginners can gain a wealth of knowledge and gain confidence from hearing the experiences of those that have been there and done that.

Some medical facilities encourage mentorship more than others. You may find that you are assigned a mentor as part of your orientation or training when you accept a new position.

Offer encouragement and help to others

No matter what level of experience someone has, it is always good to have some encouragement. If someone is having a tough time, find ways to elevate their morale and mood. Doing this encourages others to do the same and thus boosts morale that resonates throughout the workplace.

If you can manage it while completing your job requirements, helping other healthcare staff if they are overloaded is always a good thing.

Know when to ask for help

It is easy to try to do too much and find yourself struggling. But unfortunately, there are also times when circumstances beyond your control make for an overwhelming work environment. Patient care and satisfaction can suffer when things get too much. While you want to avoid putting a lot of your work on others, remember that healthcare is a team environment and that workers need to support each other when things get hectic.

Suppose it seems like every nurse is being overwhelmed with extra duties regularly. In that case, the administration needs to be made aware of the fact and take steps to acquire additional qualified staff.

All too often, the first sign that a facility is understaffed comes from patient feedback. If someone must wait too long for care or attention, it can result in longer recovery times or worse. By asking for help, you are helping patients receive the care they need.

Encourage healthy habits and exercise

If nurses are not taking good care of themselves, it is harder for them to perform their jobs well. Leaders can improve nurse health by encouraging healthy eating habits and regular exercise. In addition, facilities should consider providing gym memberships as a workplace perk.

Ensuring vending machines within a facility have healthy food options is another simple way to motivate better eating habits. Sometimes, providing healthy snacks in breakrooms is a good alternative to donuts and other sugary sweets.

Ensure nurses have the equipment they need

Over time, even younger nurses can feel the physical effects and damage caused by too much physical strain.  If nurses are to keep working for decades, they must not strain their bodies too much.

Sprains, strains, and other workplace injuries are all too common. Lifting too much is a typical reason for injuries. Nursing administrators need to ensure access to equipment and assistance so nurses can complete tasks while using less physical strength and energy.

Be open to new opportunities

Nurses usually work in more than one facility or role throughout their careers. Therefore, if you gain some experience and feel like something is missing, you may need to consider other opportunities that utilize your skills.

For example, some nurses decide to gain more advanced degrees and pursue a role in leadership, administration or teaching at a nursing school. A DNP-FNP degree is an excellent choice for mid-career and senior level nurses that want to make a career change and maximize their earning potential. Even better, the degree can be completed online while maintaining a full-time job.

Many nurses decide to become traveling nurses and take jobs at different locations throughout the country in which they practice.  This is a great way to experience living in different places and working with people from various backgrounds.


A good work-life balance is essential for nurses throughout their careers. Therefore, healthcare administrators should encourage healthy living habits and a hospitable work environment for their nursing staff.

When there is a high level of morale and workplace satisfaction, there are better patient outcomes and faster healing times. In addition, nurses that are not overworked are less likely to make mistakes and more likely to go the extra mile to provide the highest level of patient care.