Avoid Burnout, Stay Flexible

By Zach Smith, BSN-RN

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The Nursing Field is More Flexible Than an Experienced Yoga Instructor.

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Whether it is location, money, or schedule, a career in nursing can meet many people’s needs. That’s not to say that just anyone should be a nurse. You have to have a certain level of passion for this work to do it well and last longer than 10 months. Dealing with death, anger, and stress causes even passionate nurses to burnout, but the flexibilities within the field will at least allow nurses to move around and extend their career while maintaining their sanity.

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The unique schedules of nurses can be seen as a plus in some circumstances and a negative in others. Obviously working holidays and every other weekend is not ideal, but sometimes the differential or time-and-a-half makes up for that. 12-hour shifts can be brutal on the soul, but allow for four days off. This opens up time for family, hobbies, or in my case, a second career. I used my four days off to become a founding member of an app for nurses called NurseGrid. Coincidentally, we designed this app around the uniqueness of nurse schedules. Other calendars and apps just don’t fit the needs of nurses, especially when you want to know who you (are scheduled to) work with. There’s no way I could have worked five days a week at another job while growing the number of NurseGrid users to over 70,000 nurses. Stacking my schedule, grouping days off, and self-scheduling has allowed me to pursue this venture, one that is a direct result of our schedule flexibility.

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My wife and I have lived in 3 different cities now and been able to get jobs in each of those cities. There aren’t too many careers that allow for jobs in the most rural of places or the most urban. Where there’s a hospital, there’s a way. The peace of mind my family receives knowing that we can literally move anywhere within the US and have a job is invaluable. Learning how to land those jobs is worth an entirely different article, as we all know.

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We’d be lying if we said that the salary we receive didn’t at least factor into our decision to be a nurse.

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The flexibility of exactly how much we make is there, as well. Night shift allows you to get anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 more per year, depending on your hospital. Picking up extra shifts during flu season can seriously pad your pockets too (just be careful not to enter that next tax bracket).

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Advancing your career or moving around within the field is a great way to change any of the nursing variables. You can avoid burnout, make more, or have a schedule that fits your life, instead of the other way around. The options are there, and if the passion is too, you can sustain a long and fruitful nursing career.

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Guy

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.Zach Smith, BSN-RN, works at a pediatric hospital in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Washington State University and has grown both his nursing and app design careers since.

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The NurseGrid App is available free for iPhone and Android users on the App Store and Google Play.

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