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Staying motivated in nursing can sometimes be challenging, especially with long shifts and heavy patient loads. It is easy to lose motivation and fall victim to burnout. A study found that nurses who reported burnout experienced depression rates ranging from 25% to 43%. However, nurses who felt their employers supported them and promoted their mental well-being had better physical and mental outcomes. Whether you are just starting your nursing career or feeling like your motivation is waning after years in the profession, these tips can help you stay engaged and remember your purpose. 

Make Sure You Wear Comfortable Scrubs

Wearing comfortable scrub tops and bottoms can help you work more efficiently and effectively. The four-way stretch dobby fabric keeps you comfortable and wicks away moisture while you’re working with your patients. The pockets must be large enough to hold medical instruments and pens. Whenever these elements in your scrubs are in sync, it’s easier to focus on the work at hand. You may need scrubs that won’t cling to you or your patients as you assist them through the bathroom doorway or after surgery. Well-fitting scrubs for women are worth the investment to help you keep your motivation through the rest of your shift. 

Remember Your Purpose

A sense of purpose at work is one of the best ways to remain motivated at work. Workplace purpose can take many forms. Remembering that you work hard every day to improve the lives of others in your community may be the inspiration you need to keep going. In other cases, the knowledge that you’re earning a salary and allowing your family to live comfortably is a more practical and logical reason to continue excelling in your field. 

Having a purpose at work can help you get through even the hardest days in the profession. Employees who find fulfillment in their jobs experience increased productivity. They are 69% less likely to quit their jobs within the next six months. On average, they stay in their jobs for 7.4 months longer than those who don’t find meaning in their work. For many nurses, wearing scrubs provides a sense of identity and purpose. The uniform is a reminder of your oath to serve patients and their families from which you can draw inspiration when you need it most. Scrubs and nurse accessories can also help you look and feel professional while working hard to save lives or comfort patients.

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Be Organized and Flexible

Identify the goals you want to reach to retain your career motivation. Although you may enjoy working with patients directly, the potential for growth can help you stay passionate about nursing for many decades. A related position such as a nurse manager or a nurse educator may be a fulfilling move forward in your career down the line. Find out what nursing education and certification you need to qualify for opportunities that interest you and make plans to obtain them. You can also seek advice from your more senior colleagues when making your goals to track your progress and see what skills you need to develop. Having a long-term strategy makes it easier to stay on track when setting and accomplishing goals. Maintaining flexibility is crucial. Timetables change, plans change and unanticipated issues arise. Adapting to any scenario allows you to achieve your goals, such as lowering your course load to accommodate a shift in your job schedule.

Establish a Support System

Nurses mostly care for others, yet they frequently neglect to request the care they require themselves. Seek help from family members, friends, coworkers and mentors. When you are down, they can offer moral support, advice and cheer you up. They will also be the first to congratulate you on your success. It may be easier to handle job-related stress when you have coworker pals who get along with you on a personal level. Working with colleagues who enjoy their jobs is also strongly related to job satisfaction. Nurses who enjoy their work are more likely to be productive throughout the day and eager to return the next day with a positive attitude.

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Boost Your Energy with Healthy Food

While working a long shift, it is vital to nourish your body with foods that keep you energized. The hospital frequently serves snacks like cookies and doughnuts in the break rooms, but they don’t help you stay healthy. Most of these indulgent foods produce an initial energy boost, followed by a severe energy slump that can affect your motivation. Try replenishing your body with healthy foods throughout the day. Fruits, fresh vegetables and nuts provide your brain with the right amount of energy to get you through a long shift. You can also have meal kits delivered to your home. Meal kits take a few minutes to assemble and cook before you can bring them to work, saving you time and energy. They also fuel both your brain and body to accomplish your work.

Take Quick Breaks Whenever Possible

It may be time for a brief 15-minute break if your workday is longer than usual. A break allows you to relax and focus on something other than work, improving your mental health. Taking a break with some exercise is even more beneficial. Exercise is proven to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. A healthy diet and socializing with colleagues support good mental health and allow you to return to work refreshed. Remember to take the stairs throughout your shift rather than the elevator to get your daily exercise. If possible, walk outside for a few minutes in a nearby park. 

Feel Good on the Job 

Feeling your best at work helps you stay engaged and motivated in your career. Prioritize your comfort and invest in high-quality scrubs that keep you protected and allow easy movement throughout your entire shift. Take time to care for yourself throughout the day by fueling your body with nutritious food and stepping outside the hospital or medical facility for a breath of fresh air. When you show yourself the same compassion you give your patients, you’re more likely to look forward to your work and find purpose in your career.