Like so many questions in life, the answer to the question “what’s the best nursing job for you” is – it depends.
It depends, for instance, on your personal priorities, your individual life circumstances, your goals for your career, where you do or don’t want to live, and probably dozens of other variables unique to you.
What are your preference filters? Although your answers to these questions are likely to change with changes in your life circumstances, it’s helpful to come up with some questions that will help you evaluate what’s best for you at any given point in your career.
How to identify your best nursing jobs
Although you’re going to have questions specific to your life circumstances, you can consider this a starter list for determining your preference filters:
- Would you prefer being a nursing generalist or specialist (for example, specializing in geriatric, pediatric, or diabetic patients)?
- Do you like working with other nurses or are you comfortable being the only nurse on a working team?
- Do you like the challenge of continuous learning and then sharing what you’ve learned with others?
- Which would you rather manage: people, projects, or information?
- Do you most enjoy your nursing work when working one-on-one with patients?
- Do you like or dislike corporate work environments?
- Do you prefer a smaller or larger organization for your work setting?
- Are you looking for a relatively stable and calm working environment or do you thrive on high-intensity, unpredictable days?
- How important is a high salary to you?
- How important are good benefits to you?
- How important is it to feel like you’re part of a greater purpose in your job?
- How important is a flexible work schedule to you?
- Would you prefer a job that you could work at remotely?
- Do you want to work full-time or part-time?
- Do you want a job likely to help you move into a leadership position?
As you work through these questions, you’ll find that generally they fall within the categories of:
- What work you do
- Where you do it
- How you do it
- Who you do it with
The great thing about nursing jobs is that they offer a tremendous range of options for pursuing work that aligns with your preferences.
What work will you do? Orthopedic nurse or oncology nurse or hospice nurse, to name just a few options.
Where will you do it? Perhaps a public health clinic, private hospital, managed care facility, or doctor’s office, again to name just a few among many, many more options.
How will you do it? Do you work full-time as part of a critical care team, part-time as a Veterans Administration nurse, remotely as a nursing informatics specialist?
Who will you do it with? Do you work with other nurses, or are you the only one with nursing skills on staff? Do you work directly with patients or engage primarily with doctors? Does your job entail coordinating nursing benefits with a patient’s care facility/nursing home?
These are just a few examples of types of nursing opportunities that might, depending on your unique priorities, passions, and personality, be best for you.
If you’re not sure about which of these many paths might be your best fit (for now), a great way to gather useful information is to start doing some informational interviews. Reach out to people who have jobs and/or careers that interest you, and ask them about their work. Once you get real-life insider insights, you’ll be in a much better to position to determine which jobs really are best for you.
If your goal for 2016 is to empower yourself with knowledge, look no further than American Sentinel University’s online nursing programs. Take control of your career and visit www.americansentinel.edu today. This article was brought to you by American Sentinel’s career coach, Kim Dority – be sure to check out her other articles for more tips.