There may come a time in your professional life when you feel like you are in a rut. You still enjoy helping people and realize the value of what you do as a Registered Nurse, but you seem to have lost the spark that ignited your passion for nursing in the first place. Perhaps you don’t find your job challenging anymore, or it’s becoming tedious to fulfill your daily tasks. To put it simply, you’re bored.
If you feel this way, don’t worry. It doesn’t make you a bad nurse, and it doesn’t mean you are unsuitable for this career. You just have to take a step back and think about why you find yourself in this position. But in addition to self-reflection, we have more advice to help you overcome boredom at work.
Here are some concrete steps and actions to ensure that you don’t feel stagnant, bored, or disinterested in your career anymore.
Find a project that you are passionate about
Finding a project that interests you and would allow you to use your talents or develop new skills is a great way to rekindle your passion for nursing. You can start by looking at your workplace or checking volunteering associations or professional nursing associations for exciting new projects. For example, suppose you’ve always wanted to try your hand at teaching. If you work at a teaching hospital, you can ask to be more involved with working with nursing students during their clinical rotations. You can volunteer to help as a nursing instructor, or you could get involved in community education. Whichever path you choose, it’s a good idea to find a new project and try your hand at it. You might discover a new passion or cultivate an older one – either way, bored nurse will no longer apply to you.
Advance your education
Furthering your nursing education is probably one of the best ways to escape the feeling of stagnation in your career. It allows you to develop new skills, advance your expertise, build confidence, and become a better nurse. A more advanced nursing degree will also put you in the running for a wider pool of job opportunities, better paid nursing positions, more autonomy in nursing, and more control over your own schedule.
For LPN nurses who want to move forward in their career, gaining Registered Nurse licensure is a natural next step. You can pursue a bridge LPN-to-ASN program or opt for a BSN program that will open the door for greater opportunities and advancement. If you are an ADN Nurse, consider enrolling in a bridge RN-to-BSN program. There are numerous options, like the one offered by Nightingale College, that are online, allowing you to study without giving up your job.
If the idea of working in management, administration, or leadership positions in the nursing field is stimulating your interest, look into MSN programs. Becoming a Nurse Educator also requires an MSN degree, and there is certainly no chance of getting bored while shaping new generations of nurses. For RNs who feel like their current roles aren’t challenging enough and would like to climb to the top of the nursing career ladder, there are Advanced Practice Registered Nursing positions – Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, and Clinical Nurse Specialist.
However, advancing your formal nursing education is a big commitment, so you should make sure that what’s on the other side of the schooling journey fills you with joy and excitement. Before you invest money, time, and energy in a nursing program, ensure that the investment will be worthwhile in the long run. But we can tell you this much: if a new challenge is what you’re after, a newfound interest in personal and professional growth will have your blood coursing through your veins, giving you no opportunity to feel boredom.
If you are not ready to embark on this academic journey, this does not mean that you cannot keep learning and improving as a nurse. Continuing education courses are an excellent way to always stay on top of your field, gain more knowledge and confidence in your trade, and excel at nursing.
Regardless of which avenue you choose to advance your education, one thing is certain: learning keeps you young and engaged. It helps you learn more about yourself and propels you forward. And this may just do the trick if you find yourself in a professional rut.
Find yourself a coach
Sometimes, outside assistance may help you overcome that bored at work sentiment. You might find coaching helpful if you need a little extra nudge to explore your priorities, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and overcome bad habits or counterproductive tendencies. An RN career coach, a life coach, or a mental health counselor can give you the advice needed to get back on track. They can guide you through finding and executing your own personalized strategy for happiness and success – and that’s an excellent way to ensure you’re moving forward in your career instead of stagnating.
Try out networking events.
Nurses who are bored of nursing may actually just need to see their work from a new angle to remind them of their love for the profession. Networking events can achieve just that. Attending a nursing association meeting or joining a seminar or conference on a nursing subject that peaks your interest are great ways to meet new people with similar interests and fresh perspectives.
Take a leap
Playing it safe is what gets a lot of nurses feeling bored and uninterested in their job. Stability and consistency are good, but sometimes you need to shake things up and get out of the comfort zone. Apply for a new position, run for office in a professional nursing association, try out a committee at work, write an academic article and submit it for publication. The possibilities are endless. All you need is the courage to leave the comfortable – but monotonous – box you’re in and try something new. Greatness and excitement await you on the other side.
You know one of the most incredible things about nursing? This profession comes with an unbelievable number of options. Do you want to work in the ER, ICU or NICU? Is home healthcare or nursing home practice more suitable for you than working in a hospital? Do you want to work nine-to-five or have a flexible schedule? Do you want to work bedside or from home? Within the nursing field, you can find all these opportunities and more! So, if you’ve noticed that a particular specialty doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean that nursing is boring. It just means that you may not have found your calling yet. And changing your specialty might be just the answer. However, switching specialties is not something you can do every week. So, make sure you make this decision informed and aware. Talk to fellow nurses from other departments, attend seminars on the specialties you consider and do your research online. This way, you’ll be prepared for a change. All you have to do is be brave, recognize when something is not working for you, and try to change to something that will.
Check-in with yourself: Are you bored, or are you burnt out?
A state of disinterest and disregard for the job may indicate something more severe than just boredom. Many nurses deal with burnout, a serious occupational phenomenon that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. There are three main characteristics of nurse burnout: mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion; a negative attitude or feelings of cynicism related to the job; and reduced professional efficacy. So, you could think that you’re bored and the job doesn’t excite you anymore, but in fact, you’re exhausted and burned-out to the point where you don’t experience job satisfaction. Preventing the detrimental burnout will help you turn those bad days as a nurse into great ones.
Find out how to combat nursing burnout, its warning signs, and more in our complete guide on the subject.
Are You Ready to Turn Boredom into Enthusiasm?
Nursing is a wonderful and gratifying profession, and it would be a shame if the job you used to love so much turned into a chore. So, if you’re feeling bored at work, it’s time to do something about it. Whether taking a risk, advancing your education, or switching careers, you need to do your best to find your way forward. Bring that eager anticipation back into your professional life. There’s much that nursing has to offer. It’s up to you to seize the opportunity.