It’s a new year brimming with opportunity for nurses. Nurse pay is up, there are job vacancies virtually everywhere, and for the 15th year in a row, a Gallop poll ranked nursing as the most trusted profession in the United States.
But while there’s an abundance of opportunity, there are still things nurses can do to make themselves even more attractive in the market. There’s more than one way to achieve professional development, and now that it’s 2017, here are five New Year nursing resolutions to consider:

  1. Join a committee within your facility that works on improving culture and working conditions. This is a surefire way to start building leadership experience and become a respected peer among your fellow nurses.
  2. Stop the gossip! Nurse bullying is a major factor in nurse burnout, which is driving nurses away in droves. In 2017, discuss a colleague only if they’re present to hear you. You would want the same!
  3. Improve your relationship with the doctors. Even that one you cannot stand. Improving these relationships, while challenging at first, will mitigate the stress you have whenever you’re working with difficult doctors. It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom when those schedules get released.
  4. Treat your body like an athlete would. Nurses spend insane amounts of time on their feet for long hours at a time while lifting heavy patients. Worse, you’re hardly given a break! Therefore, stay hydrated and eat foods that offer the nutrition you need for these taxing shifts. Most people make a basic “lose weight” resolution, but it often fails because it’s so generic. If instead you treated a healthier lifestyle as a sort of professional development, you may stay engaged in your health goals for longer, and weight loss will merely be a symptom of your progress!
  5. Consider travel nursing. You may roll your eyes when a travel nursing company advocates full-time nurses to travel but consider the reasons why:
    1. You’ll make more money
    2. An academic study shows travel nurses experience higher job satisfaction than nurses
    3. You’ll get to see the country without having to vacation
    4. You’ll beef your resume by floating and gaining different experiences in numerous settings

Every new year brings with it the potential for something fresh and exciting. Because of demand, nurses have a bevy of choices at their disposal. But even if you decide you’d rather stay put, making some of the above resolutions will improve your day-to-day as a nurse.