It’s no secret that we all want to be happy, and even the biggest pessimist in the room enjoys cracking a smile once in awhile. If you’re a nurse—or in any profession where your emotions can impact patients—it’s critical that you maintain a healthy level of happiness in your life

For many nurses, a strategy for increasing happiness may include limiting month-to-month monotony and long-term exposure to hospital politics. One way to avoid both may be travel nursing, as many travel nurses take 13-week assignments and then move on to another facility. They also have more flexibility, with the option to pick their work location and to decide whether or not they want to take time off between jobs.

Nurse happiness can directly affect patients

People who are satisfied with their jobs typically do the work that’s required of them, and then some. For nurses, making sure you complete your duties isn’t just a way to get a paycheck—it’s a way to better the experience for patients.

As you’re fully aware, entering a medical facility, no matter how dire the circumstances, can be nerve-wracking for patients. Having someone there with a cheerful attitude and empathetic demeanor can help them to feel at ease and boost their confidence around their visit. In turn, there is an increased chance that they will reciprocate your kindness with kindness—something that can’t always be said.

How is your happiness level affecting your health?

While every job brings with it a set of unique challenges, we can honestly say that travel nursing is a pretty incredible opportunity. If seeing different parts of the country, meeting new people, and getting paid (very well) to do what you love all sound like good things, travel nursing may be the right career choice for you.

Staying positive is pretty important to the American Nurses Association, too, as they’ve dubbed their Year of the Healthy Nurse theme for August “happiness.” In observance of this celebration, please take some time to step back and evaluate your happiness levels as a nurse, how your attitude and emotions have affected your patient care, and most importantly, how your mood and work situation is affecting your personal health.