5 New Year’s Resolutions for Every Nurse We Know

“This year I’ll go back to school to learn something new.” – This is an excellent New Year’s Resolution to make for 2014. There are many courses you can take as a nurse, whether towards an advanced degree, certificate or as a continuing education student. Pick out something you’d like to learn and set the goal that you’ll take a course by the end of March.


“This year I’ll give something back.” – Many nurses do so much in their daily lives at work, but some feel called to do volunteer work as nurses. If this is something you would like to do, there are many organizations that would love to hear from you. There are local, regional and international efforts that need nurses desperately. A recent effort was the relief efforts following the devastating Typhoon in thePhilippines.


“This year I’ll really get to know my coworkers.” – This is a great New Year’s Resolution to choose. Often you can know a small group of coworkers that you work with quite well, but you may not know others who work for the same facility or even the same department. Now is the time to make the effort, and get to know others that you work with. There may be the opportunity to collaborate with them in the future or simply learning from them or even a great work friend around the corner.


“This year I’ll get rid of a bad habit.” – This is a very popular New Year’s Resolution, and as nurses we often feel we have to model healthy habits for our patients. Take proactive steps to help ensure that your 2014 resolution has every chance of success. If your goal is to exercise more, pack your gym bag before leaving for work and put it in the car so you’re ready to stop on the way home. If your goal is to eat healthy snacks instead of out of the vending machine, leave the quarters at home and pack string cheese, apples and yogurt, all very portable, healthy snacks.


“This year I’ll put myself on the path for promotion.” – This is an achievable New Year’s resolution for many. Take stock of your skills and the needs at your facility. What do you need to improve to put yourself in the best position for a promotion this year? Now is the time to create an action plan, step by step, to achieve your goal of a promotion.


Wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year from your friends at Meridian Nurse Recruiters!


5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season for Nurses

The holiday season is here and many facilities and units are having holiday parties and “Secret Santas” to exchange gifts. You may also want to buy a special gift for that co-worker who has always been there to lend an extra hand or kind ear, or something thoughtful for your supervisor to wish them a Happy Holiday Season. You may be preparing to attend the hospital ball or another holiday party during this time. It is important to understand how to handle all of these situations – as they are workplace situations and not just holiday ones.


Tip #1: Buying holiday gifts in the workplace can be tough. It isn’t like buying gifts for family and friends, where you likely know everything about their likes and dislikes. Certain gifts in the workplace may be frowned upon; some workplaces do not encourage co-workers to give alcohol during the holiday season (champagne or other spirits for New Year’s Eve for example). So it is far easier to stick with a “safe and workplace-friendly gift” than to choose something that may inspire a conversation with your supervisor or Human Resources.


Tip #2: Follow any gift giving guidelines set by your unit, department or facility. Some workplaces have guidelines in place about gift giving. They may say that participation in the “Secret Santa” is voluntary and this is the only gift giving that will be done. Or your department may decide to set a dollar amount on a gift exchange. Or you may even decide to forego gifts and donate to charity or focus on buying gifts for your children for the holidays. Be sure to follow the guidelines that are set by your department as this can avoid any hurt feelings or disappointment.


Tip #3: Showing a little Holiday Spirit is good for workplace morale – too much is a cause for concern. If your hospital has a winter or holiday ball or your department or unit has a holiday party, it is quite helpful that you make the effort to go unless you are scheduled to work. Attending a holiday party can feel like “forced” entertainment and admittedly, this is how a lot of people feel about this type of gathering because it is not like socializing with close friends or family. But if you go, you have an opportunity to connect with people who work in other departments, those who are in positions much higher than you and to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season. This is the perfect time to make a favorable impression on the people you work with – not the time to perfect your “electric slide.”


Tip #4: Sometimes the holidays aren’t easy, but it is critical that you care for yourself. Nurses work in a caring profession, taking care of others. You probably will come into contact with patients who are having a tough time with the holidays. If you are having a tough time with the holidays, this may not make the holidays feel any easier for you. During the holidays do what you can to give yourself a little extra “TLC.” Take a few hours, just for yourself and see a movie you’ve wanted to see or do something fun. Try to laugh everyday. Get proper nutrition, exercise and sleep. Seek out professional help and your caring friends if you need more.


Tip #5: The holiday season is the perfect time to think of those who need your help the most. Many try to do charity work or donate to charity during the holidays. As a nurse, time may be precious to you but there are still things you can do. Consider donating your old winter coat to a coat drive so someone will stay warm this winter. Donate food to a food drive. Donate a children’s toy to Toys for Tots or your children’s unit of the hospital. Sometimes doing something for others during the holiday season can be the very best thing to do during the holidays!


Healthy New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

According to USA.gov, many of the New Year’s resolutions people make each year are related to their health. Whether you as a nurse or nursing student decide it is time to adopt a healthy habit, or you would like to encourage your patients to improve their health, it is helpful to be aware of some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people like to make. As a nurse you will be able to encourage that patient to make healthy choice while they are “revved up” and feel excited about making a positive change.


USA.gov lists the most popular New Year’s resolutions and also provides resources people can turn to. This website is an excellent one to encourage patients to visit if they are thinking about making a healthy change for the better. New Year’s resolutions can be viewed here: http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New-Years-Resolutions.shtml


Healthy New Year’s resolutions according to USA.gov include:


Drink less alcohol


Eat healthy food


Get fit


Lose weight


Manage stress


Quit smoking


USA.gov recommends their website ChooseMyPlate.gov when you have the New Year’s resolution to Eat healthy food. The website can be viewed here: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.  You’ll find helpful tips for weight management, exercise, calorie counting, a food tracker, information for pregnant & breastfeeding women, information for college students and children.


As a nurse you may want to recommend additional resources when a patient approaches you with the desire to Eat healthy food. You may refer them to a nutritionist or a registered dietician so a food plan can be customized for them. You may refer them to their physician for a physical or a consultation, especially if there is a concern the patient is not eating healthy foods or does not eat enough or in excess.


They say that a new habit – good or bad – takes approximately 21 days to become part of our regular routine and daily life. It can be so easy to be excited to make a New Year’s resolution and then to watch it fizzle out after a week or so. Try to encourage your patients to “push” past and reach at least the 1 month mark of 30 days. They may be surprised to discover that their healthy habit sticks with them in a pleasing way!


Sources: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/, http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New-Years-Resolutions.shtml