Creating the Career that Nurses Want

By Joel Theisen, RN, CEO & Founder, Lifesprk
Fierce Healthcare reported that most nurses feel like they’re making enough money, but 68% to 88% indicated dissatisfaction with their practice setting, and nearly half would not choose nursing as a career if they were to ‘do it all over again,’ according to a 2015 Nurse Salary Survey conducted by Medscape.

This statistic isn’t surprising. As nurses, we joined this vocation because we want to help people, make a difference and change lives. Somewhere along the way we lost the ability to be creative, empowered, and supported to do whatever it takes to care for people without excessive regulations and endless paperwork. We are focusing our energy on the medical model, the diagnosis or health episode – not person-centered whole person care. Many of the nurses who’ve joined Lifesprk over the years have said the same thing: ‘I want nursing to be meaningful again. I want to make a difference. I want to be part of something exciting.’ What do nurses really want out of their career? A cohesive work environment – working with people who help share the work and pull together as a team.

Ethel Muchlinski
Ethel Muchlinksi, Lifesprk RN

One of our Lifesprk Minneapolis nurses, Ethel Muchlinksi, has been a nurse for over 40 years, and joined our team nearly 10 years ago. She shared with us that she’d held many nursing roles throughout the years, always in search of something more – a career from which she could retire to look back on and say, “I made a difference and my work brought joy to my life.” Ask her and she’ll tell you – the day she joined Lifesprk, she stopped searching and now she’s sparking lives, starting with her own.

So how can we as nurses bridge the gap and spark our profession? How can we feel valued, supported and empowered? It starts with culture. And we each play a role. At Lifesprk we build relationships with each other first – we inspire one another, we help our clients discover their passion of painting or sailing, we help care for them and we get their ears pierced, we give each other permission to change lives and the room to be creative, we support one another, we receive educational opportunities that enhance our personal and professional growth, we set goals, we laugh, we cry, we (with proven results) improve outcomes for people. It doesn’t end there though. We spark lives – that’s the best part. So many of our team members will say this isn’t a job because it’s purpose-driven, passionate work we are doing.

Sail on! Dream Rally Wish
Lifesprk staff sailing with client, Bob, who has had a lifetime passion for sailing! Click photo to read the story.

Regardless of the setting, whether nurses in the Minneapolis area seek to work in hospitals, a senior living campus, a Transitional Care Unit, home care, hospice or any of the many opportunities available today, we need to consciously work to remove the barriers that disrupt their vision from their reality.

In the news release on the nursing study, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, President, American Nurses Association said, “This survey shows that the working environment for RNs is still not uniformly providing the support and conditions that nurses find professionally rewarding and personally satisfying. Not surprisingly, nurses point to the relationship with their patients as most rewarding. Nurses in all settings deserve to receive competitive and fair compensation, but more importantly, they want the time and resources to provide the care they deem necessary to care for patients and families. This should serve as another wake-up call that we must do better to retain the all too critical nursing workforce.”

As professionals in the health and senior care world, we need to focus more on culture. Our people ARE our future, and when they are passionate, purposeful and fulfilled, our clients will be too.

Our nurses are proof that with the right culture, the nursing workforce can be meaningful again. In fact, our workforce is rapidly expanding and we need more like-minded nurses who are ready to make a difference, be creative and supported in their field. And of course, have a desire to spark lives. We are hiring nurses now. Please check out our current openings here.

Join the discussion: What do you think about these statistics? Does it resonate with you personally? What are you looking for in your nursing career? And Apply On! We are hiring nurses in Minneapolis and surrounding areas today!