How to Stay Optimistic as a Nurse


It’s no secret that nursing can be a stressful, and sometimes even depressing, profession. When you’re encountering tragic situations every day, it’s even more important than usual that you make every effort to stay optimistic. After all, optimism is inextricably linked with motivation, and patients deserve motivated nurses.  While it may seem futile at times, there are plenty of tricks you can try as a nurse to maintain that positive mental attitude necessary for proper care. Learn how to stay optimistic as a nurse, and discover how you can make the most of nursing jobs even on days where everything seems to be going wrong.  

Be Grateful

Being grateful as a nurse is about focusing on the positives in your life to remind yourself that there’s still plenty of good in it. Think about how thankful you are for your coworkers — even if it’s really just that one coworker who agrees with you about how horrible your boss is. Keep a journal of all the positive things going on in your life, and remember that you’re in a unique position in which you literally save human lives every day. Nursing is often a thankless job, but focusing on the people who do thank you can do wonders for your mood. Be sure to hold onto any physical thank you letters you get, so you can read them when you’re down.  

Surround Yourself With Optimism

One of the best ways to stay optimistic is to surround yourself with people who exhibit a positive outlook. Finding camaraderie in coworkers who are equally as disgruntled can feel liberating, but it doesn’t have the power to boost your mood the way surrounding yourself with genuine positivity does. When you do spend time talking with your disgruntled coworker, your shared negativity shouldn’t control the conversation. Make an effort to engage in positive topics. In some cases, the best you can do is avoid pessimism when you’re trying to stay optimistic. If the employee lounge or break area is filled with negativity, use your break to go for a walk. If negativity surrounds your colleagues, your goal should be limiting the time spent with them. In fact, walking in particular is effective, since exercise itself has been repeatedly shown to improve one’s mood.   

Focus on Your Own Needs

When your job is taking care of others, it’s easy to forget personal needs. As Maslow said, you first need to fulfill your own basic needs before you can effectively move on to other tasks like taking care of others. Remember, this isn’t selfish, it’s simply ensuring you have the fuel to function properly. If you’re feeling too tired or dehydrated, don’t feel guilty. Grab a nap if you can, or get a drink of water if that’s what you need. Nurses often find themselves skipping meals to find time for high-demand patients on busy days. This may seem like a small sacrifice, but it can actually have a pretty significant impact on your performance. Even if it’s just a small snack, make sure you get something to eat when you feel hungry. Nurses already have enough to worry about, and a growling stomach isn’t going to do anything to help one maintain a positive attitude. 

Nursing Jobs With TheraEx Staffing Services

Optimism can be hard for nurses to find at times, but nursing jobs are easier to find than ever, thanks to TheraEx Staffing Services. We work to match nursing professionals with facilities where they can shine, forwarding their own career in the process of ensuring the well-being of their patients. Contact us today to find the perfect facility that can keep you optimistic and successful. 

BlogRey Rivera