I mentioned in my last post that I encountered a few challenges on my first shift working in a new emergency department. Overall, these were minor inconveniences and I’m happy I accepted this position. Despite an initial creeping in of self doubt as I tackled my first shift, at the end of the day the experience boosted my confidence. If you’ve worked in the same job for a while, taking on new responsibilities or a position on the side can be a positive, career-building move. Here’s why.
1. A new job offers a chance to reinvent your reputation
When I accepted my first job in the emergency department I was an inexperienced nurse practitioner. I asked question after question of my overseeing physicians. While this was years ago, and I’m now treated as a competent peer by these coworkers, I mentally fall into the role of one less experienced, less confident, and lesser of a provider in my long-term job. I let my prior experiences dictate my present circumstances.
A new job allows you to reinvent your reputation. Whatever mistakes you’ve made professionally of lack of confidence you felt as a new graduate doesn’t have to follow you throughout the remainder of your career. Even if you plan to stay in your current position, working elsewhere on occasion allows you to reflect on your actual abilities.
2. Putting your skills to work in a new setting boosts confidence
Having worked in only one emergency department position in my nurse practitioner career, I’ve been trained by the same set of physicians and NP coworkers for years. I have reported to the same faces in management and treated the specific patient population living in the community where my hospital is located.
Taking my skills to a different emergency department was a confidence boost. I realized that my skills translate across different patient populations and the knowledge I have gained is cinically sound. As an experienced provider, I was welcomed with open arms into a new setting and my abilities were well respected. Seeing my clinical knowledge at work in a different environment instilled in me more pride and confidence in my abilities as a nurse practitioner.
3. A fresh practice environment opens your eyes to different perspectives
In a similar vein, reporting to the same administrators and working with the same coworkers for years on end can put you in a bit of a career rut. Perhaps your practice isn’t performing to the top of its abilities. Or, maybe you are not longer being challenged clinically. Opening your eyes to fresh ideas when it comes to both managerial and clinical practices gives you new ideas to bring to your longstanding position.
I certainly don’t recommend job hopping or leaving a position you enjoy. But, if you must to leave your nurse practitioner position, are in the mood for a change-up, or are simply looking to take on a few PRN shifts on the side, practicing in a new environment will build your skills and confidence as an NP.
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