- You were out of work for an extended period of time (voluntary or involuntary)
- You have been doing non bedside nursing and want to pick up extra bedside nursing shifts
- You have been doing non bedside nursing and feel you are losing your clinical skills and want to do something about it.
Whatever the reasons, there are steps to take to make a smart transition back to the bedside.
Barring you have not let your nursing license lapse, just like other nursing career transitions, this is about change. Plain and simple. I suggest you create a plan of action involving the following:
1. Decide on the Specialty
If you are returning to the bedside, this may be a great opportunity for you to choose a desired specialty. Perhaps you don’t want to return to the specialty you worked in before you transitioned from the bedside. Take some time to do research and choose your desired specialty wisely and then create a plan for entering that specialty. Be open.
You may not initially land a position in your desired specialty, but you may find another opportunity that is close to that specialty and that will give you experience needed to transition to the specialty you ultimately want to work in. Create a plan for entering that specialty and then start taking action.
2. Refresh Your Skills
Regardless of the specialty that you choose (ie whether you worked in this specialty before or not), you will need to brush up on your skills. Here are a few suggestions for this:
- Do you have any training/educational material from prior courses/inservices? If you do, pull it out and start reviewing.
- Take a course. There are organizations that offer refresher/certification courses. Some of these courses are online and some are in person.
- Do your research. Find out if local hospitals/colleges/private companies offer hands on courses.
3. Refresh Your Knowledge
4. Assess Your Computer Skills
Do not attempt to run away or avoid this. There is actual government regulation (HITECH Act) related to Electronic Health Records. This alone is one of the main driving factors for facilities to implement computerized data systems.
My #1 piece of advice regarding this is to RELAX. Computers are not “evil or stupid”.
If you go into this (or anything for that matter) with negative energy, chances are you will have a negative experience.
5. Update your resume and make that baby SHINE!
Today’s job market is competitive. But you already know that right?
So what are you doing about it? Are you using a basic resume template you came across on a random website?
Did you take 15 minutes (or even less) to update your resume?
These are the actions that ‘most’ people are taking.
To stand out from the crowd of resumes that hiring authorities are receiving, you cannot do what everyone else is doing.
I know this sounds simple, but so many people ignore this.
- Really take the time to research what makes a stellar resume and then rewrite yours. Then rewrite it again. If you know someone who is great with resumes, ask them to take a peak at yours and give you honest feedback.
- Hire a professional to critique it
- Brush up on concepts like grammar, writing in the active voice, and using power words. If these concepts sound foreign to you, it may be a good idea to have someone help you.
6. Brush up your interview skills
Do not blow a great opportunity by performing poorly on your interview.
You can download my free “Ultimate Guide to Completely Rockin’ Your Next Nursing Job Interview”. It has over 20 pages of tips and specific suggestions for becoming a nursing interview PRO.
So what are you going to do next?
I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. Pick just one action that you are going to take and then do it.
Write the action you have decided to take in the comments below.