Flex But Don’t Break, The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 110

This episode of The Nurse Keith Show is all about flexing and not breaking when the winds of change are blowing through your life and career. Can you flex without breaking? Can you pivot with the changes?  

Flex but don't break

This episode builds on episode 108, which focused on the metaphor of banging your head against a wall when you really should be breaking down that wall or creating a window or door for yourself. So if you haven’t heard #108, try listening to it before or after this episode and consider it one long episode cut in half. 

The popular and colloquial definition of insanity is when we do the same thing over and over but continue to expect different results. 

My own experience of breaking without bending resulted in burnout, and I want you to rescue yourself before you get to that point. My work as a career coach for nurses was born from that period of time when I truly took myself and my health to the very edge. 

Why do we need to stay flexible? 

  • The constantly shifting tectonic plates of healthcare (healthcare reform, economics)
  • Consolidation of hospitals and healthcare systems
  • Nursing shortages and nursing gluts
  • The rapid rate of technological changes (robotics, EMRs, apps, etc)
  • Staffing issues, nurse-patient ratios
  • Scope of practice changes for nurses
  • Aging and changes in our health
  • Changes in our family (aging or dying parents, a disabled or unemployed spouse, children, divorce, marriage, etc)
  • Shifting financial needs and situations
  • Your changing needs and what you want out of your life

What can you do to keep from breaking when the winds of change blow? Stay flexible and nimble in your life and career, and be willing to do things differently. 

In this episode, I share very transparently about recently losing a very lucrative consulting gig and a significant portion of my income; I don’t have all the answers, and I want you to know that I’m as vulnerable to change as you are. We’re all in this together, and we can acknowledge that it’s hard to walk this path. 

How can you prepare for sudden change?

  • Keep your resume updated at all times
  • Cultivate and nurture a robust personal network
  • Always work on both your personal and professional development in order to avoid stagnation in all areas of your life
  • Use therapy, counseling, and/or coaching to get you through the tough times

Stay resilient, stay flexible, and reach out to me when you need me!


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The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by Tim Hallowell of The PodcastingGuy.com; social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

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Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BCKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of RNFMRadio.com, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith was previously the resident nursing career expert at Nurse.com.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.”

He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and has written for Nurse.org, Nurse.com, MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline, StaffGarden, Working Nurse Magazine, and other online platforms.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur.

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