NP Job Stress Getting In the Way of Your Job Satisfaction?

Taking care of yourself can boost your job satisfaction and improve the care you give patients.

Importance of self-care for nurse practitioners and ideas for reducing NP job stress.
Taking care of yourself and reducing your NP job stress will pay dividends professionally and personally.

Healthcare professionals are susceptible to feeling overworked and emotionally drained. As a nurse practitioner, you’ve likely experienced challenging patient-to-nurse ratios, exhausting 12+ hour shifts, and being overwhelmed by the needs of critically ill patients. Left unresolved, physical and emotional stress can lead to lower job performance and decreased job satisfaction.

Do you feel like you’ve given all you have? Sometimes a job or career change can offer relief, especially if the main source of your stress is the management style or corporate culture of your employer. But, nursing is a demanding profession, no matter where you are. Before you consider leaving your current position, there are a few strategies you can try to reduce your NP job stress.

Prioritize Self-Care

You take care of others, but are you taking care of yourself? Setting aside time to restore yourself physically, spiritually, and emotionally can make you a more capable caregiver.

  • Physical care includes healthy eating practices, regular exercise, and adequate sleep with a regular cycle.
  • Spiritual care includes mindfulness, meditation, and personal spiritual practice that make a person feel more centered.
  • Emotional care includes spending time connecting with friends and family, as well as making time to participate in enjoyable activities.

Advocate for Yourself

Nurse practitioners collaborate with patients, caregivers, physicians, and other hospital staff. Often they’re so attuned to the needs of those they serve, they forget to advocate for themselves. Are you taking full advantage of your employee benefits designed to help improve your well-being on the job? These programs may include:

  • Wellness programs like workshops, fitness classes, support groups, and teambuilding activities.
  • Paid vacation and leave policies.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counseling services to help employees manage personal problems that adversely impact job performance, health, and well-being.

Clarify Your Role

If the scope of your position is causing undue burden, or if you feel powerless to make changes that would improve the situation, prepare to have a conversation with your manager. It may be time to evaluate and clarify your professional role.

  • Take note of your personal and professional capabilities and negotiate workload based on your capabilities and available resources.
  • Clarify your roles, responsibilities, and expectations with your manager.
  • Ask yourself whether your current position still provides a sense of accomplishment, meaningful stimulation, and opportunities to use your knowledge and skills.
  • Foster consistent communication with colleagues at all levels of leadership to reduce uncertainty and further opportunities for career development.

Although your job is just one part of your life, it can have a huge impact on your overall happiness. Good self-care practices can improve your job satisfaction, whether you stay where you are, or decide it’s time to move your career in a new direction.

The team at Melnic is here to support you and your nursing career development. If you are looking for a new Pediatric Nurse Practitioner job, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner job, or Nursing Leadership job, please join our network.