• 04 July 2019
  • 8 min read

How to stay motivated in nursing

  • Claire Carmichael
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Nursing can be draining at the best of times, so when you find yourself losing motivation how do you reign it back in? Claire shares her tips.

Play video: Claire's tips for staying motivated in nursing.

Hi everyone and welcome back!

So, in this vlog today I wanted to talk to you all about staying motivated in your nursing course, in your nursing profession, if you're qualified, if you’re a student; wherever you're working in healthcare.

I wanted to do a vlog about staying motivated because I know some days are going to be really tough, you're going to maybe have a breakdown, you might go home crying because you had a really bad day and you might want to give up.

Read more

• What does a Registered Nurse do?

• Nursing and a work life balance

We have all been there, trust me, I've been there too.

I just wanted to give some of my best tips to stay motivated and keep going and get yourself just in that right headspace again.

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As always, a little disclaimer - so I just wanted to say that some of these tips might not work for you, it's about finding out what makes you happy, what keeps you motivated, what works for me might not work for you, what works for you might not work for me or anybody else.

So, it's just about finding out yourself and keeping yourself motivated.

Extracurricular activities

Do more! So don't scream at me please, don't shout at me!

This might sound silly because this is a really tough course anyway, it's full-on, you're barely gonna get time to do an assignment some days, some weeks, some months.

But what I find really motivating is doing more, and what I mean by that is doing extracurricular activities around University, so doing extra things like being involved in a society, being involved in volunteering at University or for a charity outside University, setting up cake sales and bake sales, doing things with charity like Snowdon like I did!

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Doing all of these extra things just really keeps you motivated, I found the best thing for me was this because just doing those extra things with people that you love and enjoying yourself and socializing - I think that's the main thing of it is socializing with like-minded people.

So, doing more of that really keeps me so motivated on this course.

By doing more, it doesn't make sense I know, but it works.

Play video: how to make the best out of working shifts

Start your day off with a positive thought

If you are that person that wakes up first thing in the morning, you've just about opened your eyes and you're thinking ‘oh today is gonna be a bad day’, guaranteed you're gonna have a bad day because you've woken up already thinking it, so, therefore, it's gonna happen.

I know it's really so hard when you wake up and you think ‘I'm really dreading going into placement, it's been a really bad day yesterday, I'm dreading going back today’ it can be really hard to completely get rid of that thought and it's really difficult I think to sort of challenge it and think more positively.

But you need to try and just say ‘yesterday was a bad day, today I'm gonna make it an amazing day’.

Stand up through your power pose and just say ‘today is gonna be a great day, it doesn't matter what happened yesterday, today is going to be an amazing day.’

Really get your head in that headspace of thinking it's gonna be a good day and fingers crossed it's going to be a good day.

Stay organised!

Make sure you stay organized. If you are one of these people that aren't organized and you don't prioritize your workload, please start being really organized because I find this really really motivates me.

If I’m organized, I've got everything ready, I'm like ‘yes, I've got everything ready, I'm organized, I'm motivated, let's go!’.

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But as soon as everything goes to pot I'm like ‘oh my god, no this isn't happening’ and I start stressing and panicking, which is rare but it happens. I know that when I stay organized and prioritizing and know what I'm doing, I know when I'm doing it, that's it; the motivation is there to get it done.

This is a really good tip I think that I'm gonna throw in there, hopefully, it's going to help you.

Play video: Claire shares what brought her into nursing

Self-love

Showing yourself some self-love.

Now, we're so busy caring for the people, volunteering, we’re so busy caring and loving all of our patients and our colleagues and making sure everyone else's health and well being’s right, we forget about ourselves and we neglect ourselves so much.

Throughout this course, throughout nursing life, it's really important that you show yourself some love.

Treat yourself once in a while and get that motivation back.

Have a night out with your friends, have a meal, treat yourself to a new pair of trainers, a new pair of shoes, new top, something that isn't health related, completely for you and only you.

Be selfish for that one moment in time and get yourself motivated.

Remember why you came into Nursing

And last but not least, I think one of the things that really motivates me, and I've done this a few times when I felt really deflated; if nothing's working for you, you've bought yourself a new top, you've gone out with friends, you've done all of these things and you're still feeling deflated, you need to say ‘this is why I came into nursing’.

Just remind yourself why you came into nursing, why you wanted to be a nurse, what it was that you wanted to gain from this, for what reason did you want to come, because it's not going to be a selfish reason because it's not for the money.

It's because you want to help people, you want to make a difference in someone else's life, you want to make a change to somebody else's life, you want to make somebody else's life better because that makes you feel good inside.

Whatever your reason is for coming into this profession, just remind yourself of that and think about how far you’ve come, all the things you’ve achieved and all the failures you’ve overcome.

You're standing here today, just remind yourself of how amazing you are, how far you've come and actually look to the future.

If you're a student nurse, look towards qualifying - how you're gonna feel putting on your blues and your first day as a qualified nurse, and someone says ‘nurse’ and that is you, you finally got that moment.

You're a qualified nurse, you're a staff nurse, you're a community nurse you're a band five, band six, band seven, band eight, whatever point you get up to.

Just see that goal, see the end goal and just remind yourself that people need us, it's not a selfish profession because you can't be selfish in this profession.

We are here to help with the people, we are here to love and care for our patients and make their lives better and make a difference to them, and that above all just really motivates me.

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I remind myself that constantly when I feel down or if I feel really deflated after a bad shift I remind myself of why I came into nursing and how long it's taken me and just seeing the future and the end goal.

Just thinking ‘oh my god, I've got six months left now, let's do this’ and it honestly it just makes my day and it should make your day and it should get you motivated again.

It makes you realise that you can do this.

Speaking about motivation and remembering where you came from and the journey, this is a really good way to do it.

Just having pictures of your journey through nursing and your friends your family all of that on a montage, some sort of collage or if you haven't got a wall spare get a scrapbook or something like that and put it all into a scrapbook, something that you can physically see and visualize and just make you remember how amazing you've done and how amazing this journey has been for you.

That's just going to keep you right on track I think, I know it really really does with me.

Always remember if you really are struggling, you're really deflated you can't get going, please speak to someone.

Don't struggle alone and just make sure you have that open conversation with someone and maybe they can get you motivated again.

But if you really are struggling, please talk to somebody, don't suffer alone.

So that's it from me, I hope you all have an amazing week and I shall see you next time!

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

I am a student nurse studying at Birmingham City University. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs not only to help other student nurses, but also to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

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  • Claire Carmichael
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

I am a student nurse studying at Birmingham City University. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs not only to help other student nurses, but also to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.