My 2015 Nurse Practitioner New Year's Resolutions

I used to work in an ice cream shop. It was really more of a shanty, a hole-in-the-wall kind of place popular among locals during the limited summer months of the Seattle suburb where I grew up. In the back there was a walk-in freezer set at something like 20 degrees below zero where we stored 10 gallon buckets of flavor after flavor of ice cream. When I gloved up to go fetch another bucket and entered the freezer it was so cold the inside of my nose immediately froze. That's what it feels like outside today.

Yes, January is officially here and along with this deep freeze a chance for a new start. It's time to make (and break?) New Year's resolutions. In my last post I talked about how I arrive at my resolutions- by first taking a look back at the past year. But now it's time to look ahead. I can't wait to see what 2015 has to bring! Here are my goals as a nurse practitioner for the coming year. 

1. Integrate teaching tools into my practice

Working in the emergency department I have few teaching resources available. It's more of an in and out kind of place. Or, my patients are so sick that the focus is stabilization and hospital admission rather than education. This year for my less acute patients, I want to begin using apps to help better educate them about their illness or injury in the emergency department. I think a visual aid goes far in helping people retain and understand information so I want to provide these resources. I'll let you know how it goes!

2. Increase the number of MidlevelU blog contributions from you!

I'm so excited to be starting 2015 with a solid group of MidlevelU interns and contributors. Want to know a secret? You don't have to be an official MidlevelU team member to be published on the blog. I accept well-written article submissions on practically anything as it relates to the world or medicine and especially NPs and PAs.

So, if you hate the name 'midlevel', write about it. If you had a positive or negative experience in your practice that taught you a lesson, share! My dream is for MidlevelU to be a well-rounded resource covering opinions from providers of all backgrounds and thought circles. This year I hope to receive numerous articles from readers looking to be published on the blog (submit blog posts to publishme@midlevelu.com). 

3. Get involved in my local nurse practitioner organization

I hate to admit it, but this is a carry-over resolution from last year. I did not make it to any meetings held by my local nurse practitioner organization. This year I'm determined to commit! I will attend at least six of this year's monthly meetings. 

4. Be effective in helping nurse practitioners and physician assistants find jobs across the country

This past year I launched the MidlevelU Career Advisor program. So far, it's going great! NPs and PAs have reached out for help with their job searches and for things like resume and contract negotiation advice. In 2015 I want to make the program bigger and better! I plan to publish a career guide helping with everything from resume writing to how to prepare for your next job interview. I want to personally connect with NPs and PAs who could use some help in their job search. I'm passionate about my career and helping others find joy in their work as well. Through MidlevelU I want it to show. 

5. Attend a national nurse practitioner conference

Most years, I put attending a national medical conference on my New Year's resolution list. I list this goal every year because I find attending conferences so rewarding. I enjoy the continued learning and intellectual challenge. It can be difficult to find time to read medical journals and learn on the job so a conference is the perfect way to set aside a little time to advance your clinical knowledge. I also love getting to know, in person, other providers. This past year I met an NP who owns her own medical practice based solely on performing DOT physicals. Who knew there was a niche for this?! 

6. Continue to find balance between my career, family and friends

It sounds cheesy, I know, but right now I feel like I have a pretty good work-life balance. It took a while to get to that place and I want to hold on. I feel like the best way to do this is to think intentionally about how I spend my time throughout the year. So, I'm adding it to my list. I plan to continue making time for trips with my husband (we're going back to India soon!), visits to my family across the country, and, of course, spending time with my friends here in Nashville. I will also continue working hard in the emergency department, expanding my use of media to help inform others about health and wellness, and interacting with you amazing readers(!).

2015 is going to be a great year, I can feel it! What are your career-related resolutions for 2015?

 

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