Five Ways Professional Nurses Can Deal Effectively with Career Disappointment?

Ever interviewed with other potential candidates for a great nursing position and not get it?  How did it make you feel—like a loser or maybe even that you might have been cheated out of it?  Disappointment is a common cause for emotional distress and may even feel like a severe blow to a professional nurse’s self-esteem.

How can you deal with not attaining that desirable promotion/position you feel you deserve, because of all your hard work you put in to attempt to get it, and not feel like a failure?

Dissapointed faceless businesswoman

Five Ways Professional Nurses Can Avoid Distress after a Career Disappointment:

  1.  Be honest with your feelings.  It hurts to be overlooked or not chosen.  (Have you ever as a child been the last one to be chosen for a more serious sport team or even just for a fun game or were simply not picked at all?  This type of past disappointment can sometimes cause old feelings of inadequacy or rejection to re-emerge even in relatively emotionally secure health care professionals.)
  2. Look at the situation as a setback, not an indication you are a failure.
  3. When the hurt feelings have lessened, ask yourself what you could do the next time you become aware of an opportunity for a promotion/better nursing position to help ensure your success.
  4. If you identify more specific continuing nursing education could help your chances for your future career success, such as taking management/leadership classes, make plans to obtain the CEUs.
  5. Remind yourself of your previous professional accomplishments and take some time to bask in the bright light of the super caring professional -–and person—you already are today.

While dealing with a career disappointment can be hurtful, if you put the five above suggestions into practice, you can help ensure your success the next time you take a step out—or up in your nursing career.

Don’t let disappointment cause emotional distress and damper your determination to continue taking the risk to move forward in your healthcare career. 


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