New Year? What About New Opportunities?The topic of New Year’s resolutions is a recurrent January discussion. There can be interesting debates about whether those decisions are useful, annoying, or simply humorous. 

Instead of trying to “fix” a few habits, that may be helpful, why not take an opportunity at the start of a new year to assess a bigger picture: your career.

There can be no doubt that things happen during any year that influences changes in where you live or potential opportunities. But why not take this new year to think forward instead of reacting to life events as the months unfold?


Only you can know what your wishes are. Nursing has increasing opportunities for you to excel. Is this the year you proceed with one or more of the following?

  1. Earn a Specialized Certification?
  2. Apply for further education in an advanced training?
  3. Change specialties from what you have been doing to an area where you can positively impact your patients and your co-workers?
  4. Assess/determine what leadership options you may have in your current position?


For nursing students, there are many quests to consider:

  1. What specialty do I want to focus on?
  2. How can I excel in my area of interest?
  3. What mentors are available to help me understand my potential?


January is a pertinent time for these self-analyses. As the year progresses, day to day living, work or school tasks, not to mention many personal issues, capture our attention. Now as we look at a wide-open calendar, we can set goals. What additional information may help to solidify those opportunities?

The ultimate question is, how can I be a better nurse?

  1. Enhanced leadership skills?
  2. Consideration to be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse?
  3. Growth potential at my current workplace?



It may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What needs to be done by April to move forward to achieve career aspirations?
  2. Some dreams need to be paced; schedule small steps on the calendar. What educational choices may be helpful to ultimately make that dream a reality?
  3. Where do I start if certain achievements require multiple steps?


Of course, it always comes back to the first question, “What would I like to accomplish this year?”

These might be small steps. But if you don’t plan now, an opportunity may slip away. I mentioned earlier that nursing has many opportunities to move forward. Perhaps the place to start begins with an appreciation of the career you chose. Take time to credit yourself with the accomplishments you have already conquered. Let those achievements be a motivation to your future.