1. Section Editor(s): Davis, Charlotte BSN, RN, CCRN

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Our success as nurses comes from one very simple foundational truth: we love what we do. As we enter into 2016, seek out a specialty area, job role, or patient population that brings you joy and fills you with a sense of accomplishment. To be truly successful in your career, find your niche-a focus that inspires you to implement evidence-based practice interventions and always be seeking innovative solutions to restore your patients to an optimal level of health.

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A specialty area of nursing that speaks to your core and stimulates you intellectually can have a profound impact on your career. It will make you excited to arrive at work and be part of a team that provides such excellent service to your patients. That niche will spark your desire to learn more and result in others taking notice of your professionalism, clinical skill set, energy, and enthusiasm. This is the pathway to professional achievement. The secret to success is no mystery at all-you must love what you do.


As nurses, we continuously strive for professional improvement and seek out experiences that quench our critical thinking skill of inquisitiveness. Moving forward in 2016, we must actively pursue fresh professional opportunities and be receptive to new experiences that inspire us to return to work with a sense of energy for what the day holds. Consider reigniting your love of nursing by attending a nursing conference, contributing your knowledge by becoming a clinical adjunct faculty member for a school of nursing, or taking an online continuing-education class.


Finding what brings you happiness can be challenging. One way to experience another clinical area is to request to shadow other nurses in your healthcare facility. Effectively communicating your thoughts and professional goals to your management team allows them the opportunity to extend a helping hand. We also need to embrace and cultivate colleagues who shadow others in our clinical areas.


If participating in a shadowing experience or volunteer opportunity isn't an option at your healthcare facility, seek other ways to retain your excitement for our profession, such as volunteering for a healthcare-related event or attending a local nursing organization meeting. Another way to triumph on your professional path is to become a mentor to a nursing student, novice employee, or even a peer who wants to transition into your clinical area. The act of imparting your clinical skills, experiences, insights, and ideas can have a dramatic impact on the future of nursing.


As we begin a new year, I challenge you to find and preserve your passion for nursing: share your clinical experiences with others, volunteer, seek out unexplored avenues of learning, and continue to be a positive change agent in your job role. If you love what you do, success will always follow.