Nurses too sometimes need healing

I was blessed to have Richard Bolles, author of the classic and iconic career book, “What Color is Your Parachute?” write the foreword for my book “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses.” I want to share what he wrote here because his message is powerful. Of course he makes reference to my book (I didn’t edit that out so as to not disrupt the flow of his words) but what all he has to say about our own healing and the horizons of our mind is very moving – a message all nurses need to hear and be reminded of. Enjoy!

By Richard Bolles

            When you stop to think about it, job-hunting or career-change, is one of the healing arts. For healing is related to the horizons of our mind.

            I used to notice these horizons when I was a parish priest and had to visit three hospitals in my community every day. I noticed that when a hospital patient was at death’s door, the horizons of their mind had shrunk pretty much to just what was happening with their body that day. And so it would continue. But when they started to get well, they started asking questions or talking about other people there are the hospital, then things going on with their family or friends, then things going on in the community, then the nation, then the world. They started asking for newspapers and magazines. Their mind was pushing outward and outward. Their horizons were expanding. They were starting to heal, and get well. The two things are intimately related.

            As nurses, our routine over the years can become so stifling, humdrum, mind-numbing, or boring, that the horizons of our mind also start to shrink. I remember a nurse who said to me: “Home. Hospital. Supermarket. Church. Week after week. This is all there is to my life.” We too sometimes need healing.

            So, what happens to us when we start to think about our future, as Donna Cardillo recommends in her excellent book here? What happens when we start to examine ourselves and our gifts more fully and imagine other places where we might use those gifts? Well, you know what happens. We start to push out the horizons of our mind. And the more we push them out, the more the extent of the healing.  

            As you read this book, think about every step that Donna recommends you take: the lists, the notebook, the self-examination, the accumulating of new experiences, the volunteering, the exploring of career options, etc. You will notice they all add up to one thing — the pushing out of the horizons of your mind and spirit.

            This is why I think this kind of exploration should be mandatory for nurses, and the longer you have been in nursing, the more important it is. You’re not just doing some selfish meditation about your own future. You are practicing one of the healing arts. You will be a better healer with your patients and everyone around you, as a result.

            And — lucky you — you have the country’s leading expert in career development for nurses to guide you.

Richard Bolles is the author of

What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual

For Job-Hunters and Career Changers – –

The most popular career guide in the world

10,000,000 copies in print, in 20 languages

Revised annually