Are you happy at work? Well, I’m not asking if you get along with your boss and colleagues. And, I’m not asking if you feel financially secure. What I mean is “Does your current job as a nurse match with your core values and what you have always wanted to do? Is it meaningful? Does it fill you up? Does it get you out of bed every morning?
A 2021 study recently revealed widespread burnout and dissatisfaction among critical care nurses. In fact, 22% of the study participant revealed their intentions to quit their jobs. So if you experience burnout or feel disconnected from your core values and purpose in life, you are not alone. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it.
Take Charge of your Career
If you are looking for a more personally fulfilling and professionally satisfying way to contribute to the combined fields of nursing and mental health promotion, you are invited to consider the new and evolving role of the RN Psychotherapist. Especially if you have been a critical care nurses, you can expand your clinical role and offer quality and effective trauma-informed care. This is a unique opportunity for nurses to emerge as pioneers in trauma recovery and trusted advisors on holistic health.
Data from the European Association of Psychotherapy shows increasing numbers of people quitting their jobs to join the psychotherapy profession. Between April 2020 and April 2023, membership of the British Association of Counseling & Psychotherapy increased by 27% (to approximately 66,000) and student membership rose to 13,000 (about a third).
The surge follows a sharp increase in the demand for psychotherapy and other mental health care services. Most nurses and allied health professionals have been to therapy themselves. They understand the benefits of releasing pent up emotions and gaining professional insights that quickly shift their health and wellbeing in the right direction. It is these same individuals that when trained as certified nurse psychotherapists (CNP), will have the greatest impact on the mental health landscape.
Independent Psychotherapy Practices
According to the College of Nurses of Ontario, psychotherapy is defined as “an intense client-therapist relationship which often involves the examination of deeply emotional experiences, destructive behaviour patterns and serious mental health issues.” The RN Psychotherapist role includes a deep assessment of life processes that support clients with behaviour modifications, reshaping thought patterns and cognition, and altering emotional responses that hinder social functioning.
Imagine the satisfaction that comes with meeting a client for the very first time and in just 90 minutes, you bring to a close the traumatic and emotional pain they had been carrying for decades. Beyond that, in that single session, you offer them the awareness and the insights needed to shift old patterns that have compromised their marriage, family relationships and their capacity to love themselves.
Nurses possess an innate capacity to heal and an incredible gift to truly partner with clients and empower them to own their mental wellness journey. Like no one else, nurses can support the masses with the realization that they don’t have to live with pain forever. It is their great compassion and empathetic understanding that enables nurses to offer a psychotherapeutic experience that immediately helps their clients to feel different and better.
Beyond your Private Practice
In a world of technological and economic change, interdependent national policies, and trade agreements, the work environment for nurses has changed dramatically. Governments are struggling with ever-increasing health care costs and cutbacks on critical aspects of the Canadian healthcare systems have become common.
Luckily, nurses and other mental health practitioners have a chance to make an impact beyond the confines of their independent practices. Nurse psychotherapists, as entrepreneurs can promote the establishment of autonomous and flexible workplaces where other nurses and mental healthcare professionals can find satisfaction in their careers.
According to a study done by The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, qualified mental health nurse psychotherapists are better suited to address service shortfalls. By transitioning to an independent psychotherapy practice, you can contribute not only to individual trauma recovery and well-being but also positively impact the broader healthcare landscape.
Doing it Right
We think it is important to take the right action, at the right time and always in alignment with our inner voice. So, we want you to be aware of two challenges most nurse psychotherapists and healthcare professionals will face when they launch their independent practices. First is the acquisition of the necessary entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. The other dilemma revolves around balancing the ethics of public health and self-interests. Unless you get these two issues right, your independent practice may fail, not to mention the possibility of losing your license and other penalties if you violate the regulations and standards of professional conduct.
Take a look at my recent article to ensure you don’t become bogged down by these challenges. It focuses on how to become an RN psychotherapist and make enduring contributions to trauma recovery while enjoying the professional and financial satisfaction of running your psychotherapy practice.