I found my calling: Interview with 'Nurse Nacole'


Nacole Riccaboni of the popular YouTube channel Nurse Nacole shares her journey toward a fulfilling career in nursing.

Editor's note: "I Found My Calling" is a new series by CareerBuilder that highlights influencers in different verticals – people who have found success and happiness by pursuing a passion. Each week, we'll share another inspiring story. Find YOUR career calling now by visiting http://findyourcalling.com/.

It doesn't matter what job – or industry – you're working in at the moment. If you feel like you belong somewhere else, you owe it to yourself to explore that career path. After all, isn't life too short to work in a job that doesn't challenge you or leave you feeling fulfilled?

"Instead of settling for things, find what you like to do." Then, find a way to do it, says Nacole Riccaboni. Though you may know her as Nurse Nacole if you're in the nursing industry – or you've thought about nursing – and have gone on YouTube.

"People think it's all or nothing," says Riccaboni, but accepting a job doesn't mean you'll have to put your dreams and goals behind you. You can look back, she says. "You can work in a job that you are somewhat satisfied in, and still investigate and research and work on getting to that dream job. When the opportunity does present itself, you'll be more ready to go."

Are you closer to achieving your goals?
If you're like most people, there's an ideal job that you'd love to have if the stars aligned. If you see yourself working in that job someday, there are two questions you should ask yourself regularly: "What am I doing today to move closer to my goal? What about tomorrow?"

"I had many jobs before nursing, and I tried to make them all fit, and make them all seem really, really interesting, but I didn't like them," Riccaboni says. And none of those jobs made Riccaboni think about nursing any less. The right time to pursue nursing never truly came around, and she continued to work various jobs until she found herself employed as an administrative assistant.

Her wake-up call came in the form of an unexpected and (at the time) unwelcome surprise: "I got laid off. From a job that I barely liked." Despite her gut telling her to immediately look for a similar position, Riccaboni took a step back and decided to explore nursing. She knew she was on to something almost immediately.

"I always wanted to be a nurse but I was scared to take that step," Riccaboni says. "When I finally [took] that step, it didn't really matter how hard the journey was because I knew that I was doing what I loved."

Since becoming a nurse, Riccaboni has stayed busy. When she's not working, she's creating content for the 20,000-plus subscribers of her YouTube channel, creating study guides and other educational assets for her website, and writing for other websites when the opportunity arises.

As if that's not enough, she's also achieved something huge: She's found happiness at work. Meeting new people and learning from them, regardless of their age or background, is what excites Riccaboni from day to day and what gets her out of bed in the morning.

"It's very, very social. You get to meet people who are young – 20s – people who are 100… They teach you things about life that they've learned and bestow this knowledge upon you. I love it," Riccaboni says. "When I'm on vacation, I miss work."

Have something to work toward
Riccaboni is continuing her studies and, in about a year and a half, she'll become a nurse practitioner. Her YouTube subscribers also have her thinking about becoming an instructor someday. She knows nursing has been seeing high turnover rates and wants to do whatever she can to encourage her fellow nurses – and even nursing students – to stick with it.

"It's OK to have a bad day," says Riccaboni, regardless of the field you're in. "I have this note above my visor that says, 'Have a good day,' and I try to remember that every day."

If Nurse Nacole's story has you thinking about your next career move or your professional future in general, here are a few tips:

  • Identify where you'd like to be in five years, and don't limit yourself to just one outcome. Map out how you see yourself getting there.
  • Do what you can in your downtime to continue learning. Take classes or look into online learning opportunities to develop existing skills and pick up new ones.
  • Consider working part time or volunteering as a way to take new roles or industries for a test drive.

Where there's a will to move closer to a goal, there's a way. It may be tough but, if you're pursuing what you're passionate about, it will be worth it.

Check out Nurse Nacole on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/user/NurseNacole