Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COVID-19, Nurses, and Staying Informed in Trying Times

Greetings from Nurse Keith Nation HQ here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I'm spending the majority of my waking hours monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely in order to inform myself and my online tribe of nurses and healthcare professionals. Like many others, I'm doing my best to stay up-to-date and use my various platforms (as well as good old-fashioned emails and phone calls) to educate and inform as many people as I can about the latest developments regarding this very real pandemic sweeping the globe.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

Monday, March 09, 2020

Overcoming Mission Drift in Your Nursing Career

Has your nursing career drifted off course? Do you feel that your current career path isn't aligned with your personal or professional mission? You're not alone, and there's something you can do about it.

adrift at sea

Monday, March 02, 2020

Letting Your Nursing Career Magic Out of the Hat

Nurses, do you need some magic to get your nursing career back on track? Career development for nurses isn't rocket science, but manifesting some magic and joy for the betterment of your career is certainly possible if you want it. Is it time to let the rabbit out of the hat?

Career Magic

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Seven Traits of Effective Nurse Leaders


Please enjoy this guest post from Samantha Boone of Aspen University:

Rejoice in your work; never lose sight of the nursing leader you are now and the nursing leader you will become.” – Sue Fitzsimons

Leadership shapes innovation and change, and as more and more baby boomers retire, the baton is being passed down to new generations of nurse leaders. “Senior leaders look to surround themselves with creative and talented individuals to accomplish not only organizational goals but also a shared vision,” says Dr. Marcos Gayol, Assistant Dean of Nursing at Aspen University. “In doing so, they also provide these same individuals with opportunities for growth, involvement, and fellowship with career advancement goals in mind.”


Monday, February 24, 2020

Your Nursing Career Legacy


Whether you're a nursing educator, researcher, nurse entrepreneur, or nurse clinician, creating a nursing career legacy is both recommended and essential. No matter your place in the nursing ecosystem, leaving something behind that has meaning for you will suffuse your career with a sense of accomplishment.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Your Untapped Reservoirs of Brilliance

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a nurse client who came to me for career coaching, and we were discussing a variety of issues pertaining to her nursing career. At some point in the conversation, I used the phrase, "your untapped reservoir of brilliance", and it has stuck with me since. What untapped reservoirs of brilliance are you ready to mine for your highest good?

Brilliance can mean many different things to different people; for me, it conjures a plethora of images and metaphors. Brilliance can manifest at many levels and in every aspect of life, and in terms of your nursing career, your brilliance---and the brilliance of others---can serve you in ways both imagined and unknown.


Monday, February 03, 2020

When the Career Cookies Crumble

As a seasoned career coach working with nurses and other healthcare professionals, I often hear stories from my clients that are both heartbreaking and maddening. Nurses and nursing students go through so much in their careers, and there can be plenty of pain, struggle, and blood, sweat, and tears along the way. And when things go south and a nurse's career seems endangered, it can be a frightening and worrisome time.

No matter the cause of a nurse's career cookies appearing to crumble, there's almost always a way to get things back to the way they should be. I've seen so many varied scenarios of how a nursing career can take a bad turn, and I've seen many nurses turn it around and get back on top once again.

crumbled cookie

Monday, January 27, 2020

When The Nurse Is Stretched Too Thin

In all likelihood, we can all readily agree that nursing is not for the faint of heart. Nurses in many different settings can be pushed to the breaking point, driven to the precipice of burnout, compassion fatigue, and utter defeat. But there is indeed another way.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Overcoming Objections During Job Interviews

When you land a nursing job interview, one of your main tasks is to demonstrate that you're the ideal nurse candidate for the position. In the course of the conversation, your interviewer is likely to raise objections to why you may not be the best fit or why they might be hesitant to hire you. This is where the rubber hits the road, and you must do the work of overcoming their objections and convincing them that you're the person they want.

Talk to the hand -- objection!


Monday, January 06, 2020

Who's Driving The Bus of Your Nursing Career?

Plenty of people probably have opinions about what your nursing career should look like. However, the person behind the wheel of your nursing career should be you. Are you truly driving the bus of your nursing career?

Who's driving the bus of your nursing career?

Monday, December 30, 2019

Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Behind the 8-Ball

On June 8, 2019, an excellent article was published in the New York Times that clearly stated something I've been thinking about for quite some time. The article was titled, "The Business of Health Care Depends on Exploiting Doctors and Nurses", and the subtitle was "One resource seems infinite and free: the professionalism of caregivers". It was written by Dr. Danielle Ofri, a physician at Bellevue Hospital in New York City.


Monday, December 23, 2019

Nurses, The Holidays, and Work-Life Balance

There's no doubt about it, nurses; it's the holiday season, and many of us are feeling the pressure in our personal and professional lives. How do the holidays impact you, your mental and emotional health, your spiritual well-being, and your professional responsibilities as a nurse?


Monday, December 16, 2019

Doing Your Inner Work as a Nurse

Nurse clinicians spend a great deal of time providing care for others. Nurses give physical care (including that which is immediately life-saving), psychoemotional support, and spiritual succor, often in the form of motivational conversation and nurse-to-patient teaching.

What is a powerful way for us nurses to empower and elevate our understanding of human behavior, the human condition, and the nature of suffering? By assiduously doing our own inner work throughout a long lifetime of giving, loving, and feeling.

a clear mind

Monday, December 09, 2019

The Three-Dimensional Job Search

When most nurse job-seekers are in the market for a new nursing position, their job search process can be somewhat one-dimensional. From my perspective, a three-dimensional job search strategy is generally much more effective. And when it comes to career development, it's the same thing. One-dimensionsality breeds one-dimensional results -- why not try something more powerful?

three dimensions

Monday, December 02, 2019

Jump Aboard the Nurse Wellness Express

Once upon a time, I was talking on the phone with a colleague who is not a nurse himself but who interacts with nurses on a regular basis in his professional life. His comments about nurses and their self-care (or lack thereof) were extremely thought-provoking.


Monday, November 25, 2019

Nurse Be Nimble, Nurse Be Quick

The notion of pivoting in your nursing career isn't a new one, and that readiness to pivot can emerge from a nimbleness of mind and a willingness to read the tea leaves of your career. Nurse, are you nimble?

Nurse Be Nimble, Nurse Be Quick

Monday, November 18, 2019

For Nurses, "Just" is a Four-Letter Word

If you're a nurse, when was the last time you said, "Oh, I'm just a nurse" or "I'm not really an expert--I'm just a nurse"? If you stop to think about it, what are you really saying when you deny your expertise? Words are powerful, and the words we use to describe ourselves can have far-reaching effects -- for others, and within our own psyches.


Monday, November 04, 2019

Don't Let Your Nursing Career Go Dry

Like desert soil devoid of rain, a nursing career without direction or purpose can dry up, crack, wither on the vine, and leave you feeling barren, lost, and lacking direction. Do you want that to happen to your career? Of course not!

Don't Let Your Nursing Career Go Dry

Monday, October 28, 2019

Can You Return to Nursing After a Hiatus?

Many nurses come to me for advice and career coaching when they're ready to return to the nursing workforce after a hiatus. For some, it's just been a year or two, and for others it might have been 15 or more years of staying home to do the noble work of raising children. The question is, how do you break back into the nursing and healthcare universe after being gone so long? It's indeed possible, and there's a lot to do to get there. On the other hand, I will also share ideas of how to keep your hand in the game even if you're not fully employed.

back to work

Monday, October 21, 2019

Nurses Leaning Into Uncertainty

Throughout history, nurses have provided care to those in need despite the cultural circumstances or political scenarios at hand. Nursing care, like medicine, is a necessary service that simply needs to be provided in a society at all times. No matter that bullets are flying or elections are being disputed, nurses are there with their patients even as uncertainty rules the day.

Monday, October 07, 2019

What Is Your Nursing "North Star"?

Many nurses often refer to the profession of nursing as a "calling". Being a nurse can become and intrinsic part of our personal identity, and reporting for work can end up meaning much more to us than just a paycheck.

There are also nurses who approach their work like any other employed person, with no acknowledgment that there is anything more to be gained than a means to a financial end by fulfilling the tasks required of our position. There is no judgment of this approach to professional nursing, but this apparent dichotomy is worthy of our exploration.

your north star

Monday, September 23, 2019

Is The Nurse's Glass Half Full?

It's no secret that there's a multitude of unhappy nurses out there in the world. From mandatory overtime to unhealthy nurse-patient ratios, I admit there are very valid reasons for this seeming epidemic of discontent. So, is the nursing glass half-full or half-empty? I guess it depends on who you're drinking with (and perhaps what you're drinking). 

Photo by Jana Sabeth on Unsplash

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

The Nurse, the Martyr, and the Oxygen Mask


Over the years, I’ve known a lot of different nurses. I’ve known new nurses, seasoned nurses, frightened nurses, burned-out nurses, and nurses who were so jaded they couldn’t even see their patients if they were right in front of their noses. I’ve known nurses who clocked out at the end of their shift and never looked back, and I’ve known others who consistently clocked out two hours late and then were up all night hoping their patients were OK. It takes all kinds.

oxygen mask

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Quixotic Nurse

As a nurse writer and blogger, I often use metaphor as a way to express deeper ideas about nursing and healthcare. In the past, I've explored the myths of Sisyphus and Hercules as they relate to nurses and the nursing profession, and my nature continues to point me towards metaphor as a tool for understanding.

I've recently been considering the figure of Don Quixote as another metaphor related to our often beleaguered profession; although much has been written about Quixote and the author Miguel Cervantes, I don't believe anything has been written about the potentially quixotic nature of nurses. So, my friends, I give you the notion of "The Quixotic Nurse".

(Note: this post is much longer than my usual 500-600 words. Please bear with me and consider this long-form post as a necessary means to my desired literary end.)


Monday, August 05, 2019

Your Nursing Career and a Latte?

Just the other day, I was drinking a latte (decaf---I'm an unapologetic caffeine lightweight), and I realized that there's a very appropriate metaphor related to nurses, nursing, and a perfectly brewed latte. It may sound silly, but it may be more apt than you imagine at first.