Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Your Wild And Precious Nursing Career

As the New Year dawns, it's a time when many of us look backward and forward to assess many aspects of our lives, our careers not least among them. How do you feel as you say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Of Flu Season and Nurse Martyrs

Nurses are often notorious for being martyrs, caring for others when they really need to be caring for themselves. And when flu season strikes, many nurses may heed the call of duty rather than the call of their own bed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Story of Malcolm: Nursing and Grace

I've written a guest post for the blog of Karen Ingalls, a writer and author who is a five year survivor of ovarian cancer. Her book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, is an inspiring account of the challenge of living with such a diagnosis.

My post is the story of "Malcolm", a patient from early in my nursing career who taught me many lessons of living well in the face of the vicissitudes of life. I hope you enjoy Malcolm: Gratitude and Grace.

I thank Karen for the opportunity to share my story with her community of readers. If you'd like to hear Karen's recent interview on RNFM Radio, please click here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Of Bowels and Happy Nurses

So nurses, what can make a nurse happier than a constipated patient who finally moves his bowels? Pretty much nothing, I guess. (Be forewarned, the following story is full of sh*t.)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Natural Inventiveness of Nurses

Nurses are smart. Period. Nurses also have to be inventive, think on their feet, and use critical thinking to solve problems on the fly. Nursing school doesn't prepare us for every possible thing that could happen (and how could it?), so we fly by the seat of our pants and learn as we go. And learn we do.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks

During this week of focusing on the gratitude engendered by the American celebration of Thanksgiving, I'd like to take a moment and give thanks for anyone and everyone connected with this blog, my work in nursing, my new avocation as a Nurse Coach, RN.FM Radio, and my many connections and networks.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nursing, Technology and Collectivism

Nursing and technology have gone hand in hand since the beginning of our profession. Whether it's the technology of syringes or tablet computers, nursing has been impacted by the development of technology since day one. But what does technology mean when we consider it's impact on nursing vis-a-vis the notion of collectivism?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Of Nurses And Their Self-Esteem

On November 6th, I published a blog post entitled "For Nurses, 'Just" Is A Four-Letter Word". The basic premise was that nurses' use of language that diminishes their expertise and importance has a far-reaching impact. That post has received a great deal of attention, so I believe I struck a nerve that resonates deeply with many nurses out there. (Thank you for all of the wonderful comments, by the way!) So, why is our self-esteem so collectively low?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Scrubs Blog Carnival: Thriving As A Nurse

I am thrilled to be hosting the Scrubs Magazine Blog Carnival for Nurses today, and it's an honor to provide the readers of Digital Doorway with a glimpse into the quality and depth of talent that exists among the nurse blogger community.

Today's theme is "thriving as a nurse", and I have no doubt the entries will inspire and move you in myriad ways. (Note to reader: the bold and italicized title of each blog will lead you to the specific entries for the carnival.)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Healthy Nurses and The Self-Care Bandwagon

A few weeks ago, 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.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Santa Fe Coaching Retreats With Nurse Keith!

I don't often write explicitly about my coaching practice for nurses, health professionals and nurse entrepreneurs here on this blog, but my latest launch is so exciting, I couldn't contain myself and had to tell my Digital Doorway community all about it!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nurses and Collective Success

Collectivism and collaboration are hot topics in the entrepreneurial spaces where I currently hang out. Just last weekend, my business partner and RN.FM Radio co-host Kevin Ross and I were at the National Nurses in Business Association annual conference in Orlando, and our presentation was entitled "Cross-Pollination: Collaboration on Steroids". This notion was well-received by the audience, and our assertion that competition belongs in the dustbin of history seemed to hit home with most everyone who was present.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Entrepreneurial Compost

This past weekend, I spent four days in Orlando at the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) conference with dozens of nurses. It was a great event, and the networking and connecting between nurse entrepreneurs and businesspeople was “epic”, to borrow a term applied so liberally these days.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Nurses and Social Media

Many of you know that I'm the expert nurse blogger over at LPNtoBSNonline. Over the last few weeks, I've been posting about social media as it relates to nurses. Here are links to those posts, all of which are relatively short and sweet.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nurse Empowerment: "Now" Is Always The Time

Nurses have a long history of being significantly disempowered. Historically, nurses served as "handmaidens" to all-mighty physicians, running at doctors' beck and call. The role of the nurse has changed over the years, but we nurses still need to feel empowered to fulfill the promise of our profession.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nursing and Happiness Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Many recent clients who have come to me for coaching are curious how to actually get what they want. Sometimes it seems we nurses are simply convinced that we need to work too hard for too many hours without being happy. This seems like a given in the profession, and some nurses see no way to create satisfaction and balance in their personal and professional lives. So is it possible to be happy as a nurse?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nurse.com 11 Most Well-Written Nursing Blogs

I am thrilled and honored to have been included in the Nurse.com list of the 11 most well-written nursing blogs on the Internet. It's always a humbling experience to be chosen for such distinctions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Non-Traditional Nursing Careers: Where There Is No Box

Ask just about anyone what a nurse does and where a nurse works, and the general response is, "Oh, she works in a hospital." Apropos of that statement, when I tell someone I'm a nurse, they generally say, "So, do you work at the hospital?" I have nothing against hospital nursing, but there's more to our profession than meets the eye, and many of us are waking up to the multiplicity of non-traditional opportunities just waiting to be grasped by the savvy nurse.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nurses and Relationships: Cooperation is Key!

Relationships between nurses are impacted by multiple factors, including stress, workloads, personalities, as well as the "culture" of the institution where those nurses are employed. What can nurses do to enhance their relationships at work, especially when it comes to cooperation?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Infographic: Family Nurse Practitioners To The Rescue

Thanks to Chamberlain College of Nursing for this very interesting infographic regarding Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs), Advanced Practice Nurses (APN) that will be needed in increasing numbers as our population ages and healthcare reform comes to fruition.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Book Review: "The Secret Rescue" by Cate Lineberry

"The Secret Rescue: An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines", is a brilliant book outlining the harrowing tale of nurses and medics who, after crash-landing in Nazi-occupied Albania in 1943, survived an ordeal that tested the limits of their courage, determination and faith.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Evolving As A Nurse: The Work of the Soul

The evolution of a nurse and his or her career is a very individual experience, and this experience expresses the spirit, nature and personality of the nurse in question. And when soul is infused into that journey, the entire tenor of the journey is deeply and irrevocably changed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nurses: Compassion For The Self

Nurses, when you consider the level of compassion with which you treat your patients, do you also consider the possibility that you can treat yourself with that same compassion? Do you feel that you deserve it?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nurses: Surviving Versus Thriving

Many nurses talk about needing to survive. And what are they surviving? Their shifts? Their home life? Their financial responsibilities and constraints? Their marriages? What does it mean for a nurse to reject simply surviving in exchange for actually thriving?

Friday, July 05, 2013

Nurses and the Scourge of Hostility

My last two posts about nursing and nurses here on Digital Doorway have garnered a great deal of attention and commentary. Nurses indeed want to feel respected, and it appears that the general consensus is that we basically don't respect each other. Where does this hostility originate?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Obesity of Americans--and Nurses

It appears that the American Medical Association has decided to designate obesity as a disease. So, if one in three Americans is now classified as being obese, does that mean that one in three nurses is obese as well?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A New Nursing Infographic

Please enjoy this infographic on the ways in which nursing is growing, changing and creating opportunity.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Burnout, Recovery and Work-Life Balance for Nurses

This weekend, I'm speaking at a regional nursing conference here in New Mexico, and the subjects of my two talks are burnout (prevention and recovery) and work-life balance. It's a sad reality that nurses need to hear about these particular issues so often, but as long as they do, I'm willing to get on that stage and preach the gospel of self-care. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Unexpected Occupational Hazard: The Nurse Gets Rattled

At the rural New Mexican home where I do home-based nursing care, the pace of work and the 360-degree view of the mesas, mountains and sky is quite different from other nursing milieus. While home care may not always seem glamorous to those in the ICU, trauma or other specialties, sometimes things happen that make me realize how interesting this specialty can truly be.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Journey to Joy Launches on June 6th!

On June 6th, a new book about joyful transformation for women will launch worldwide. I'm proud to say that my wife, the coach Mary Rives, is one of 35 fascinating and inspiring contributing authors to what will certainly prove to be an Amazon bestseller.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nurse Bullying: We Shall Overcome

On May 20th, 2013 on RN.FM Radio, we discussed nurse to nurse bullying with Renee Thompson, a national expert on the subject. In the course of that discussion, we heard that bullying among nurses continues to be a problem nationwide--and most likely worldwide, as well. What will it take to turn the tide on what appears to be a widely acknowledged form of aberrant workplace behavior within the healthcare industry?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nurses Week--Or Nurses Year?

Last week, we celebrated Nurses Week, and many of us acknowledged our pride in this awesome profession of ours. Some of us were even on the receiving end of others' gratitude in the form of gifts from our employers, colleagues, friends or family members. But why do we only get to acknowledge ourselves once a year?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Nurses Week: Giving Thanks

Well, this is it, folks. This is the week that's set aside for nurses to be praised, thanked and stroked. Gratitude goes a long way in this world, so this is a week when clear and heartfelt gratitude for nurses can be found in many places, both expected and unexpected.

Friday, May 03, 2013

The Nurse's Personal Dashboard: Tune Up Time?

I recently posted here on Digital Doorway about each of us having our own personal dashboard. While that post made metaphoric mention of the speedometer, tachometer, fuel and lubrication, we didn't talk about the need for a timely tune up. So, let's take that metaphor and run with it, shall we?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook

I will begin this review with the disclosure that Publisher Wolters Kluwer contacted me through a marketing agent and requested that I post a review of their new Nursing 2013 Drug Handbook here on Digital Doorway. I did not receive financial compensation of any kind for this review, but did receive a free copy of the guide in order to facilitate the review process. I previously reviewed the Nursing 2012 Drug Handbook, and you can find that very popular review here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Self Care: Between Flood and Drought

When we’re examining our lives and the ways in which we are manifesting--or not manifesting--our optimal life vision, it’s important to be clear, honest and erring on the side of self-love and compassion. Being alive in the 21st century is no simple task, and we can easily be sidetracked and distracted from living in balance and wholeness.

My friend and visionary colleague Carol Gino has often used the term “soul drought” to more accurately describe the experience of burnout, and this notion of spiritual drought is one that speaks deeply to me.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Nurse's Personal Dashboard

On a recent episode of RN.FM Radio, we were discussing nurses' wellness--both spiritual and physical--and the concept of one's personal "dashboard" came up in the course of the conversation. Are you aware that you have your own dashboard, and if so, do you heed the warning lights that occasionally light up?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Heroes, Courage, Trauma and Recovery

Yesterday, April 15th, 2013, two explosions rocked the Boston Marathon as runners and their supporters gathered in the afternoon near the finish line. As the race was winding down, the sense of celebration was palpable in the air, only to be replaced by shock and panic as a scene including dozens of injured and three dead emerged through the smoke.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: "Do No Harm Applies To Nurses Too!"

Renee Thompson, MSN, RN, CMSRN, is a widely recognized national specialist on horizontal violence (also known as bullying) among nurses, and her new book, "Do No Harm Applies to Nurses Too" is a step-by-step guide to confronting this pernicious issue that impacts many aspects of 21st-century healthcare.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Nurse and The Razor's Edge


When she looks at me and smiles, it’s a small victory.
When she moves her bowels, there's much rejoicing.
When a shower is accomplished, there’s a sense of satisfaction.
When her condition remains stable for weeks on end, we relax.
When things become more tenuous, we’re vigilant. 
And when we're vigilant, we can lose sight of ourselves. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

A Self-Care Extravaganza for Nurses!

Are you a nurse ready for a solid dose of self-care and wellness support? Would you like to learn some applicable strategies for injecting your life with wellness? This month, I'll be taking part in the third Rejuvenation Collaboration, and I implore you to do the same!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"The "Twelve Rooms of the Nile"


Novels featuring nurses are not altogether rare, but a novel depicting the fictional meeting of the French writer Gustave Flaubert and a young Florence Nightingale amidst the ancient ruins of Egypt was unimaginable until author Enid Shomer brought this odd coupling to life. “The Twelve Rooms of the Nile” is a story-telling gem, and the fact that the publisher (Simon and Schuster) sent a review copy to this humble nurse blogger has proven to be a delight.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Where Were The Doctors?

Last week, I attended an all-day conference on mind-body medicine here in Santa Fe. At the beginning of the day, the speaker obviously wanted to know the professional make-up of her audience, so she called out various professions and had us raise our hands in response. Of course, nurses made up the majority of the approximately 225 people in the crowded room, and psychologists, counselors and social workers were also very well-represented. And when she asked about doctors, only one person raised his hand. A murmur rippled through the crowd, and there was much ironic laughter. So, where were the doctors?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A "Silver Tsunami" Among The Homeless

We all know that there are millions of homeless Americans of all ages. According to some recent studies, approximately 21 out of every 10,000 citizens is homeless. So, as the population ages across the board, how do we address the fact that a great number of homeless Americans are reaching the time when they should be retiring and enjoying the remainder of their lives rather than struggling on the streets?

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Nurses Rising

Nurses are legion. We populate almost every corner of the healthcare industry, and we are the largest segment of the global healthcare workforce. In terms of hands-on care, we're at the bedside, in the home, caring for residents of long-term care facilities, taking care of schoolchildren, ministering to the dying, and tending the wounded on the battlefield. Like I said, we are legion, and our importance to society cannot be underestimated.


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Group Coaching For Nurses is Here!

Under the auspices of Nurse Keith Coaching, I love to offer individualized coaching to nurses who want to improve their self-care, prevent burnout, or otherwise manage their career and create more satisfying personal and professional lives. Now, group coaching is the newest vehicle available for nurses who would like to work and play with me in the context of coaching!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Digital Doorway Among Top 50 Nursing Blogs

Digital Doorway has been chosen as one of the top 50 nursing blogs on the Internet by NursingDegree.org. I'm humbled and honored to have been selected, and I send my gratitude to those involved in creating this list of fabulous nurse bloggers! I'm certainly in talented company!



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RN.FM Radio Seeks Nurse Intern!

RN.FM Radio, our popular and ever-growing Internet radio station for nurses, is currently seeking a nurse intern who's willing to jump in and join our team!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Secret Scents Infographic

This is a very interesting and enlightening infographic about the effects of ubiquitous chemical fragrances on health. Chemical fragrances can compromise our health. Food for thought.....

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Nursing Oscars?

Last night, while watching the Academy Awards at a friend's home (true confessions), I realized several things. First, I realized that there's no valid reason for me to watch the Oscars. I also realized that nurses need the kind of recognition that seems to only be reserved for movie stars, athletes and musicians. How can we change the reality of this poorly balanced equation?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Your Nursing Engine

Whether you're working in oncology, home care or as a school nurse, fueling your nursing engine is an integral part of making sure that you're not running on empty.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Nursing Valentine

Nurses, it doesn't take teddy bear scrubs or a box of candy at the nurses station to celebrate Valentine's Day. In fact, all of the hearts and flowers in the world can't really address the lives you save, the souls you soothe, and the care you give. When it comes down to it, self-love and self appreciation are the balms that will serve you best this Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Introduces the National Nurse Act of 2013

Since the issue first came to my attention several years ago, I have strongly supported the passage of the National Nurse Act and the establishment of a National Nurse for Public Health. The following is a press release distributed on February 4th by the National Nursing Network Organization Board of Directors. It is reproduced with their kind permission.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Nurse Listens

Today on the Facebook page for Nurse Keith Coaching, I posted a question about listening that really got me thinking. Listening is a skill that all nurses need to develop and hone over the course of their career. But what does it really mean to listen well, and what if we think about listening metaphorically rather than literally?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eight Years of Digital Doorway

Today--January 18th, 2013--is the 8th birthday of Digital Doorway, and I want to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on this auspicious occasion.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Review: "Social Media for Nurses"

Social media and the growth of the internet are more crucial to healthcare and the nursing profession than ever. The new book, "Social Media for Nurses: Educating Practitioners and Patients in a Networked World", is the perfect guide for nurses, nursing students and healthcare professionals who want to be well-informed on the ways that social media continues to change the healthcare landscape, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

RN.FM Radio Celebrates One Year!

In January of 2012, RN.FM Radio opened its virtual doors and began broadcasting as the newest radio voice in nursing. This month, we're celebrating our first birthday and looking back at a stellar first year while we look forward to an even more stellar second year!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Reviving (and Nurturing) Your Nursing Career in 2013

With the coming of a new year, many of us choose to make resolutions and promises in hopes of achieving our goals or fulfilling our personal aspirations. In terms of your nursing career, this can also be a good time to plot the course for how you would like to revive (and/or nurture) your professional life.