Monday, July 26, 2021

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, July 19, 2021

Be Yourself, Nurses; Everyone Else is Taken

Owning and stepping into your own genius as a nurse is important; and genius is, of course, relative for all nurses. At times, we can lose heart and feel that we just can't become the person or professional we thought we could be; however, seeking our own individual path is paramount when it comes to creating a career that feels tailor-made just for us, and not just a path someone else said was the best one to follow. 

Whether you feel like an impostor or your career has grown stale, there's nothing you can be other than yourself; and if you're trying terribly hard to be just like someone else (or do what others tell you is right), you may end up missing the mark altogether.


Monday, July 12, 2021

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, July 05, 2021

The Nurse Warrior: Fighting the Good Fight

Nurses, the hard-working lifeblood and connective tissue of the healthcare system, can often feel as if they are doing battle with elemental forces far beyond their control in their efforts to provide optimal patient care and fulfill their personal and professional mission.

While nursing can often feel absolutely quixotic or Sisyphean in nature, nurses battle on. Whether it's the Covid-19 pandemic, a natural disaster, the opioid epidemic, a mass shooting, or the challenges faced by the homeless, nurses the world over continue to fight the good fight no matter the odds. It is here that the archetype of the Nurse Warrior emerges. 


Monday, June 28, 2021

The Continuum of Nurse Career Growth

The growth of your career as a nurse can be consciously self-generated, or simply a result of happenstance and a laissez-faire attitude towards professional development. Neither of these options are necessarily bad in and of themselves, but a thoughtfully sculpted career is definitely fodder for a much richer, satisfying, and rewarding trajectory.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Five Rights Of A Healthy Work Environment

Several years ago, I gave a presentation at a northern California nursing conference on the subject of healthy work environments for nurses. During my preparations, I spent a great deal of time pondering aloud about the scourge of nurse bullying and lateral violence, as well as why healthcare workplaces lend themselves so readily to unhealthy work conditions.

There are many reasons that bullying and unhealthy workplaces have become so common, and I’m sure that you, dear Reader, can rattle off a few without even thinking for more than a nanosecond.


Monday, June 14, 2021

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, June 07, 2021

Your Nursing Career and the Skill of Writing

When we think of the skills that make a nurse a nurse, writing is not the first one that may come to mind. PICC lines, wound care, ventilators, IVs, and physical assessment are the kinds of things we think of, but the power of the pen, as it were, is definitely not in the running (except, of course, for basic nursing documentation). However, I'll posit that writing is a skill that can serve your nursing career in both mundane and powerful ways throughout the years. What's your level of skill as a writer, and do you want to improve?

writing
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Monday, May 31, 2021

Doing Your Inner Work as a Nurse

Nurses spend a great deal of time providing care for others, and even in non-clinical roles they carry many psychoemotional weights on their shoulders. Nurses give physical care (including that which is immediately life-saving), compassionate connection, 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

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Six Reasons to Love Millennial Nurses

The Millennial generation (those born between approximately 1980 and 2000) are the new majority in the 21st-century workforce (see this Pew research study identifying this cohort as 35% of the overall workforce), and Millennial nurses are on their way to dominating the nursing profession.

As one generation wanes and the other rises, power changes hands, and this is happening at this very moment as Generation X and the Baby Boomers reach retirement age and leave the workforce in droves.

Every generation is disparaged and criticized by the generations that came before, and Millennials are no exception. However, I hypothesize that the Millennial generation is going to positively transform nursing, medicine, and healthcare for the better, not to mention society at large.

(Please note: writing about any generation as a whole is potentially problematic due to the fact that generalizations must be made. My apologies in advance for any statements that don't quite apply to everyone -- this is simply an attempt to capture observations of the power and potential that this enormously influential generation holds in its collective hands.)

Young Millennial woman
Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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, May 03, 2021

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, April 26, 2021

A Message to the Nurse's Future Self

So, my nurse friend, it's twenty years in the future, and you have two more decades of nursing under your belt. You've cared for thousands of patients, held thousands of hands, and looked into thousands of pairs of eyes. Or you've poured your heart and soul into research, healthcare IT, entrepreneurship, or other professional endeavors. What do you remember, and what do your patients and colleagues recall? What stands out for you? How does your career compare to your expectations, dreams, and aspirations? How would you like that 20 years to live on in your mind and heart? You can create it now.

The road to your nursing career future

Monday, April 19, 2021

Your Nursing Job: The Same Old Bed of Nails or a Comfortable Old Shoe?

Some of us have nursing jobs that are feel like a bed of nails, and some of us nurses have jobs that feel like comfortable old shoes. Have you ever fallen into either of these categories in terms of your work experience as a nurse? I posit that either one can be detrimental to your career in the long run.


Monday, April 12, 2021

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.


Monday, April 05, 2021

Lions, Gazelles, and Nurses

Nursing has a hierarchy of power and experience just like any other profession; in fact, it also has a hierarchy that sometimes feels akin to the laws of survival on the savanna or in the jungle.

Have you ever observed that the less experienced and more vulnerable nurses frequently get left on the outside, often falling prey to bullies and "predators"? This is the herd mentality at its worst, and many novice nurses are taken down by bullies and power-hungry colleagues who eat them alive when they're demonstrating the slightest weakness.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

10 Steps to Nurse Entrepreneurship

As a nurse entrepreneur for more than a decade, I've been around the block a few times at this point and have seen so much of the ups and downs of this particular professional journey. While I'm not specifically a business coach, my career coaching practice and experience as a nurse business owner have taught me a thing or two about getting a business up and running — and keeping it going. Nurses come to me on a regular basis expressing a desire to work for themselves, and I have cause to believe that this growing wave has yet to crest. So what is a nurse to do if they feel the entrepreneurial itch? 


Monday, March 22, 2021

The 10,000-Foot View of Your Nursing Career

A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a career coaching client, and we were discussing how scary it can be to make a big change. In talking about the minutiae as well as the big picture, I encouraged her to always come back to the 10,000-foot view. "However," I said, "while the 10,000-foot view is a great thing to keep in mind, it can also give you vertigo."
 
Clouds, thousands of feet over Santa Fe, NM by Keith Carlson

Monday, March 15, 2021

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, elections are being disputed, or a pandemic is raging, nurses are there with their patients even as uncertainty rules the day.

Monday, March 08, 2021

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, March 01, 2021

Genius is Relative, Nurses!

Are you a nurse who sometimes beats herself up because you've focused so much on your specialty practice area that you've lost touch with other aspects of nursing? Are you highly skilled at reading ECGs but couldn't interpret an ABG (arterial blood gas) if your life depended on it? Are you a nurse business owner completely removed from the clinical world? There are all kinds of nurses out there, and you really can't know everything, even if you're a real life nurse polymath. Genius is relative, and we all have our own unique brilliance and gifts to bring to the table.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Is Your Nursing Career on Autopilot?

Nurses, do you ever feel that your nursing career is on autopilot? Are you coasting, resting on your laurels, or otherwise sitting in the back seat of your career? This can work for a while, but it can eventually lead to boredom, ennui, and even burnout and an abandoned career. If you're on autopilot right now, would you like to get back in the pilot's seat?


Are you on autopilot in your career?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Your Nursing Career Report Card

Remember the days when you'd run home with your report card to show your parents how you did in school? Or were you the kid who hid it at the bottom of your bag so they wouldn't see it? Well, your nursing career deserves a report card, too. How've you been doing and what grade do you think you deserve?

report card A+

Monday, February 08, 2021

The "Shoulds" and "Coulds" of Your Nursing Career

In the world of nurses and nursing, it can feel like we are told what we “should” do with our careers much more often than what we “could” do. While the difference can seem subtle, it is actually something that can have a serious impact on the career path we choose and the subsequent satisfaction that we derive from our choices.


Monday, January 25, 2021

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, January 04, 2021

A Pandemic "Marshall Plan"​?

When World War II ended, a massive global recovery plan was initiated, and we enjoy the positive reverberations of that plan to this day. The dawning of 2021 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic call for nothing less than a similar worldwide initiative. Are we truly ready to collectively embrace this humanitarian call to arms?



Sunday, January 03, 2021

The Gallup Poll: Nurses Remain at the Top and Still Need Support

As 2020 comes to a close, nurses have done it again: they find themselves at the top of the Gallup Poll for the 19th consecutive year. With 89% of respondents rating them high or very high for honesty and ethical standards — a 4% gain from one year ago — nurses stand tall as the most trusted professionals in the country.