In Appreciation Of Nurses
This year, Heather and I have had the privilege of witnessing the amazing hearts and minds of the nurses enrolled in the Transformative Nurse Coach Certificate Program.
I’ve shed tears, laughed with all my belly, and have gotten goosebumps more times than I can count.
To say I’ve been truly inspired doesn’t even begin to sum up this experience.
Even after working in ERs and ICUs alongside hundreds of the world’s best clinicians, facilitating this course has been eye-opening in ways I could never have imagined.
And I want to share some of those insights with you here.
1. You’re incredibly resilient.
Our work as nurses is high-pressure. But what about our personal lives?
Death. Divorce. Self-doubt. Bankruptcy. Disease. Mental breakdowns. Burnout. Fear of the unknown. Self-worth issues. Pain. Loss.
Even with the small size of our Collectives, we are stunned by the breadth of human suffering that exists – the type you only get to witness when you slow down and listen.
And in spite of it all, nurses choose to wake up, embrace gratitude, and be of loving service to our families and our patients.
You embrace resilience because you know that while life can be hard, there is so much beauty and learning in every moment.
2. When you give to yourself, you give to others.
By the time nurses first begin their own healing journey, so many of them are already burning out.
Last year alone, more nurses left the profession than came into it.
Yet when you consistently engage in your own self-transformation, you’re able to serve others from a place of true depth and compassion.
Walking our talk as nurses empowers us to give from a cup that is overflowing, and our patient outcomes improve exponentially.
3. You’re fearless.
To be fearless means to take action in spite of fear. You push forward. You ask the difficult questions. You call it like it is.
You hold hands with the dying, and you fight to save the lives of others.
You stand up and advocate for your patients and your profession.
You’re not afraid of discourse, nor to admit when you are wrong.
You. Are. Fearless.
4. There’s power in camaraderie.
Whenever I ride my motorcycle and I pass someone else riding theirs, we do this little hand-wave to each other. It’s this exclusive club where only other members get to know how badass it is.
Nursing is exactly the same.
And when we come together to support each other in our pain, suffering, joy, and dreaming – the impossible becomes our new reality.
But we can’t do it alone. We need a community to lean on – to cry with, dream with, and be held accountable to.
You can’t (and don’t have to) do it alone.
5. The value of a safe space.
I recently met Dean Ornish, the doctor who discovered that a plant-based diet can completely reverse heart disease. That’s a pretty big deal!
However, what he chose to speak about wasn’t the science of food. Rather, he discussed how human connection is even more important – i.e. our emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
And those parts of ourselves can’t be healed unless we are willing to get vulnerable and be authentic. And since that only happens within the context of safety, that’s exactly what we chose to provide within our course.
When nurses feel truly safe to open up about our suffering, we can forgive and move on. When we forgive, we create space for hope. That leads to possibilities and entirely new ways of living our personal and professional lives
6. How freaking smart you are.
I can’t tell you how many times one of the nurses in our Collectives spoke about a complex disease process while everyone else nods in understanding.
And without skipping a beat, they also speak about the human side of it – the emotional intelligence piece that allows us to so deeply connect with our patients.
Human health and wellbeing is incredibly complex – and we nurses know that we can’t separate the disease process from the person whom we are caring for.
7. You’re committed to mastery.
While this can be demonstrated by the sheer volume of letters after our names, this commitment is deeply embedded into our culture.
And the truth is, we have an incredible path towards mastery set up in our profession.
Education and learning + powerful mentors + plenty of room for creativity + tons of independent trial and error to find out what works best for us.
While we each get to take our own path to get there, we have the support of our entire profession cheering us on to be the best that we can be.
8. You’re powerful and creative.
When we unleash our creativity, our professional paradigm shifts. You stop seeing yourself as a cog in the wheel and begin taking full ownership of your future.
From what I’ve seen in our course, I now believe fully that nurses are the ones capable of creating widespread, systematic change in our healthcare system.
Not the C-suite. Not the insurers. Not our government.
When we are fully in tune with our power, we become an unwavering force for good and transformation.
From the bottom of our hearts, Heather and I want to thank each of you nurses for the incredible work you do.
And more importantly, for the incredible beings who you are. Fearlessly committed to the health and wellbeing of yourselves, your communities, and the world around you.
It is an honor to be a part of our profession; to be in the company of giants.