Authentic Nursing – Rediscovering the Nurse Within

The end of the year is a great time to slow down to reflect on your life, your career, and where you’re headed. We don’t need to tell you that nursing these days can be stressful especially when balancing the holidays with your own life and the lives of those you serve. But holding onto those stressful feelings can impact how you nurse, leaving you drained. As Elizabeth Scala, MSN, MBA, RN, says ‘it’s time to rekindle the relationship with the nurse within.’

Elizabeth a self-proclaimed ‘rehabilitated Negative Nancy Nurse’ writes a lot of blogs on nurse burnout and ways to help you ‘rekindle’ your love for the profession of nursing to help you maintain a level of balance in your life. She thinks burnout is actually good for nurses because it becomes a cause to do something. At Lifesprk we like to ask people – what is your passion for nursing? What do you want to do with your nursing career? What are your goals for yourself as a nurse? Living a sparked life is about propelling you to go after the goals you want. It’s no longer enough to just go through the motions whether in our career or for ourselves – we need to live with intention, purpose, and passion – if we want to live our best selves.

A few years ago we wrote a blog on ‘Creating the Career that Nurses Want’ sharing our perspective on whole person nursing. We have many home health nursing jobs but we also employ Life Care Managers (LCMs) who are registered nurses who become the heart of our whole person model helping to deliver care across any setting for seniors.  They perform the same tasks of traditional nursing but they also have the ability to go beyond that role in a way that is satisfying to our nurses. Their ability to do more than just focus on a medical diagnosis has our nurses buying holiday gifts for a senior without a home, helping another return to her beloved church just to listen to the pipe organ, helping a client furnish his new apartment with furniture from friends and colleagues, and even creating opportunities for a client to ‘rekindle’ his inner passion for playing the piano.

In our research we discovered that for nurses it was less about the salary and more about making a difference in their fields and doing what LCMs do on a daily basis – nurse with purpose, and an added ‘spark.’ Fast forward a few years later and that still holds true – at least for our nurses who all say they came to Lifesprk to ‘nurse the way they wanted’ and build deeper relationships with the clients they serve. In today’s ever changing healthcare environment nurses still want the same thing they have for centuries – to provide preventive, proactive, life-changing care for people. To make a difference and help others. What is important to you as a nurse may be vastly different than other nurses even on your team.

Being able to nurse the way you want isn’t always as attainable as you hope – or is it? Elizabeth brings up another great point in her blog that ‘shifting your perspective from what’s impossible to what’s possible’ will help you change how you view nursing. And if you want to rediscover the nurse within, you need to add in some ‘P.L.A.Y.’  These are four steps she’s teaching others that focus on ‘presence,’ ‘letting go,’ ‘appreciate,’ and ‘your best and authentic nurse.’

As we head into a new year, we encourage you to find your authentic self, rediscover the nurse within, and if it’s not where you want to be, seek out other nursing jobs that focus more on you, your whole person, and redefines why you went into nursing. The only thing you’ve got to lose is your ‘spark’ – now go find it and become your authentic nurse.

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