As with many nurses, I chose a nursing career…. or rather, it chose me. Growing up abroad, I always had a passion for helping others. Granted I was very young, but one of my fondest memories is when I was 5 years old and opened a Teddy Bear clinic in the military housing development where I lived. Business was actually pretty good, and I made a lot of candy (#money) …. especially with the kids who had older siblings.
Fast forward to today…. I am a happy, well-balanced person who loves life and my career, but that was not always the case. There were times where I questioned my career choice while facing long hours, task overload, feelings of herding people through the hospital and sending them home confused about what’s next, and additionally the unbalance this environment created in my life.
I was burned out like many nurses and will be recovering from that for a long time to come.
So, why did I stay in a career that dimmed my passion for helping others?
I almost didn’t.
When my father experienced a stroke, my wonderful sister retired early from her career in business to take care of him when he needed it most and I, being in what I call “robot-mode”, stayed working in an unforgiving environment. I had no bandwidth left to care for myself, let alone be there for my family.
Then it happened! I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to quit my job. As scary as that sounds, I did not give it a second thought. My letter of resignation wasn’t so formal as it was handed in on a sticky note stating, “I am giving my 2 weeks’ notice starting today”, and I signed it.
Did I miss working as a nurse?
Most definitely…. but not in the capacity at which I previously practiced. There was a lot missing in what my previous work environment offered and the created environment within me. Nursing just did not seem to be geared towards helping the patient holistically, and it certainly seemed to be taking a toll on my overall well-being.
You see, I wanted to help patients see their potential and have the confidence to care for themselves in hopes of reducing the occurrences of hospital stays. I had that idea in my mind and had the heart for it but did not know how to grow the concept until I came across a community of holistic nurses in the Integrative Nurse Coaching Academy.
Game Changer: Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program
Enrolling in the Nurse Coach Certificate program through INCA turned out to be exactly what I was missing in my career and my life. Imagine like-minded nurse mentors who have likely gone through many of the same things you have and want to change the way the healthcare industry looks at patients by gearing towards a more preventative and whole health & wellbeing approach.
Having gone through the INCA’s nurse coaching course, I gathered so many take aways and experienced those aha moments of self-discovery and transformation.
Here are just a few aha-moments that rekindled my passion for nursing
- Resilience: I am generally a realistic optimist but am still developing stronger skills to become more resilient and compassionate with myself. Things may not always go as planned, but that does not change the outlook.
- Internal self-awareness: Journaling has become my go-to for self-reflection. Add a little meditation to that and I am tuned-in to my day.
- Showing up: Before I could show up for another, I had to really get to know myself again. Really examining what my whole life and nursing meant to me took some internal digging and a lot of journaling, coaching from other alumni, and braving vulnerabilities. I can now coalesce my motivation, attention, behavior, and choices into one cohesive authentic skill of showing up and being truly present for others.
- Re-emergence: Taking a step back from nursing as I knew it and going down a different path with the Integrative Nurse Coaching Academy brought new light to nursing and reignited my passion for helping others. I feel like I re-emerged as a better version of me and for that, I am blissfully grateful.
- Community: Becoming an INCA alum began a life-long partnership with other Nurse Coaches. I can always turn to this community with any questions or share my experiences.
There is also an INCA alumni Facebook group private community for alumni and provides a platform for additional knowledge and support. Here is something I came across in the group recently that is worth checking out: Senior Faculty, Lindsay Johnson MSN, RN, NC-BC, SEP is hosting a virtual book club every quarter. This quarter’s read is Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s a favorite of mine and teaches you how small (atomic) changes will develop into positive habit formation by using a 1% a day concept.
As with nursing, Nurse Coaching is a skill that requires continued learning and practice. Within that, there will always be challenges and opportunities for self-discovery.
Are you looking to re-ignite your passion for nursing or perhaps a better way to advocate for yourself and the patients you treat?
“I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet-all at the least expense of vital power to the patient.”Florence Nightingale
Lisa is an adult wellness nurse in a family practice by day and a freelance health content writer by night….and Saturday morning. She is passionate about her career because she gets to do what makes her happy, help others and write.
Lisa is still actively involved with her INCA alumni and meets monthly with her cohorts and pursuing her board certification in Nurse Coaching.