Ep49: Healing One Nurse at a Time- Karen Day, MSN, RN, NC-BC

About Karen Day

Karen Day, MSN, RN, NC-BC
Karen is currently a nurse care manager working with pediatric oncology patients, and she’s creating a hybrid nurse coaching program for burned out nurses. She’s been a nurse for over 40 years practicing primarily in critical care and oncology, from bedside to care management and education and program management.

Contact

karen@karenday-wellness.com

Ep49: Healing One Nurse at a Time- Karen Day, MSN, RN, NC-BC Highlights

Ah-Has

“There’s so much that needs to be done, so much change that needs to happen. How will we ever do it? And then I step back and it’s like, one Nurse at a time, one situation at a time, one ripple will start making that change. And then it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, I think.” ~Karen Day, MSN, RN, NC-BC

  •  We can make change, one Nurse at a time, one situation at a time
  • Our younger Nurses are training younger Nurses as preceptors, teachers, and mentors.  Many of them don’t have lots of experience.  How can we support them with more grace, acceptance and resources
  • Nursing needs to create a culture shift to truly support each other without judgement.  We can do this by honoring our past, learning from it, acknowledging it and shifting towards more self-care, resources, and each other
  • The pressure of perfection does not always support us and can be a pathway to burnout, and Nurses leaving the profession
  • Creating sacred spaces, where anything goes, where anything can be said, where it is safe to share and discuss.  This is different than a route cause analysis, or a clinical debrief, however… there is potential to create a sacred space in those areas too!
  • Acknowledge the strengths in each other.  Acknowledge that you see another Nurse struggling, and ask them how you can help
  • What can help you feel better?  Mindfulness?  Movement? Time alone?  Time with friends?  Going outside?
  • Including Nurse Coaching in all Nursing curriculum will support Nurses better on their journey

 Resources and Links

Bloom Where you are Planted Nurse Coach blog

Code Lavender

Create a Sacred Virtual Space Blog

Ep24: Stop Burnout In Nursing School- Janice Lanham, MS, RN, CNEcl podcast

Karen Day Wellness

Integrative Nurse Coach Academy Nurse Coach Certificate Program

Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! podcast

The Sacred Space: Using Stages of Change Model With Motivational Interviewing to Promote Patient-Centered Healing NIH article

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Thank you for listening. We LOVE Nurses!

Ep49: Healing One Nurse at a Time- Karen Day, MSN, RN, NC-BC Transcript

Nicole Vienneau  00:00

Welcome, everyone, to Integrative Nurse Coaches in ACTION! My name is Nicole Vienneau. I am your host, and I’m also a Board-Certified Integrative Nurse Coach. And today we are welcoming Karen Day. Karen Day is currently a Nurse Care Manager working with pediatric oncology patients.

And she is working on creating a Nurse Coaching program for burned out Nurses. And this is a topic that is very close to my heart. And I am so excited to have Karen on our podcast today. So welcome, Karen!

Karen Day  00:39

Thank you, I so appreciate this opportunity. I love talking about Nurse Coaching, and also how Nurse Coaches can help burnt out Nurses. So, it’s near and dear to my heart. And I appreciate having a forum to speak about it.

Nicole Vienneau  00:56

Well, awesome. We will have so much fun about this topic, even though it is a challenging topic to speak about. We know that our Nurses are… some of our Nurses are very much struggling now. And so I really appreciate the work that you’re doing to help support Nurses as we are going through this troubling time in society and in our healthcare system.

Karen Day  01:18

Well, I feel that we are at almost a breaking point, you know, in both in our health care systems, and with the Nursing profession. And if we don’t change things in a very profound way to not only nurture and develop new Nurses, but to support our Nurses with wisdom and keep them in the profession, I think we are going to have very big problems in the future.

Nicole Vienneau  01:44

I agree, Karen, we are in dire straits, I think for Nursing turnover, Nurses leaving the profession. I think it’s definitely a scary time. I often think like who is going to be caring for me when I need the help? Yeah.

And I know this conversation that we’ll have on this podcast will focus so much on different strategies and different ways that we can think about helping our Nurses. Before we get there, though, I’d love to take a trip down history lane and discover why you became a Nurse. What drew you into the Nursing profession?

Karen Day  02:24

Oh my gosh. Well, to start off with, I am an old school Nurse. So, I always wanted to be a Nurse. My mom was a Nurse, first to go to college. She was a great role model. But I went to Nursing school in the 70s, back when you were an indentured servant, aka hospital trained, and you lived at the hospital, you ate at the hospital, and you were trained by the doctors and Nurses right out of high school.

I had a two day interview process on was I worthy to be a Nurse, and half my class was kicked out in the first semester because they weren’t good enough. So you know, when I was listening to Janice’s podcast about burnout in student Nurses, it so resonated with me because the way I was trained up almost set you up for burnout before you even hit the floor, right? It’s very militaristic, there was this, you know, ongoing expectation of you hold patient’s lives in your hand, they’re going to die if you make a mistake.

So, there was no room for mistakes, for less than perfect. And you put so much pressure on yourself that, like I say, I think it was just a recipe for burnout that has been bred in Nurses for generations. So, that was a convoluted way of introducing my topic about Nurse burnout. But yeah, so I’ve been a Nurse for over 40 years now.

And I have seen some profound changes. I’ve taught Nursing, so I’ve seen some changes, and some unfortunate continuation of that, you know, placing high pressure and expectation on student Nurses that set them up for burnout and stress and failure, in my time as a Nursing instructor. So, like you say, I think we’ve got a long way to go. But I have hope.

Nicole Vienneau  04:12

So, I’m glad you brought up Janice Lanham. She had podcast number 24, which is Stop Burnout in Nursing School. And you know, you being a Nurse in the 1970s, in the old school way of Nursing, and yet some of those things, some of those ways of being are still relevant today in Nursing school and setting our Nurses up for this burnout kind of predicament that we get ourselves into because of perfectionism and having to do it just so and yada-yada.

So, what kind of things do you recall, maybe from Nursing school, that you’ve had to shift in your life to accommodate those old ways of being that maybe weren’t serving you?

Karen Day  04:59

Probably the letting go of perfectionism. And I still struggle with that today. And that’s so much the message that, you know, I learned in holistic Nursing and Nurse Coaching, was where you’re at right now is enough, right? But that’s not the message that we got in Nursing school.

You could always do it better, so and so did it better than you, try harder, go back, you fail, you know, come back and try again, instead of encouraging and supporting, and what can we do to help you if you’re struggling with something. And we were never allowed to show up less than perfect. And, you know, I always call it gateway actions into Nurse burnout.

We start with those expectations, and then your first, you know… I still remember, it was 1981, in my first role as a new grad Nurse, and oh my gosh, the verbal abuse I got from experienced Nurses if I made a mistake, if I didn’t do something right. And I had 20 patients— this is walking down memory lane— but yeah, I had 20 patients, with an LPN and an aide.

No ICUs, no step down units, mixing my own chemo, and you are just expected to know everything. And you weren’t supported once came out of Nursing school either. And I see that today, you know, in talking with middle management. I’ve been doing some resilience presentations for middle management at Cincinnati Children’s, where I work.

And they talk about the struggles they have with new Nurses coming up with so much pressure on themselves, and yet not… the generation of not knowing how to really articulate or to support themselves, or to ask for help, or to know that it’s not allowed. So, it’s sad to see that that’s still going on today.

Nicole Vienneau  06:59

It is sad. And you speak of this gateway to Nurse burnout and perfectionism, and the struggles of having to do it perfectly without a lot of experience. And yes, we do, in Nursing school, learn the techniques and the tools in which to do certain protocols and so forth like that— of course, we want to be safe and do those correctly.

Yet, we’re also missing that piece of grace. And, yes, let’s work through this together, and show that there are multiple ways to do one thing. And yes, protocols are great, they keep us in line, they also keep us safe. So, some things we must do to somewhat of a perfection, I suppose, otherwise, someone could get hurt, yet at the same time, where is the grace?

And how much grace that we’re shown in Nursing school can be limited, then that also ends up in how we would then potentially treat ourselves and/or treat the next generation of Nurses as well.

Yeah, so as you’ve… through your many years of experience, and many roles in your Nursing career, through that experience, what are some of the things that you see that could be of benefit in just helping Nurses at the beginning stages of their career?

Karen Day  08:29

I like the focus that you brought on grace. Could we, as mentors, as preceptors, as leaders, establish a culture of grace, of support? Because in talking to, you know, the leaders at my organization, they’re like, we’ve got baby Nurses teaching baby Nurses, right? So how can you model resilience when they don’t even understand it themselves?

And you know, I kind of threw it back to them, I’m like, well, do you set that culture of resilience and grace for support and flexibility, for talking through when an issue comes up? And I really think it’s a cultural shift that we need to take in Nurses in Nursing, to be able to have that grace, to have that understanding, to have that, you know, I want to say sense of humor, but, you know, sometimes you just have to roll with this stuff.

I always told my students, you know, unless you kill somebody, all mistakes are good, right? Because you learn from them. You learn better from a mistake, as long as it’s within a scenario that allows you to make a mistake and to learn from it, than you do from hours of lecture. Yeah, I think there’s a culture shift that Nursing needs to make.

And that’s when sometimes it can feel overwhelming because it’s like, oh my gosh, there’s so much that needs to be done, so much change that needs to happen. How will we ever do it? And then I step back and it’s like, one Nurse at a time, one situation at a time, one ripple will start making that change. And then it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, I think.

Nicole Vienneau  10:18

Yes, one Nurse at a time, one situation at a time, and allowing some time to actually have the debriefs, have the conversations, maybe when things have not gone the right way— I’m putting quotations, right— because I do believe there are many ways that things can happen, many ways to do things, many ways of looking at something.

And so having this culture shift does seem overwhelming, and yet, I’m seeing some of this shifting in some of the organizations and some of the conversations that I’ve had through this podcast, and in conversations with different Nursing leaders as well, that they’re recognizing that if we’re going to survive, if Nursing is going to survive, that we do need to begin to make changes.

And acknowledge our past, our history is very important. And how can we shift just a little bit so that we’re moving in the direction that we want to go?

Karen Day  11:25

Right now I work on the professionalism tenant for shared governance, and we’re trying to introduce more self-care options and resources that are available to Nurses. One thing, you know, are you familiar with Code Lavender?

Nicole Vienneau  11:45

I’m very familiar with Code Lavender. Yes, but you may want to share because maybe some of our listeners would love to know a little bit more about it. So, please do share.

Karen Day  11:55

Well, Code Lavender, as I understand it, because we’re not using it at our institution, but it really is kind of an immediate stress response team or support for Nurses in situations. But when I was thinking about Nurse Coaching, what an ideal role to attach a Nurse Coach to your Code Lavender, to be able to go and assist with that debriefing with just a couple of key questions that will allow the Nurses to, you know, take a different look or gain perspective or just be able to work through some really strong emotions.

So I don’t know if there’s hospitals out there doing that, but boy, for Nurse Coaches that are looking to create a very necessary role and to sell to their organization, I think it’d be a great, great idea.

Nicole Vienneau  12:47

Yes, I’m actually working with a local hospital here in Tucson, Arizona, and we… I brought them the literature around Code Lavender. And CodeLlavender is, you know, we call it at this organization… what we recognized was, it was going to be difficult to have the staff to actually staff a code lavender team, because everyone is so short staffed.

So, what we ended up… we did talk about Nurse Coaches because that’s what I am, I am going to this organization as a Nurse Coach. And the benefit of having someone to debrief even just a few moments, like you said, just a few questions, to have people, instead of being stuck in the suffering and the oh my gosh, we had this terrible incident that happened and/or a family member is so angry, whatever the situation is that’s causing some set of circumstances that create angst or mistakes or suffering or set ourselves up for rumination, rumination of the event over and over and over again.

Taking those Nurses aside and having a brief conversation, a moment of even silence with them, acknowledging how this weighs on Nurses’ shoulders and hearts. Nurses don’t want to make a mistake, Nurses want everything to go smoothly. There’s so many things within an organization and a healthcare system that is not helpful to the Nursing process and not helpful to the way that we want our patients to be cared for, things beyond the control of a Nurse.

And yes, we are still called to be in this profession and do this work, and we want to do it well. But those conversations after the fact can really help support the well being of our Nurses and help them release some of this feelings of not good enough or feelings of why did that happen? I wish this, you know, happened instead.

So, in the organization that I came to and talked about that, we realized we didn’t have enough staff, we wouldn’t be able to do the full code lavender protocol. And this is at a Cleveland Clinic, Code Lavender, and I’m going to share this literature in the show notes, to read a little bit about it, too. But we decided that we would change the name to Code Sage, because we’re in the desert, and sage is a beautiful plant that is really resilient here in the desert.

So we changed it to Code Sage. And what we do instead is offer… bring a real-life sage plant to the unit as soon as we possibly can, and offer the connection to a Nurse Coach who can have a conversation with those Nurses, and/or that the Nurse Coach can reach out to those Nurses to say I’m here for you and I understand what happened.

Not in a way that I want to do a root cause analysis and do all that stuff, that’s a whole other thing. But instead, I am beside you, I support you, I want to be with you and honor you for you, for you and the work that you do. So, it’s a work in progress at this organization, and we’re seeing how it’s rolling out. And you know, it’s interesting to see this all happen.

But I’m so thankful that you brought up Code Lavender, because it is an opportunity for Nurses, who have Nurse Coach training, to support fellow Nurses, and to maybe bring that to their organizations as a possibility.

Karen Day  16:36

And Nurses, I mean, inherently, we understand sacred space and listening. I mean, we are those eyes and ears at our patient’s bedside. And we do it, you know, sometimes not even realizing, but when you give permission— and I’ve noticed this in my resilience presentations— that when you stop and you acknowledge that this is sacred space, that we are going to share things and you can talk about anything here, and you know, this is non-judgment zone, you almost see them take this step back and a deep breath, and then stuff comes out.

It was just… and these are Nurses I’ve never met before, doing these presentations that are sharing just gut wrenching experiences and pain that they’ve gone through, and they’re like, nobody has ever asked me about that before. Brings home what we learn, you know, in our Nurse Coach training, that it really is a profound privilege to be a Nurse Coach and to create these spaces, and to protect your client or whoever you’re talking with, and allow them to just share their story.

Because I think that’s one thing… us Nurses, we talk a lot, we share those funny-isms, you know, our experiences, but I don’t know that we ever get, you know… especially the younger Nurses, and I might be generalizing, but to get deep, to really talk about how that touches, because it goes back to that, remember, you got to be tough, you got to shut you know.

You’ve got to be compassionate— and I tell my students, it’s like you walk this fine line, where you have to be detached, so that you can keep doing it, you have to be compassionate, so that you look human and share your emotions, and at the same time, you may be in an experience or a situation that you are very unprepared to deal with.

The first time I had to deal with, you know, a child that had been sexually abused, I’m like, how do you… how do you cope with that? And you have to do it on the fly because you don’t have time to say, okay, I gotta center myself, gotta get ready for this. Sometimes you’re just thrown into these situations, and ill prepared to process them. And that’s just a roundabout way of getting back to how Nurse Coaches can really help their fellow Nurses, which is my passion.

Nicole Vienneau  19:13

So Karen, when you were talking about sacred space, I felt your energy shift. And some of our listeners don’t really know what sacred space means or what it could look like. So I’m hopeful that you might share a little bit about what you see as sacred space, how that could show up.

Karen Day  19:36

I think whenever, you know… I… boy, and this comes from years of working ICU and oncology and watching people die on a regular basis. And now that I’m doing pediatric oncology. Every opportunity to deal with a parent, my job is to Coach the parents so that they can go home and take care of their dying child, right. So, I look at that opportunity as sacred, it’s a privilege, and I don’t take it lightly.

And I think it’s a way of being able to step back and ground myself and know that I’m going to go in and create an area that— they’re already under stress— so that whether you’re dealing with other Nurses or parents, that your energy helps them to calm, and know that we can talk about anything.

And that coupled with key Coaching questions, you know, what is your goal, what does a happy ending to their life look like? Asking those questions in a sacred space and environment of no stress, and you’re not bringing your angst in, you’re bringing your calm, centered, open hearted, caring Nurse, to any interaction or situation that allows people to be themselves.

And so often, Nurses, we’ve got an agenda, we’ve got a checklist, we got things to do, and we go in with that approach, and I think it shuts down some interactions if we’re not careful, if we’re not at least aware of it, right? So, I know not every interaction can be a profound creation of sacred space, but I think we have to pick and choose when it’s important to do that.

Nicole Vienneau  21:31

I think there are different levels of sacredness too. So, I’ve had many opportunities where I could create a sacred space. And I appreciated when you were discussing about the pediatric parents, who would have to help their baby die or their young child die, and finding that space, that shared space of calm, co-creation of anything goes and all is accepted in that space.

And yet, I think of my life, and yes, as a Nurse, I’ve had many conversations that are sacred, and I’ve had also other times where I just felt so frazzled and taken off guard, I couldn’t have been prepared, like how you have mentioned, you know, how do you prepare for some of these things that you’ve never seen before? Yet, having gone through Nurse Coaching, I see myself in the past as just going through the motions, and maybe not always showing up the way I wanted to show up.

Critical Care Nurse, gotta get the things done, people’s lives are on the line, I must, you know, do all the things and be very protocol driven, and task oriented some days. And that always led me to feeling like I was missing something. Because, you know, I always just felt, not missing the things that I needed to do, but missing something in me, like my heart space, my ability to deal with the things that I was seeing on a daily basis.

Now, having gone through Nurse Coaching, and recognizing that even though I can’t be prepared necessarily for anything, some things that I’m going to see in a day, I can I set myself up to be able to acknowledge myself in a potentially sacred space, and treat myself like I am a sacred space.

And taking a moment, even though I’m unprepared, to just pause for a minuscule of a second, and take a breath, or a minuscule of a second to acknowledge that I feel intimidated, and that I, you know, I can tap into my inner wisdom. I felt that, okay, I’ve acknowledged that, and now I’m going to use my skills that I know I have to come into this space.

And so, you know, I see the sacred space and creation of that, us creating a space for others, and then us creating a space for our own self too, and how that could look. And just with your conversation of that, I never really thought about that before. And that now I’m able to see, acknowledge that because of the skills I’ve learned through Nurse Coaching, how I’ve been able to adapt my Nursing career because of those things, and really take care of myself.

Karen Day  24:20

It’s almost like I’m two Nurses. I know it’s an evolution from before Nurse Coaching, and then after, but the way I approach every situation, whether it’s with co-workers, with families, with patients, with friends, with family, everything comes from that, you know, I call it my invisibility cloak. So it’s like, you know, like, the bad stuff doesn’t get in but I can still see out and share my energy, right?

But I take that wherever I go, and it’s made me be much more mindful and thoughtful. And you know, it’s not perfect but I had a friend say, “You’re Coaching 24/7, do you realize that?” And I’m like, it’s just the way I roll, though.

It’s such a great example of creating that sacred space for our burned out Nurses. So, and I’m not… obviously, I’m not doing patient care, you know, I help parents set up either for hospice or home care to go home and come back for the next round of chemo.

But I look at these Nurses and bless their hearts, you know, we’ve got a very young population, but what they’re doing is just so profound. And again, I’m not sure that, you know, they’re just… they’re like, well, I work in oncology, this is what I have to do.

So I try to take the opportunity, especially when they’re at end of life with their patients that they’ve been very close to, just to pull them aside, you know, and do an impromptu, not Code Lavender, you know, it’s more like, what you’re doing is just fantastic.

How are you doing? What can I do to support you? Or something like that. And it’s just, like you say, sometimes just knowing that somebody acknowledges that life is really tough right now as a Nurse, in that moment, is just enough to keep them going a little bit longer.

And so, you know, as Nurses, like, we talked about one Nurse at a time— how much effort does it take on a daily basis just to acknowledge one of our co-workers, to give them space, to let them talk, to laugh, just to do something. And if everybody did that, how quickly would those ripples become waves, right?

Nicole Vienneau  26:38

So beautiful. I’m just imagining that happening on a unit where we’re very autonomous as Nurses. We have our patient load, and we don’t often see what’s going on in other Nurses who are on the unit working side by side. What’s going on with them? And sometimes that’s because of just… we’re just in the weeds, right?

We’re in the weeds, we can’t see, it’s not that we don’t want to see, it’s just that we can’t see some days. And, you know, so acknowledging that is… it’s hard to look out and see what’s going on a unit for the other colleagues that are there. And yet, you don’t actually have to know exactly what’s going on. Right?

Yeah. So that we could start to acknowledge each other and say, oh, I noticed you’re working really hard today, how are things going? Or thanks for being by my side today, or thank you for answering my call light, that meant the world to me, because I was so busy doing something else. And yet, sometimes we forget that those easy, gentle, kind, grace filled comments are really important to our colleagues.

Karen Day  27:51

Well, you know, I work with several other care managers that manage the patients when they’re not hospitalized, so they get to see them when patients are doing well, but they have their own stress. And they, you know, deal with the patients dying, you know, that don’t come into the hospital, that choose to die at home.

And I’ve been in this position for years, and I told our mutual friend Denise, I said, it is like working with the walking wounded. Like, they don’t talk about when their patients die, they don’t process their feelings, because there’s three more patients, you know, waiting in the wings. Like, I’ve never seen such high acuity and death in a place.

And these care managers are just going and going and going, and they’re not particularly familiar with mindfulness or Nurse Coaching, or even self-care. And so I found myself kind of sinking down into that hole of burnout that brought me to Nurse Coaching five years ago. But because of the insight that I gained, and the awareness that I’ve learned through Nurse Coaching, I was able to step back and say, okay, so I’m getting drawn down into this negative energy, what will help me feel better?

And I’m like, I’m going to use my Nurse Coach skills, maybe in an unofficial way, you know, just to get them thinking. So I started asking, you know, like, questions, or creating that sacred space and acknowledging, hey, I just heard that phone call you made. That was tough. How did you find the wherewithal to do that?

And you can just see, like, the light goes on, and they’re like, gosh, nobody’s ever acknowledged that this is a hard job. We all know it is. But, you know, nobody’s ever acknowledged. And I’m not… trust me, I’m not tooting my horn, and I’m not, you know, doing anything great, I’m just doing what, you know, us Nurses can and should be doing with each other.

And I know… and I’m not making a generalization that we’re all not doing that, but I think there’s so much that we can do on a daily basis with our Nurse Coaching that isn’t this great, grand created role that we all think that when we get out of Nurse Coach training. Oh, I’m going to have my business, I’m going to do all these great things. It’s those profound, tiny little ripples that we do every day, that we’re able to do, because of our Nurse Coach training.

Nicole Vienneau  30:23

Ah, so good, Karen. Thank you for bringing this up. Because it’s so true. I mean, what I call this, what you’re speaking to, is just blooming where you’re planted, you know. Using the things that you’ve learned to show up for your fellow human. And just, I mean, I didn’t even know these kinds of tools existed before I took the Nurse Coaching program.

Sure, I’d heard, you know, mindfulness and listening with heart, and I’ve heard things, but I just didn’t even know what they meant until I was immersed in the actual training and doing it. And then afterwards, I was like, whoa, I became a different person. So, I really heard you, also, when you said it’s like you’re two Nurses— Nursing before and Nursing after Nurse Coaching.

And you don’t have to have a business, you don’t have to do any of that stuff. But rather you’re bringing your new found joy of Nursing back to Nursing, new skills, and just listening differently and being in your body more and understanding yourself so much better, because of the work that you do in this Nurse Coaching program. So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Karen Day  31:38

In one of your… you know, we had discussion before the podcast, and one of the things that you had brought up was, what do you see the future of Nurse Coaching? And again, this might be, you know, my pie in the sky vision, but I think until we incorporate a strong thread of Nurse Coaching theory throughout training Nurses, and include it in the development and support of new graduate Nurses, I really think that that could be a hallmark to the change, to the shift that we need in Nursing, is to incorporate Nurse Coach theory, and how we… how we’re present for patients and for ourselves.

I mean, it’s a big undertaking, but I think it’s possible. And I know I would have a very different trajectory in my career had I had Nurse Coaching theory when I started out. I would have, you know, I don’t know, I did a lot of job hopping, only because I learned one thing, and I’d be bored, and I’d want to try something else.

And so I don’t regret that, you know, that crazy patchwork of a resume that I have because it brought me to where I’m at today. But I wonder if… and I’ve seen that in this job, you know, many times when I feel the burnout coming in, I want to leave, and then I step back and figure out how am I going to stay? Do I want to stay?

And how am I going to show up and stay, and how can I shift that perspective so it becomes fresh and reconnects me. But if I’d had that training early on, I wonder if I would have stayed through the tough jobs, if I would have learned different things. And you know, you can’t really look in hindsight, but I really think the basis of Nurse Coach theory would have better prepared me to be more present and experienced less stress in the 40 plus years I’ve been a Nurse.

Nicole Vienneau  33:46

I agree. Yes, I agree. I am seeing a small trickle down effect of some schools incorporating Nurse Coach training at the beginning. In Nurse practitioner school, for one. So that’s a beautiful thing. And more integrative Nursing as well, more holistic principles in Nursing at the, you know, the BSN level or the ADN level.

And I do believe… I agree with you 100% that having now experienced Nurse Coaching theory, Nurse Coaching experience, like being Coached myself, having the ability to Coach someone else, to feel what that experience is like, helps me to support my fellow colleagues even that much better now. So, having had it in my youth would have been much better, however, we didn’t have it back then, so you know.

But we have the opportunity now, Nursing schools out there, Nursing professors listening, Nursing deans out there, to incorporate these Nurse theories. They’re theories, it’s science theory based, the work that we do. So, I’d love to ask a question in our in our last few minutes here together, and that is: what is on your heart that you would like to share with our Nurses today and our listeners?

Karen Day  35:18

Oh my gosh, the term self-care is bandied about so much, and has become so stress inducing with Nurses. You’re told, take care of yourself, take better care of yourself, you gotta prioritize your self-care, that it’s almost become a trigger for stress, right? I would love to revisit or recreate the idea of self-care, that it’s not a checklist of soak in the tub, have a glass of wine and go shopping.

But that it is a lifelong journey, much like our Nursing career. It’s going to start, it’s going to stop, it’s going to get better, you’re going to learn new tools. But self-care is really, at a basic level, getting in touch with yourself to know what you need to, not just survive, but to thrive, what you need to refill your loving cup, and what you need to help you continue to grow as a Nurse.

Because my hope is that every Nurse that goes into Nursing isn’t leaving the profession at three years like we’re seeing. I mean, that was never, ever even talked about, that Nurses trained and then left the profession, when I started. So, because that’s happening now, really breaks my heart.

And I would love for Nurses to find a way to care for their cells and their Nurse souls, to be able to stay in it for the long run like I have, because it has been not just a great career, but it has helped me as a person, helped me grow, helped me learn so much about myself. And had I not been a Nurse, I don’t think I would be the person I am today. And I hope that other Nurses can stay in it that long.

Nicole Vienneau  37:11

Thank you. Recreating self-care to be able to get in touch with yourself and what you need in that moment. And not to have self-care be a stress inducer, which we’re kind of being pushed at right now. Take care of yourself, like you said, do it better, do it better, you’re not doing it well enough. Boy.

Karen Day  37:34

And that’s actually a nice segue into being able to talk a little bit about the program that I’m building. So, my program is Nurse Strong, Live Well. It’s a program for Nurses that are burned out or experiencing stress and wanting to leave Nursing. So, it’s a 12-week hybrid program. It’s a combination of online group Coaching and short tutorials they do twice a week, but it’s very integrative Nurse based.

So it revolves around meditation, breath work, and journaling with prompts that look into a variety of aspects of necessary self-care, knowing yourself, mindfulness. I mean, we touch on food, movement, sleep, some of that basic physiologic, but I spent a lot of time looking at Nurse Coaching and learning some techniques that they can take to the bedside that will help them reconnect.

Because the whole goal of the program is to help them reconnect with their love for Nursing and develop a plan. So, it’s Nursing process based, so they’ll do a build a self-assessment, kind of based on the INCA assessment, but pared down. They’ll build a Nursing care plan based on their areas of deficit that they’d like to work on. And then they’ll evaluate what’s working and regroup. But in the process of going through all this, they start learning more about themselves, and reconnecting to what they love about Nursing.

And one of the last projects that they’ll do is they’ll write their Nursing story with a few prompts that talk about, you know, why you went into it, what keeps you there, you know, who profoundly impacted you as a Nurse, just some things that really make them think about why they love Nursing. So, hopefully… I’ve got it built, I’m working on working with a company to try and get it marketed, and hopefully get it out there and get it beta tested here in the next couple of months.

Nicole Vienneau  39:45

That’s exciting, Karen! Congratulations! And such a needed program, to have Nurses come together, to have Nurses look inwards at themselves and then share what’s come up for them, and help them to just take time for themselves. I love this. Yes, rediscovery almost. Rediscovering your joy, your why of why you even went into Nursing to start with.

Karen Day  40:14

I think, as a Nurse, so much of who we are is defined by our Nursing, right? So, if we can reconnect with that love and that joy, you know, that sense of self, I think that goes out into our life in all aspects.

Nicole Vienneau  40:28

So, if there… the listeners who are listening, they want to find you, how would they find you and find more about this program?

Karen Day  40:36

My website. I’m at www.karenday-wellness.com. And it kind of goes over my program and gives you an opportunity to book a free call if you’d like to get more information. I also do one-on-one Coaching with clients and do presentations to hospitals and groups around resilience, burnout, and ways that we can stay connected to our empathy without losing our minds.

Nicole Vienneau  41:08

I love that. So, we will definitely be sharing your contact information, your email, your website address, how to get you on social media, in our show notes. So, listeners can find you there. And in our last minute or two, is there anything else that you’d like to just share?

Karen Day  41:26

No, other than it has been an absolute pleasure just being able to kind of go down memory lane and talk about all these things as a Nurse that we tend to hold in. And once you get started on the conversation and you ask some very profound questions, that gets me thinking about things that I haven’t thought about in a while. So, I thank you for that opportunity.

Nicole Vienneau  41:50

Karen, it’s been such a pleasure to have you here to share your wisdom, all the little nuggets of goodness that you’ve shared with us, and we look forward to more connections through the years.

Karen Day  42:02

Sounds great.

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