The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 9: Digging Deep Into Self-Care

Is self-care on the top of your list of career priorities? If it’s not, time to board The Self-Care Express on episode 9 of The Nurse Keith Show!

Nursre self care

The subject of this episode is self-care, and I can hear some of you saying, “but this is a career-oriented podcast!” And I would say, “My point, exactly.”

Ambition and drive are great energies to run in your life, and they can really take you places, and as my RNFM Radio cohost, Kevin Ross says, the hustle is what it’s all about. But Kevin and I also frequently discuss self-care on RNFM Radio—for both nurses and nurse entrepreneurs—aso we need to address it here on The Nurse Keith Show, too.

You’ve all heard the self-care shtick before, but do you really practice it? Do you really take good care of yourself? Some of you may do a great job, but I bet there’s quite a few of you who, like me, fall off the self-care wagon more often than you would like. And if you’re not taking really good care of yourself, can you really take the best possible care of your patients? Are you being the best team member that you can be? If you’re burnt out and sick, will that bode well for job interviews and moving your career in a positive direction?

There’s so much more than the “staples” of self-care, but let’s address them first and get them out of the way:

Rest and sleep: This is paramount. No matter what shift you work, you need to rest and sleep regularly and well. And if you know what a boon sleep and rest are for your system and well-being, so why aren’t you sleeping enough (or well enough), and why aren’t you prioritizing it?

Shakespeare once wrote, “To sleep, perchance to dream,” and you, my friends need to do both as much as possible!

Hydration and nutrition: I’m preaching to the choir here—or I think I am, anyway—but how many nurses do you know who live on caffeine, Red Bull, and peanut butter crackers from the nurses’ kitchen?

Exercise: We’re all tired of hearing about it, but we need to do it, folks! I’m as guilty as the rest in terms of laying down on the job in this area, but I realize I need to do better!

Delving Deeper Into Nurse Self-Care!

Pleasure and leisure: You actually have to listen to this episode of The Nurse Keith Show to learn the names of my current favorite magazine and TV show, but I really believe that leisure and pleasure are very underrepresented in the nursing self-care literature, so this is my attempt to bring them back into the spotlight.

Social life, family and interpersonal relationships: The quality of your relationships and social interactions has a direct impact on your well-being and health on all levels, and it’s worth discussing. I have something to say about it, so listen in!

Fun: Having fun has physiological effects on your body, but you can also just think about how you feel when you take a horseback riding lesson, go to the beach, play with your kids, or make out with your partner on the top of a ferris wheel?

Kill Your Inner Nurse Martyr!

Nurses’ inner sense of martyrdom is pernicious and insidious, and older, more seasoned nurses can consciously or unconsciously brainwash their younger novice nurse peers to also put on the martyr’s yoke. In this episode, I rail against the nurse martyr syndrome, and I urge you to burn it, bury it, or otherwise get rid of that yoke that’s very unbecoming—and unhealthy.

Nurses, You Have Self-Care Homework!

If you want to get your “Nurse Keith Self-Care Homework” for the week, listen to the episode and hear what it’s all about. And don’t worry—your homework isn’t doing push-ups, going on a juice fast, or biking 100 miles a week. No. Your homework, is geared in a different direction, and I think you’ll like it and get something out of it.

You Deserve It:

Face it, folks. You’re nurses, and you still deserve to be happy and healthy. Health and happiness and nursing may sometimes seem mutually exclusive, but don’t buy the hype. You deserve, you can have it, and I want you to go out and get it!

If you have time, please listen to this episode, do your homework, and let me know how it goes. I care about you, and I want you to be the happiest, healthiest nurse you can be!

Please consider leaving a review of The Nurse Keith Show over on iTunes; this helps more nurses and healthcare professionals find the show and benefit from the information being shared. Just visit iTunes, click on the iTunes store, search for The Nurse Keith Show under podcasts, and leave a review, and voila. Thanks!

Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!


Nurse Keith photoKeith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of “Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century.” He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews New Service,, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur.


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