Celebrating Nurses Week 2017, The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 107

Friends, on this occasion of Nurses Week, 2017, I want to take a pause for the cause of reaching out and thanking you for being part of this glorious profession. 

Happy Nurses Week!

On this show, we talk about nurses, their careers, their lives, and the ways in which you can move your career forward in powerful and inspired ways. We also talk about how you can take care of yourself and have a workstyle and lifestyle that are in balance rather than conflict. 

Nurses Week is often about cheap gifts and platitudes. Here on The Nurse Keith Show, I just want to thank you for being a nurse, and I actually want to read the email that went out to nurses on my mailing list this past week. The special content in my newsletters is usually reserved only for those who subscribe, but I’ve decided to share this love letter with all of you.

Dear nurses, friends, and colleagues,

On this occasion of Nurses Week, 2017, I could send you flowers and kittens, but what I really want you to know is that I see you. Yes, I see you. (And maybe I’ll send kittens, anyway.)

I see that you’re dedicated. I see that you’re often selfless. And I see that you’re more often than not brimming with compassion.

But I don’t just see your compassion and your heart; I also see your intellect. Nurses, you aren’t just artists of patient care and communication; you’re also scientists, mathematicians, plumbers, electricians, microbiologists, and anatomists. Your job demands that you be many things, and you do it with aplomb and grace. 

You nurses are givers, seers, explainers, teachers, mentors, coaches, guides, and lights in the darkness of healthcare.

Nurses are seen as angels of mercy and saints of the hospital, but we’re really just human beings who’ve chosen to serve others in one of the most difficult professions there is.

Nurses, your fellow citizens know you’re amazing, even if they don’t really know what nurses do beyond what they see in a hospital. People trust nurses – just ask the Gallup organization – and they trust us for a reason: because they and their loved ones and friends have put their lives in our hands again and again.

Do we always live up to their praise? Not really — because we’re human, not saints. And it’s our humanity that gets us out of bed and into our scrubs (or street clothes, or suit and tie) and back out into the world each day.

We’re researchers, entrepreneurs and business owners, artists, teachers, clinicians, leaders, executives, filmmakers, bloggers, podcasters, public speakers, consultants, and managers. We do so much, and the breadth and depth of our profession only grows with each passing year.

Nurses, I can’t thank you enough for being who and what you are. And I can’t thank you enough for remaining in what can sometimes feel like a thankless profession where you work your fingers to the bone, run miles each day, care for more patients than you think you can humanly (and humanely) handle, and then come back for more because you care enough to do so. 

Nurses, I wish I could say that it’ll get easier. I wish I could say that bullying and incivility will end, that the ERs will be less crowded, and that everyone will have health insurance as good as what their senators and members of Congress enjoy. But you know what? Most of that won’t happen, and I’d be misleading you to say it might come true.

But what will come to pass is that you – the collective and individual you – will keep coming back, fighting the good fight, and representing this noble, powerful, and significant profession of ours. I know you will.

I’m proud to stand at your side as a nurse, and I wish you the most wonderful week. Thanks for being a nurse, and thanks for being here with me.

Blessings to you from my nurse’s heart to yours,

Nurse Keith

I could go on and on about how amazing you all are, but I think you get the point. Nursing can be fun and satisfying and growthful; it can also be one long slog that feels like a ball and chain that you drag through the days, weeks, months, and years. 

What I want for you is that it not feel like a ball and chain. I want it to feel like a joyful service. I want it to be a professional path that fills you up instead of draining you. 

There are many things I’d like you to do in honor of your nurseness. Here’s the short list: 

  • Treat yourself to a massage
  • Take yourself out to dinner
  • Buy yourself something that you think is too frivolous
  • Make a list of the attributes that make you a fantastic nurse and human being
  • Consider how many lives you’ve touched in the course of your career
  • If you’ve saved lives as a nurse, how many do you think you’ve saved? 
  • If you think you’ve changed the course of someone’s life along the way, how did that feel to make such a contribution? 
  • Remember the feeling when you graduated from nursing school, passed the NCLEX, and held your nursing license in your hand for the first time
  • Think about your level of professional and personal satisfaction in this moment. If it’s not as high as you think it should or could be, email me and tell me why. 

You get the picture. 

Friends, thanks for being nurses, and thanks for listening to The Nurse Keith Show. I appreciate you, and I’ll keep on keeping on if you do. 

Let’s keep walking down this road together. I’m honored you’re here. 


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The Nurse Keith Show is adroitly edited and produced by Tim Hallowell of The PodcastingGuy.com; social media and promotion are expertly handled by Mark Capispisan.

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Be well, dig deep, and keep in touch!

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

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

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 has written for Nurse.org, Nurse.com, MultiViews News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline, StaffGarden, Working Nurse Magazine, and other online platforms.

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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