April Nurse Feature: A Nurse Mentor & Friend

“Rest and take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you can’t take care of others.”

FullSizeRender-71Our April nurse feature takes us to my hometown, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Meet Janet.  Janet was one of my first mentors as a graduate nurse.  She gave me daily pep talks and hugs when I would pass her in the halls at work.  She took me under her wing, pushed me to follow my dream of working in NICU (neonatal intensive care), and trained me when it was my turn to orient.  My hope is that any new graduate nurse has such a mentor.  It was though her guidance and constant encouragement that I found my nursing legs and confidence.

Where are you from?

I am originally from North Carolina, but was raised in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

In what area of nursing do you work?

I worked primarily in NICU for over 30 years.

How long have you been a nurse?

I received my license in 1981 and retired in 2013, so for 32 years. I didn’t start my career until I was 41 years old.

What inspired you to be a nurse?

It was something I had always wanted to do since a very early age. I just wanted to be a nurse, wife, and, mother.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

I have a granddaughter who wants to be a NICU nurse.  She just received her RN and got a job in a children’s hospital. I tell her to get her foot in the door and get all the experience she can and watch for opening in NICU- to work and strive to accomplish your dreams.

What advice would you give to a tired nurse?

Rest and take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you can’t take care of others.

What do you do in your spare time?

I try to spend time with my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and I love to sew.

Thanks so much for sharing, Janet ❤  You are the true definition of nurse!  To read more about Janet and her mission trip to Haiti, check out my latest post with Mighty Nurse below.  It will leave you with a sense of post-retirement inspiration.

Coffee Talk With a Mighty Nurse: Volunteering After Retirement




De-stress After a Tough Shift

FullSizeRender-69Here are some tips on de-stressing after a difficult shift.  They are my own personal routines that have helped me through the years.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of self-care in the healthcare profession.  It is the key to longevity in your career.  Taking care of yourself enables you to provide better care for your patients and their families.  This can apply to anyone who suffers from stress, not just those working in healthcare.

De-stress After a Tough Shift

Foreign Nurse Feature: A Nurse in Sweden

IMG_8987This is my first month featuring inspiring nurses from around the world.  As most of you may already know, I live in Sweden.  I felt it only right to start here in my second home.  Meet Lena ❤  She is a nurse from Gothenburg, Sweden.  She is one of my hero nurses.  Her skill, experience, and kindness are unending.  I always feel safe knowing she is there for reference and advice.

How long have you been a Nurse?

I graduated in 1987.  I worked for a few years in an infection clinic before I specialized in pediatric nursing in 1992.

In what area of Nursing do you work?

I have worked in neonatal intensive care since I finished my pediatric nurse specialty.  I even worked in the NICU as a nursing assistant from 1982-1984 so this area has always been close to my heart.

 What inspired you to be a nurse?

Not sure, but I remember even at age five telling my mom that I wanted to be a nurse.  When I was twelve I borrowed a nursing uniform from the 1940’s to wear to a costume party.  It just felt right.

What advice would you give to a new nurse?

Listen to both your heart and intuition, but also listen to your experienced coworkers.  Be open to advice, look, and actively learn.  Last but not least, you have a whole career ahead of you, you can’t possible do/know everything all at once.

What advice would you give a tired nurse?

Take a break.  Sometimes it even takes changing your workplace for a while.  Take advice from older coworkers, find a mentor.  You are rarely alone in your thinking and tiredness.

What Do You Do in Your Spare Time?

I am a super energetic woman.  I work probably too much, but I like so much what I do.  Otherwise I love working out.  I am a spinning instructor.  I hike with my beloved father, hang with my grown twin sons as much as possible, and shop way too much.  I love finding a bargain at the flea market!!  I am obsessed with shoes.  Hate to cook, hate to clean even though I am detail oriented.  I am not a winter, snow loving person.  I love the sun and basking in it by the sea at home or abroad.   I have been married to my husband Anders for fifteen years and he is number two in my life.  I love my fourteen year old cat, Caesar, almost more 😉

To see the rest of my interview with Lena, click here……



Mandated Maternity Leave

Photo courtesy of Jenn Ross Photography 

Wow, San Francisco!!  The city where I found my heart, the city of love, now the city of mandated, paid maternity leave!!!!!  While other cities including New York and New Jersey offer paid maternity leave, this is the first law mandating the employer pay both maternity and paternity leave (just as important).  American women have adapted to going back to work as early as six weeks after birth and that is they work for a “generous” employer.  While six weeks is far too early to separate a new mother and infant, it is a step in the right direction.  Those first six weeks are physically and emotionally demanding for a new mom.  Confronted with healing, lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, and transitioning into this selfless roll, it is about time the U.S. steps up and recognizes.  The postpartum period stretches well beyond six weeks, but the reality is something is better than nothing.  I hope this is just the beginning!!!

San Francisco ❤

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