I strongly believe that if we spent more time focusing on supporting and uplifting our fellow colleagues, nurses would find greater satisfaction in the work that they do. Therefore I decided to create a monthly blog series that focuses on exploring other nurse entrepreneurs and the work they do. Since I’ve launched The Nurse Speak, I have had the pleasure of meeting tons of great people, and I’ve learned that there are many wonderful nurse entrepreneurs out there doing some really amazing work – this month’s featured guest is no different!
So please let’s welcome this November’s featured nurse entrepreneur – Elizabeth Scala, MSN.MBA, RN!
About Elizabeth Scala
Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN is a Johns Hopkins-trained Registered Nurse, author, speaker, Nurse’s Week program host, Your Next Shift podcast host, and consultant on burnout prevention for nurses in all specialties. She is the CEO of ElizabethScala.com and founder of ArtofNursing.com—an online program that celebrates the nurse and our nursing profession during National Nurse’s Week. Her online community of over 15,000 nurses has allowed her to teach the lessons of Nursing from Within™ in the real world of professional nurses and their rapidly changing healthcare environment. Elizabeth is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. When she’s not speaking to or teaching other nurses, you can find her playing in her garden, finishing up a jigsaw puzzle, practicing Yoga, or dancing to her favorite jam band, moe. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.
Connecting with Elizabeth
I found Elizabeth Scala online as I was looking into joining the National Nurses in Business Association conference in Florida. I began learning all about Elizabeth and the work she was doing, and I immediately fell in love! She is a remarkable addition to the nursing profession, and I just had to bring her into my circle of amazing people! I was a guest on her podcast series called “Your Next Shift” – that episode will be released in December, and we have since then met up over coffee to discuss challenges and successes thus far within our own individual nursing careers. In a few days, I will be heading to the National Nurses in Business Conference in St. Pete Beach, FL, where Elizabeth will be present as a guest speaker, and I am looking forward to learning a lot from her and her colleagues then as well!
To make things more interesting, and to give you a little taste of what Elizabeth is up to, here is an article that she wrote and posted on her website ElizabethScala.com that offers helpful advice for new grads.
Feeling Overwhelmed as a New Graduate Nurse? Tips from Experienced Nurses to Help!
Being a new graduate nurse is not easy. Heck, being “new” in any nursing role… even if you have years of nursing experience… can be tough.
A few weeks ago, I posed this question on social media:
“Nurses, What’s your best tip for new nurse graduates to keep them from feeling overwhelmed?”
And received a LOT of great feedback and responses.
So, let’s go through each of them. I will break this down into a few specific categories. And as you are reading through, be thinking about the best advice you would give to a new graduate nurse.
Here we go…
- Take Yoga
- Meditate and pray
- Take your meal breaks!!!! Preferably away from the unit.
- Take time for you!!
Succeeding as a new nurse graduate is all about self-care.
Now, you may not SEE other more experienced nurses do this. Trust me. They are paying the price in the end. But don’t get off to that bad habit fresh out of the gate.
Put yourself and your own well-being first. When you practice the balance of self-care, you will get a heck of a lot more out of your nursing career.
- Find a mentor
- Ask lots of questions. No one expects you to know everything.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Learn from your mistakes. Strive to be better tomorrow.
- You will not know everything, you are learning everyday until the day you die.
- You are never alone
- Create an accountability partner or group.
- Find someone who is a positive nurse role model. Having someone to reach out to for guidance, encouragement and advice during a time when the physical and mental demands of being a nurse is overwhelming makes a huge difference!
Nursing does not happen in a vacuum. Even if you have the most autonomous job, you will never work alone.
Healthcare is a people-oriented profession. Nurses are people working with other people, helping people. As a nurse, you need to be able to work on and with a team.
Additionally, you will thrive when you find and sustain that supportive network. Reach out for a mentor. Get involved in groups outside of the nursing profession. Network on and offline. Do your best to ask for and receive help!
- Take your time… and yes, it going to take you longer than the other nurse, but each day will get easier
- Stay organized
- Pace yourself, read the charts besides getting report and ask questions.
- How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Structure your work in small bites so it does not appear overwhelming.
- Before you do something you’re not certain of, learn to speak up for yourself and say, “Wait. Why?”
- Notice your thinking. You don’t need to believe everything you think or what others think. Know that new thought is always just around the corner. Clarity of mind, intuition, and insight are more available when your mind is not already full.
- Competence equals confidence. Never stop learning.
As a new graduate nurse you may be thinking, “I am FULL with learning.” Being that you likely recently completed a nursing degree, you may hope that the classroom part of your nursing career is over.
Well, it’s not!
Nursing is a lifelong learning experience. Guests on the Your Next Shift podcast tell me week after week how they invest in both their personal and professional development.
You will learn as a nurse until the day you die. And what a gift! To continue to grow and transform… that’s what makes for a successful nursing career.
- You got this!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take care of you!
- Find a job that fits your personal mission.
- Be you!
- The most important lesson: follow your gut instincts always! Your gut comes from a higher power and is always right!
- Find one nurse YOU can mentor or help. Keeps the love for nursing alive!
- Don’t put yourself down; you are still learning.
- Trust your gut. Your nursing gut with develop over time but you have your own gut compass.
It takes time to feel like a “nurse”. A year. Two years. Everybody is different.
And this is OK!
As you continue through your nursing career, listen to yourself. Sure, you need to watch the monitors and read the lab values, but your nursing judgement and critical thinking skills know best.
Stay true to who you are as a person. This will help you avoid nurse burnout. Be that unique individual that you are and practice nursing from within.
Elizabeth wants to hear from you! What advice would you give to new graduate nurses? You can share your comments by clicking here! Finally Elizabeth wants to give a huge THANK YOU for helping nurses across the country succeed in this wonderful profession of nursing practice!
So go to ElizabethScala.com and check out all the amazing work that she does! Also, stay tuned for next month’s Nursing Entrepreneur Spotlight guest!