Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Archive for March, 2014

Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water

Nurse_Degree_iStock_000001078215Small (2)Presently, the push is to have entry-level nursing be the Baccalaureate degree in Nursing; however, we must be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

As I fly back from Colorado, I thought of the men and women who paved the way to today’s aviation system. Where it used to take months in covered wagons to get from the east coast to the west coast, I can fly that route now in less than 6 hours. Each journey has its own challenges, risks and successes. Our nursing history is full of struggle and growth. The latest trends really come out of the past. “There’s nothing new under the sun,” just different circumstances and situations.

Some nurses today are going straight through school, obtaining advanced degrees without ever working in any entry-level healthcare positions. Many of the concepts being promoted in the baccalaureate programs today are built on the same concepts we learned years ago. With changes in technology the circumstances have changed but the patient needing disease management remains the same – for example – electronic medical records versus copying the medication Kardex every Monday by hand.

My journey reflects what some might call the “covered wagon” approach. Originally, I became a Home Health Aide. To my surprise, I enjoyed being able to play a role in my patients’ healing and care. My journey from HHA to LPN, to RN, to Master’s degree took almost 25 years (covered wagon). I learned along the way, working in hospitals, homecare, hospice, school health, managed care and other healthcare facilities how to have a balanced, practical view of my formal education. My history became an asset to my nursing practice.

When specialties became Queen, advanced degrees in Community Heath, Health Administration, and Health Management were encouraged and sought after. So many seasoned nurses are now being told that our advanced degrees don’t matter because it isn’t the “right one” in nursing specifically. This is a recipe for disaster in the nursing profession as a whole. Is the nurse who obtained her baccalaureate in nursing without ever working in the field more of an asset to the profession than someone who built upon their nursing degree with continuing education and practical experience?

I am an advocate for education and for nurses. We must be very careful as we are forcing many nurses out of the profession by requiring that they return to school – some just prior to retirement. Asking them to incur expenses that could affect their very ability to retire is a big problem. We may be actually hurting the very patients and profession we are trying to help.

The truth is both nurses are of value to our profession. What was old has become new again. Florence Nightingale formalized education of nurses and laid the foundation for ‘evidenced based practice.’ Mentorship is one of the big things missing in our profession especially concerning Nurse Leaders. We are at risk of repeating the failures of the past when we decrease the value of our history. The people who pioneered this land in covered wagons paved the way for those who are flying now. The wise ones in nursing will look back, grab the baby and then throw out the bath water. We are responsible for the safe transitioning of our profession. Strategic grandfathering is one way to create a practical transference of nursing knowledge.

Have the changing requirements for nursing education affected you positively or negatively? Is it really the type of degree that makes a nurse a better practitioner?

Let’s talk about it. Join my Facebook Group The Leaders Journey Network.

About Naomi
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit

2014 Resolutions – Really?

????????????????????????????????????????It seems like only yesterday we were anticipating 2014 as a New Year. We made resolutions and desired new beginnings like we always do. Well, March is here and I am here to remind you that your goals are NOT unreachable, and there’s no better time than the present to start transforming your life! Forget Resolutions! Make your New Year’s start today.

2014 is the year of Transcendence. This is the year to take your life and career to the next level. To transcend is to rise above, outdo or exceed in excellence.

Before you can transcend you need to begin with transformation.  As you transform (undergo a change in form, appearance or character) and grow internally, you must value that change.  Allow it to motivate and inspire you to take your game to the next level. As we take this time to reflect on 2013 and plan for new things to come, let me share with you how to identify and reach your goals for 2014.

Mind, body, soul and spirit. The four aspects that direct every phase of our lives. Everything begins with a thought. Mindfulness is the place to begin your transformation. Think about your future.  I mean really THINK about it.  Take time to look at how, who, what and where you spend your time.  This will allow you to assess and understand how certain things fit into your life purpose and what doesn’t.  Taking an assessment of your life is the first step in developing the mindfulness necessary to begin the process of transformation.

As a life coach, I help many nursing leaders begin their transformation and begin to reach their goals by asking these few questions.

  • Where have I been?

Many times we don’t ask this question. Sometimes we want to forget our past. If you don’t know and understand your past, you will repeat it over and over again.  This may be okay for the good things you’ve done, although there is no benefit in repeating those choices that have a negative impact in our lives. Insanity is repeating things that have a proven negative outcome and expecting a positive result.

  • Where am I at in my life right now?

Are you growing in your career or as an individual? Are you experiencing satisfaction, fulfillment? Do you even think it is possible? Assessing your potential for fulfillment will help propel you toward your purpose.  Change isn’t easy; it may even be scary or painful and, believe me, it’s rarely comfortable. If you are very comfortable where you are, it may be an indication that it’s time to make a change.

  • Who is in my life right now?

We need to look at the people in our lives. Are they promoting or hindering our goals? When we are growing personally and/or professionally, everyone will not, or cannot, support you. In order to move forward you may have to leave some people behind. By letting go, you make room for new relationships and experiences. The saying goes: “if you are the smartest person in the room you need to change the room.”

  • Why am I doing what I’m doing?

What challenges you? What motivates you, inspires you or brings you joy (an inside job)? These are very deep questions and you really need some time to focus on them.

  • Do I have a specific goal?

This is actually a question that will begin to lead you on the path toward your purpose. Without specific goals we wander aimlessly. There are so many paths to choose in life and our careers.  Sometimes we don’t make a choice for fear of choosing the wrong thing.  Without purposeful decision-making, you open the door for others to decide for you.  Your children, spouses, parents, bosses and peers will choose for you according to their own agendas or else outside circumstances will dictate your path.  “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” *

As nursing leaders we often feel we are last on the list of priorities.  I believe this leads to frustration, overwhelm and disappointment in our careers and personal lives. When will you begin to implement an assessment on your life?  Here are a few tips to get you started:

In order to transform your mind, you must make time to spend with yourself.  Put the children to bed early for a few evenings. Take yourself to dinner alone.

Have a spa day. For those who can’t see themselves doing this, you can think about it before work or after work on the bus or in your car before you go home.

If you really want something bad enough, you WILL make time for it.

Transcendence. 2014 is the year of transcendence. The year to take action and have your life and career exceed your expectations. Transform, then Transcend! Aligning your mind, body, soul and spirit to discover your purpose. It’s about your legacy.

What will you do to make 2014 your year of transformation into transcendence?

*― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern

Gentleman, 1955-1967

About Naomi

Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit