This week we celebrate the nurses who educate, empower, & enhance the nursing profession. Each day this week we will showcase a nurse interview. With this blog, we hope to bring nursing closer together by uplifting each other through personal stories.
How long have you been a nurse? Is it your 1st or 2nd career?
I have been a nurse for 7 years. It is my first career, but second degree. I was in school for psychology first… and graduated with that. But then went immediately back through an accelerated nursing program.
What is your highest degree? Are you currently in school?
My highest degree is a masters’ in nursing and in business. I am in school, but for nutrition health coaching. It is an online one year course through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I seem to always be involved in some sort of schooling!
What is your current position/specialty?
As a nurse, I work part-time at the hospital as a clinical nurse researcher. My previous specialties include psychiatry and community health. I also own my own business as a holistic health nurse and integrative wellness coach.
What areas of nursing have you worked in?
Oops! I guess I can say see above. But I have worked in inpatient psychiatry for five years. I then worked in community nursing- at a wellness center running a physician referred exercise program. Now I am back at the hospital in the research setting.
What have been your fondest memories during your nursing career?
My fondest memories have been my education, my chance to travel and present posters at various association conferences and seeing the patients “get it”. When someone figures something out- when that light bulb goes on… it is wonderful!
What are your professional nursing goals?
My goal is to be working full-time and solely in my company in the future. I hope to create virtual conferences, speak at large events, and teach as many nurses as I can about the important of self-care. Even more than just teach about it or speak on it, my goal is to live a life that is a living example of what healthy, happy, and whole looks and feels like as a nurse.
Where do you see nursing headed in the next 5 years?
I see nursing as gaining more and more power. With so many changes in health care, we are the profession that continues to be necessary, valued, and important. Nurses are healers. We are compassionate, kind, and gentle. If we are able to take care of ourselves, first and foremost, we will be able to impact health care- at a global level. The public respects, admires, and trusts nurses. So we really have a voice and we are going to gain more and more momentum to use it. We will embrace and foster healing at a mind, body, emotion, and spirit level.
What do you think are challenges facing the nursing profession? Current and future?
The main challenge is making time for us. We are so busy taking care of everybody else we fall short on our own self-care. We want to help, give, and care for other people all of the time. When we do this we let our own well-being go. We are challenged with trying to find and make the time for ourselves. We are challenged with being aware of the significance of putting ourselves first. We are challenged with trying to balance it all.
How do you feel about the new graduate nurses and their transition from nursing school to the field?
I feel new graduate nurses are so bright-eyed, so excited about what is to come. They are stepping into a new profession and are proud to be here. It is such a wonderful time! We need to support, encourage, and foster their growth. We need to be role-models to the new graduates that they must take time for themselves. We can start with self-care at this early stage of nursing… that way when the “honeymoon” wears off… they are able to cope with and handle the stressors that they will probably face in this beautiful profession. It is not always easy, but it is so worth it. If we groom them to realize that self-care is the most important aspect of being a good nurse, we will be doing the entire profession a valuable service.
If you weren’t a nurse, what would be your profession?
I think it would be working outside with the earth. I loved some of my childhood jobs: lawn mower at a county park, farm hand at my local apple and flower stand, etc. I love gardening now and have so many plants and flowers of my own. I look at the men and women working on the landscaping of our hospital as I walk in every day to work, with a bit of envy… at times, I would love to be doing that!
What is your personal and/or professional mission statement?
Personal: Take care of you. Invest in your own health. Love yourself.
Professional (taken from my website, so if you want to leave this out because it says Living Sublime Wellness… that is fine): Living Sublime Wellness provides nurses with support in reaching, maintaining, and optimizing self-care and healthy balance. As your coach, my mission is to partner with you to improve your holistic health, well-being, and happiness. I believe that when we make time to receive holistic self-care modalities we enjoy greater fulfillment, live our healthiest and ideal life, and create lasting peace of mind.
Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, Health and Wellness Coach, Reiki Master