Just Ask: Getting Over the ‘No’

by Nursetopia on July 18, 2015

She Could Say NoThere once was a time in my life that I would assume some of my ideas or requests would automatically be squelched with a “no” answer. My assumption would actually limit me from even asking or discussing the request or idea. One thing is for sure -the answer will always be “no” to something that’s not asked.

I had to get over the fear of “no.” In light of many other things in work and care, being told no is not really that big of a deal, but when you’re told no over and over again, you can start to think your ideas are rubbish and simply stop generating ideas altogether. That’s not good for any organization.

“No” for the sake of “no” has never really set well with me; I have always wanted to know the why behind the answer. Most people are this way, which is why leadership communication is important to validate ideas and questions. Just because the answer is no doesn’t mean the idea or request wasn’t valuable. I’ve learned that both when I’m told no with an explanation or I do the same thing with those who follow me, often times a subsequent idea results to overcome the explanation’s barrier. It’s a beautiful thing – respectful, transparent communication.

Receiving a “no” answer is really no big deal, but it does take practice – just like everything else – to maintain professionalism and competency within the situation. “No” comes in all forms, but it mostly signifies the opportunity to grow – to research more, collect additional data, strengthen a business case. It’s a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block.

Get over your fear of “no.” Just ask.


Tacos – whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, are a big deal in Texas. And so are our nurses. You likely feel the same way about the nurses around you, and what better way to say a little thanks than to bring your favorite nurse a taco or two…along with a Nursetopia card, of course?


To download the wide version, click here.


To download the long version, click here.

Happy Nurses Week!


Even though May 6th, is the official start of Nurses Week, tomorrow begins the observed celebration week for most organizations. As a registered nurse myself and a nurse leader, I love Nurses Week because it gives me one more reason to love on the nurses all around me. Seriously, nurses are incredible people. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate those who make it their life’s work to care for others?!

And in true Nursetopia style, let’s kick off the week with some more free, printable cards, shall we? This series – the Elemental series – is one of my favorites because it’s been in my creative work queue for over a year, and I just finished it yesterday.

It just so happens that “CNO” is spelled out beautifully in the periodic table, and Radon thankfully holds the “Rn” symbol on the table, as well. Yep, there are a few key additional credentials hidden among the elements, so stay tuned to see the Elemental series expand.

CNO_Nurses Week

To download the Elemental CNO card, click here. Yes, your CNO deserves some Nurses Week love, too! Just trim the edges and fold vertically to have a lovely tent notecard.

Elemental RN_Nurses Week

To download the Elemental RN card, click here. There are four of these cards to a single sheet, so download, print, and share the Nurses Week love.


March 19th is one of my favorite days; it’s Certified Nurses Day. I love it because I love certified nurses. It doesn’t matter what the certification is because every certification test is rigorous, requires extensive knowledge and experience to sit for and pass, and carries several ongoing standards to maintain certification such as numbers of hours worked and sometimes hundreds of continuing education credits within a certain specialty area.

Plainly put – certified nurses are healthcare rock stars.

So, why not celebrate these amazing men and women? Even acknowledgement of Certified Nurses Day to a certified nurse will be a big deal, so download, print, and giveaway these four cards to honor the certified nurses around you. Don’t forget to add your own handwritten note into the white spaces. Enjoy!

Certified Nurses Day_Chalkboard

Download Chalkboard Credentials here.

Certified Nurses Day Red Credentials

Download Red Credentials here.

Certified Nurses Day_Awesome Psst

Download Awesome Psst here.

Certified Nurses Day_YOU

Download Certified Nurses Day – YOU here.


Valentine’s Day is Saturday. For many in healthcare celebrating at work, the celebration will happen all throughout this week and next – whenever people are together. I love a good card, and since I couldn’t really find valentines for my coworkers and team members that I adored, I decided to make my own. And now you get to share in the fun, too, because they’re all free. Happy Valentine’s Day…or Week…or whatever. Simply download, print, add an encouraging note on the back, and share the love to brighten someone’s day.

We go together like cisplatin and hydration. Download.

Vday 2015_CisplatinAndHydration

We go together like methotrexate and leukovorin. Download.

Vday 2015_MethotrexateAndLeukovorin

We go together like cold beverage and a regulatory-approved ‘drink corral’ in a non-patient care area. Or like routine distress screening and pivotal medical visits. Download.

Vday 2015_Distress Screening And Drink Corral

We go together like carboplatin and the area under the curve. Or like skin assessments and weekly treatment visits. Download.

Vday 2015_Carbo_and_Weekly Treatment Visits


Don’t work in oncology or have an idea for another healthcare-related Valentine card that’s a little different? Leave a comment. I just might make it and publish it here for you and others to enjoy!

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Send Nina Pham, RN, A Note of Encouragement

by Nursetopia on October 15, 2014

Ebola is the word of the day, month, year. Honestly, before a few weeks ago, I knew very little about the disease. My, how that has changed.

As a Texas nurse, I’ve thought about healthcare professional colleagues throughout the state often over the last month. I have incredible statewide colleagues. Really. I’ve thought about the Dallas healthcare team as they took care of one of the most high-profile patients of the year. And, I’ve thought about them all as now two of their own – our own – Nina Pham, RN, and a second, yet to be identified nurse, have tested positive for Ebola.

Anyone and everyone who has ever been on the frontlines of care knows how difficult healthcare is under “normal” circumstances. It’s everyday, invisible heroics.

I keep placing myself in the other nurses’ shoes – contemplating potential thoughts and feelings during a shift. What an internal dichotomy. It’s mainly Nina Pham, RN, though, whom I have thought of lately. Reports have indicated she is spending time reading and resting; that sounds nice, for sure. But not in an isolation room that is in the proverbial spotlight of the developed world. What is she thinking? What is she reading? What will life be like after her discharge as she is on the road to recovery? How does it feel to have close colleagues care for her now? What do her day-to-day moments look like? Is she steering clear of the free-flowing media? Does she know so many people are thinking of her?

THR Facebook PostAfter a Facebook update from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital yesterday, I realized I don’t have to wonder about that last question. I can actually tell her I’m thinking of her via the hospital’s “send an email to a patient” feature. I love that. I absolutely sent her a quick note.

It’s no surprise to regular Nursetopia readers that I am an avid advocate for notes of encouragement. Because I believe there is more good in this world, this seems like a perfect opportunity for the healthcare profession to support Nina.

If you’re thinking of Nina and want to encourage her, stop what you’re doing, and send her a note now. Help brighten her day and her spirits. As soon as the second nurse is named, we can all do the same for her, as well.


If You Have to Give Up Something, Give Up Strategy

by Nursetopia on October 1, 2014

Be Without Strategy


An Unstoppable Reminder

by Nursetopia on August 26, 2014


Thanks to Beau Taplin for such words.

There’s value in continuing despite yourself. Get out of your own way. Move the work you touch. Gather your failures and doubts into a big pile, and step over them.

Be unstoppable.



Nursing school grads left and right are completing their NCLEX exams and gaining their Registered Nurse, R.N., credentials. Today’s free, printable card was inspired by my cousin, Shelley, who just obtained her RN license yesterday. I remember exactly what that felt like…absolutely incredible. I welcome her and the rest of my new colleagues to our amazing profession! Guard those credentials fiercely. State them proudly. Hold true to everything they represent.

This card is available to anyone and everyone, free of charge. Simply download, print (on card stock is best), write your personal sentiments on the reverse, and give, give away. Enjoy!


You can also download the red version.





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NursetopiaMashupCroppedHere’s a little of what I’ve been reading recently:

What has taken your attention lately?