I had the great pleasure of attending the 41st Oncology Nursing Society Congress, in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, last week. I always walk away from that conference feeling refreshed and renewed in my love of my nursing specialty. This year a new event – a film premiere, actually – added to the special moments of the Congress, honoring the very nurses who make the specialty great. The film Heroic Hearts was developed by TESARO, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, to honor and recognize the critical role nurses play in oncology health care. Heroic Hearts featured three oncology nurses, highlighting moments of their work and care. One of the featured nurses, Sandy Black, RN, OCN, CNLC, was at the conference and film premiere; after the movie, I had a chance to talk more with her (after waiting a while because she had a clutch of viewers and colleagues gathered around her…yes, she is a very real celebrity now to oncology nurses!). Understandably, she said it was a little surreal seeing herself on the silver screen, and she was honored to be able to share insights into oncology nursing – something all viewers could easily relate to and celebrate.
The premiere was complete with Hollywood spotlights, popcorn, and of course – a massive movie screen. What was so great about Heroic Hearts is that in addition to the three featured nurses, participating conference attendees joined in on a red carpet activity days prior to the premiere, completing interviews that were edited and included in the film. Super cool. I laughed. I shed a few tears. I applauded with pride in my profession. I wasn’t the only one; everyone around me had a good time.
We do great work as oncology nurses, and it was refreshing to celebrate you…me…us in such a relaxing and inspirational way. This movie could easily be a fun way to celebrate Oncology Nursing Month all throughout May or Nurses Week May 6-12. Just don’t forget the popcorn. Or the tissues. Thank you, TESARO, for honoring us.
FTC Disclosure: I received remuneration for my post about Heroic Hearts. My opinions here and throughout my social media channels are my own.
Oncology nurses experience grief. All nurses experience grief. It’s part of the job we agreed to as life also encompasses death.
As a nurse leader, grief over a patient death is very similar to the grief I experienced as a frontline nurse. While I do not routinely put my hands on patients daily, I still get to know patients and their families in my role, and I get the pleasure of caring for them in ways they may never know. In addition, I get to hear nurses and the rest of the team talk about patients in care meetings or in the break room as they munch on a homemade treat a patient just happened to bring for the group. Stories and story-telling moments are vital learning sessions in healthcare, and it’s important (and sometimes fun) for me to hear these stories of our patients throughout their care.
And conversely, the grief over a patient death as a leader is different from the grief as a patient’s nurse. That bond is entirely different. Entirely.
The longer I am in leadership, the more tenderly I view my nurses and team during seasons of patient loss. It is humbling watching a group of nurses attend a viewing together or stop by an end-of-life patient’s room one-by-one, only to leave with tear-stained faces. It’s moving caring for a multidisciplinary team passing the Kleenex box around a gathered office space during work hours. It’s endearing hearing a handful of nurses share unknown stories with a family who may have never been in the care environment to experience them, showing either a completely different side of a patient or reinforcing the truest of true personalities and characteristics throughout even the hardest of health times.
Nurses are seriously some of the strongest, most courageous, versatile, and resilient people I’ve ever met. Even in their grief, they are amazing. That gathered grief shows the deep sincerity of their care to people who were once strangers to them but now forever a part of them.
Not everyone grieves together. I believe it is a sign of a strong team when grief is shared, though. What do you think?
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!
Download Chalkboard Credentials here.
Download Red Credentials here.
Download Awesome Psst here.
Download Certified Nurses Day – YOU here.
It’s May, and for oncology nurses all around the world, that means one giant celebration month! Now, I love, love, love the nursing profession, but I must be honest; I am biased towards oncology nurses. I can’t help it…I am an oncology nurse myself. I feel at home around oncology nurses; they’re my people, my tribe, my community…whatever you want to call it.
Oncology nurses are a special group. (I know, I know…what nursing specialty isn’t “special,” right?!) And oncology in and of itself is a complex area of care. There’s never a dull moment, and it seems like there is always a new drug, protocol, treatment to learn. It’s innovative, and oncology nurses help lead the way in that, too, using evidence (or generating it!) to guide patient care. Oncology nurses beautifully blend the art and science of health care.
I am so glad I’m an oncology nurse, and I certainly plan to celebrate my nursing specialty and colleagues this month. Do you have an oncology nurse in your life or work? Be sure to celebrate him or her this month!
Dansko is at it again…recognizing and celebrating the most fabulous group of healthcare professionals – nurses, of course! Okay, I might be a tad biased. Maybe. But you can’t deny that Dansko loves, loves, loves nurses! And who’s to blame them? No one here!
Dansko is giving away a pair of their amazing shoes and a fabulous Nurses Week lunch to you and nine of your closest nurse friends. That is, if you’re one of the five randomly selected winners. That means you have to enter, though, by April 28th. Simply tell them why you celebrate Nurses Week, and you’re in the drawing! How easy is that? And oh my goodness…what nurse friend wouldn’t offer to help with your next admit/discharge/enema/[insert your least-favorite nursing care piece here] when he or she realizes you’re treating him/her to new Dansko shoes and lunch?! Oh yeah; you’ll be that nurse during Nurses Week.
So, get after it; enter the Dansko Nurses Week Giveaway, and start the celebration early! Thanks, Dansko, for always celebrating Nurses!
Tomorrow – March, 19, 2014, is Certified Nurses Day. Hooray!!
New readers, consider this your orientation to Certified Nurses Day, but all the Nursetopia faithfuls should know this date (March 19th) by now. It’s time to cel-uhhh-braaa-aate! Why? Because this day highlights nurses who’ve gone above and beyond to obtain certification in addition to all of their education and licenses, indicating quality patient care and nursing professionalism.
Now, if this quick-evening-before post is any indication of how prepared you think I am to celebrate the certified nurses around me, you’re wrong. Okay, not completely wrong. Okay, so I’m preparing the night before, yes, but don’t think I haven’t thought about this special day for several weeks. Because I totally have.
I chose to purchase a gift for the nurses around me rather than make one like previously. And, I didn’t even make my own card this year because the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) did such an awesome job of developing all the materials for me. Seriously, kudos, ANCC, ’cause it’s all super cute. They’re feminine, for sure, so I’m not sure how our guy colleagues will receive them, but they work for my all-lady certified nurse team. I’m plastering their work areas with the posters, adding my sentimental thanks to the letterhead and cards, and emailing the pre-crafted design to my team and executive leaders, highlighting the certified nurses.
It’s. Going. To. Be. Awesome. Because certified nurses are awesome.
Tomorrow begins Oncology Nursing Month, and next week (May 6-12) is Nurses Week. Have a finite amount of dough in comparison to the seemingly infinite amount of nurses around you? Here are some free and (very) low-cost ideas and printables to gift.
“Fortunate” to Work with You
“Nurses Rock” Coasters
Free, Printable Posters & Cards:
Free Compliments for Nurses Poster
Free Compliments for Managers & Leaders Poster
Keep Calm & Nurse Posters (seven total: here and here)
Nurse “Subway Art” Card
Happy Nurses Week Stencil Card
Happy Nurses Week Contemporary Purple Card
Happy Nurses Week Retro-Typography Card
Check Here Thank You Card (general)
Check Here Thank You Card for Frontline Nurses
Let me know if and how you use them. Have a great week!
Fun stuff. Download the card, and thank a colleague.
Here are two more Nurses Week cards. Feel free to download, print, and hand out prolifically. The message of thanks and nurses-are-the-most-awesome-people-on-the-planet gratitude is yours to create, though.
Download this card.
Download this card.