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Introducing ShesThatRN

This is the post excerpt.

I am starting this blog because I am that RN and so are you. I decided the old saying “nurses eat their young” need to be put out to pasture and as nurses we need to start taking care of our own and setting a new precedent. Teaching them, nurturing them, and helping them reach their fullest potential. Unfortunately, I experienced that old saying first hand straight out of nursing school with my very first job. These blogs will give me and you the opportunity to share our experiences with the world, with nursing students, and with current nurses. It is not meant to bash, belittle, or degrade our profession or each other, but rather to encourage, uplift and support one another. I will write on the topics and things directly affecting nurses today, including myself. I welcome you to join in the discussion, exchange dialogue that will transcend nursing and prosper us in every way. WELCOME to MY world of nursing. Some things may move you, make you cry, scream, hollar, mad or glad. Whatever we do, let’s be the change we want to see in nurses and the nursing profession. I am my sisters keeper and I am that RN!!!!!

 

I’m Back

Hey guys, I’m back and boy have we got things to talk about. Whewww…..nursing and management and leadership definitely took its toll on me. The last gig I had, took me on a roller coaster ride that landed me on a psych unit getting professional help for things I could no longer control. NOW, before you say “Oh my God, she was on a psych unit?” Yup….I was and guess what there were other nurses there as well. You know why? Because life happens and for some of us it happens to knock us off our feet for a moment and because we really want to be better, we determine that it’s okay. That’s just it guys, it’s okay. I don’t want anyone, and absolutely none of my fellow nurses to ever feel that being a nurse means you’re superwoman/superman and in return your life will be flawless and perfect. What I’ve learned is that superwoman/superman needs time to process, heal, rebuild, restore, and soar. I have no shame in my experience. In fact, it gave me an opportunity to be a regular person with regular situations that built themselves up until it broke me down. I’ll go into more detail about that later, but for now….I’m back, refreshed a little, with some fight in me, and determination. But for right now……I thank God that HE always sees the best in me, when others see the worse. That He dispatched his angels to watch over me when I was so broken I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone my children. That He saw me at one of the lowest points in my life and He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed so tight that I couldn’t breathe. That what the devil thought would kill me, Jesus used to heal me. I am soooooooooooo grateful and eternally blessed for my God and His faithful, loyal, love toward me. Until next time……Have an amazing work week:}

I Can’t Sleep…….UGH!!!

Here I am up at 12:46am writing to my fellow RN’s. I started off as a rotation nurse, so I worked both nights and days. That took a toll on my sleep pattern and my body never adjusted. I really wanted night shift and was able to get a new job from 7p-7a. Some nights were hard only when I hadn’t gotten enough sleep during the day. But for the most part I love working the night shift. I’ve always been what my father referred to as a “night owl” and that’s why I loved that shift. Fast forward to getting a job that was solely days. Let me tell you, that was an adjustment. I had to learn to sleep at night and stay awake during the day and boy was that hard. Now, I have the same daytime schedule and my sleep habits are horrible. I’m completely exhausted, but my body won’t wind down and let me go to sleep. So, I’ve been laying here thinking about a million and one things and decided to get up and write about this. Hopefully, I’ll be able to close my eyes after this. I may have to put on my night-time meditation to sooth me and let me wind down and drift off. I have a very early morning appointment so I need to be sleep. I know I can’t be the only one who has this problem….just in general. Someone has got to understand my grief lol. Being tired is one thing….being sleepy is another…..I’m just sleepy. At least I feel my eyes getting heavy now so maybe that’s my signal to sign off and go to bed. Part of nurses problems are turning off work, and taking care of ourselves. That includes proper sleep time….so, don’t be like me. Take the time to get enough rest because you’re no good to yourself or your patients if you don’t. Have a beautiful night all. I’m going to practice what I preach:}

Color Does Matter

As much as I’d like to be able to say it doesn’t, it most certainly does. As an African-American nurse, I’ve known and felt the sting of racism all too well. Being overlooked, devalued, cast aside, and just not looked at as someone who knows what they’re doing or what they’re talking about. Not to mention that I matriculated at Bethune-Cookman University and am currently in my doctoral program. So, I sit at the table with people who have no college background, but look down upon me because of the color or my skin. Does color matter? Indeed it does. Being an African American woman and nurse, I have to work harder to prove myself, to be able to sit at the table with those who I respect, but are not even as qualified as I am in certain areas. I have to watch what I say and how I say it as not to offend those who are not of the same color. I have to keep calm when everyone else is ranting and carrying on or else I’m considered “an angry black woman.”  Along with this, there’s no support from fellow black nurses. They will cut your throat before anyone else. So, yes, I’m angry, but not because I’m black. I’m angry because I’m expected not to show my black magic. I’m expected to be quiet and be spoken over when I try to speak. See, I’m not the overbearing, rude, obnoxious, loud mouth who goes off UNLESS I’ve been provoked to that point. For the most part, I will be quiet before I say something uncensored that’ll cost me my job or jail time. That’s just me. I prefer to breathe, talk to my therapist, reevaluate, strategize, and silently make my moves. I don’t plan to have to answer to anyone forever. I plan to have my own and leverage myself for myself. Color……that word that eludes us, yet is so present and in our faces as black nurses. The divide that keeps us underrated and sometimes disrespected. The term that somehow means unworthy to some. LIES….. I am black….I am a woman….and I am a nurse. All of which makes me pretty spectacular. Color will always be an issue whether done discreetly or directly to your face. It is up to African-Americans nurses, myself included, to make ourselves seen and heard. We are just as important and in some instances, more important because we have a unique perspective in what and how we view/see things. My black is beautiful….I am beautiful, intelligent, and am able to sit amongst the highest and best of them…..not just to learn, but to share and disseminate my knowledge. Everyone’s experience is different. I have experienced racism/discrimination at every place I’ve worked at as a nurse, but I did not choose nursing, nursing chose me. More importantly, God chose me to be His nurse so that He will get the glory and honor out of my life. So, here I am….here I stand….and here I’ll be. Color lines will always be there, but so will we and it is up to black nurses everywhere to break down these barriers so that we are a force to be reckoned with. Color….so many hues….so beautiful. Thank you to all my black nurses worldwide.

Don’t Be Discouraged

I’m sitting here and every time I get to the week I have to go for the meeting involving leadership and management. I get discouraged in advance, provoking anxiety and frustration. Why? Because being a woman of color in a position some don’t believe you deserve to be in and are incapable of doing and make it difficult more than not can be taxing on you mentally and physically. I have always seen or should I say not seen many black nurses and especially those in positions of authority so, I speak life to myself everyday to keep me from bowing out. Bowing out is the easy way out. It’s easier to run than to stand and fight, but I choose to do that everyday. I won’t tell you it’s easy, but I will tell you that it challenges me to my core. I have to remind myself that God is my keeper and He fights my battles. So, this battle is not mine, it’s the Lords so don’t be discouraged. I am praying and preparing for this meeting with optimism and a heart of openness. I will give what I have despite those who oppose me; those who devalue me and/or devalue my input. I am important; I have a lot to offer; I’m intelligent; and worthy to sit at any table. The moral of the story is God does the qualifying and until He says otherwise, I’m going to stay and be the light in darkness. Be Encouraged………Not Discouraged!!!!

What I Won’t Do Is…….

So, I’ve lived my life as a people pleaser, trying to make everyone else happy and not myself. I have tiptoed around cautiously trying not to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. Meanwhile, no one has offered me the same courtesy. I’ve managed to downplay how I feel, what I have to say, and just keep quiet so as not to upset anyone. My blog is MY truth. It’s not about anyone else’s feelings, thoughts, or how they perceive what I’m saying. It is simply my truth. What I won’t do anymore is be silenced, walk on egg shells, be made to feel like my truth is unworthy or unimportant. I will speak it, say it, even shout it because it’s mine and I matter to me. I make no apologies for who God created me to be. I’ve lived my life, lost my virginity to gang rape, molested, had children out of wedlock, made mistakes, fallen, gotten back up, been broken, repaired, sick, and healed, never experienced true love from a man, given until there’s nothing left, I’ve been homeless, no money, food, or car, a single mom and still I’ve risen from the ashes to become  who I was meant to be. So, through all these tests and trials, God saw me through these things to be a nurse and I’m proud of that. I have no shame or guilt at this point in my life because everything I’ve experienced has made me one of the most caring, nurturing, loving, lovable, giving, advocate anyone could have as a nurse. My truths lead me to who I am. Nursing is what I was born to do and life has created nursing as my ministry of healing. So, again what I won’t do is dim my light or hide in the shadows to make anyone else feel good. I believe we all go through things that contribute to making us who we are and it is our choice to use these things to lift ourselves and others up. This is who I am…..this is my truth…..that is all!

God is my source

I work as a nurse and it is indeed my passion, but as a nurse I am expected to know everything, be everything, and be able to do everything. Although I play a dual role as center director and nurse it can be quite difficult to bare at times. It comes with great expectations as it should, but I don’t always feel strong enough to handle it. I sometimes get to the point where there are no words for what or how I feel. It is at these times He reminds me that He, not me or anyone else is my source for all things. It’s not that I forget, it’s that these situations remind me that God is my source for everything. My strength, my courage, my energy, my everything…..He IS! So, no matter what it looks like and/or feels like just remember God is and He will never leave nor forsake you. He is our source for our every need. Let him be your source…..be blessed:}

You DO Have Expectations and That’s OK!!!

I know I lie to myself when I say I have no expectations. We all have some level of expectation with anything we do or give. We can’t help it, we’re human and humans are naturally inclined to want something in return. As nurses we give unconditionally and often when we’re overworked, tired, no breaks, no lunch, etc. but we keep giving at all cost. And lets admit it, who wouldn’t want or expect a thank you, a smile, or kind word for all they do and give? I know I appreciate it. And besides that, how many times have you said thank you or given a tip for exceptional service? It’s normal to want and expect something in return and we do ourselves disservice to say we don’t. We cheat ourselves out of the many wonderful blessings we can receive because we don’t expect anything in return. Set expectations for yourself, for your day when you get up, for your performance during the day, for your mental mindset, for your emotional self, and total well being. It’s okay and in fact, I think it’s necessary to your success. It’s called self preservation.