In our ‘Nursing Blog of the Month’ feature, every month we introduce a new blog that we enjoy reading and know you will too.
This month we’re really pleased to introduce Elizabeth Scala. As a keynote speaker, bestselling author and virtual conference host, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. In her bestselling book, ‘Nursing from Within’ Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver. You can find out more and gain access to Elizabeth’s free three-part video series, ‘I’m a Nurse but I’m not sure I love nursing anymore… can you help me?’ at www.elizabethscala.com.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?
Funny story – which I talk about in my book, ‘Nursing from Within’ – I never actually wanted to be a nurse. It was college roommates, a nursing professor and my mother who put their heads together to come up with the master plan. So during my senior year of college, I started taking pre-requisite classes so that I could enter the accelerated nursing program upon graduation. At the time I wasn’t thrilled as I felt other people were creating my life course for me. Now a nurse of ten years, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely loved my five year psychiatric nursing career. I learned so much working in the community, running a physician referral exercise program. And now – to have the freedom and fun of being a nurse entrepreneur – that’s the great thing about nursing. You can do anything you set your mind to as there are options and opportunities everywhere!
What inspired you to start blogging?
Well, I started my own business in 2011. And what better way is there to get ‘found’ these days online than by starting a blog? I do truly love to write (says the girl who’s four books in and working on another as we speak). And a blog is a great way to connect with my audience; I love when the readers out there following place comments and ask questions.
What can our readers expect to find on your blog? And is there anything they can get involved with?
Great question! My blog is all about shifting one’s focus. We can find ourselves in our nursing careers exhausted, beat down and stressed out. Yet, how we show up and interact as nurses really is on us. So my articles inspire, teach and provide valuable content about mind-set shifts and career enjoyment. I write about using entrepreneurial skill sets in our nursing careers. I share information on complementary modalities and energy theory. I provide videos, audios and pretty much anything for folks to have a good time and enjoy themselves. Readers can certainly get involved by sharing their comments and questions on the posts. I always love to hear what other nurses are up to!
How do you think the public perception of what nurses do compares to the reality of the job?
I think it varies. In my opinion, we cannot clump ‘the public’ all into one category. Sure, there may be people out there that don’t exactly understand what nurses do – but my dad has worked as a computer programmer for over 35 years and, quite frankly, I have no clue what he does all day. And even when he tries to explain it (which he has several times over), I still don’t quite ‘get’ it. Now that’s one example. On the other hand, I know people in the ‘public’ who have spent a great deal of time in the hospital, as patients themselves or with family members. They often report back, at holiday functions, about just how wonderful the nurses were taking care of them. I bet if you asked them – they could tell you what a nurse does! So sure, we can continue to educate people and role model what we do… but let’s be careful to say that the public overall doesn’t understand what nursing is all about. Most often there’s someone in their lives who has experienced the loving care of a really great nurse.
Finally, is there one piece of advice you would give to a nurse at the start of their nursing career?
Stay true to yourself. In a world of nursing with close to three million strong (just in the United States alone) it can feel like you ‘have’ to do what others have done. You may see your colleague go back to school for another degree and think you ‘should’ too. You may read in the news that you need this other form of training, but do you? The very best way to show up in your professional career is to show up as yourself. It will make your decisions easier, your work less stressful and your life much more fun. Commit to staying clear in your values and be sure to articulate them with confidence in yourself and your work.