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 are pleased to feature Dr. Renee Thompson from RTConnections. After more than 20 years as a nurse, Renee took a leap of faith, quit her secure job as a nurse executive and started RTConnections.
Renee has since become one of the country’s leading authorities on nurse bullying, new nurse onboarding, effective communication and nursing culture. Renee has been speaking in front of audiences at conferences and educational seminars for many years.
More information can be found at: https://rtconnections.com/
Tell us a little bit about your background. What led you into nursing and how long have you been a nurse?
I’ve been a nurse for more than 25 years. I originally wanted to be a physician but then life got in the way. I got married young, had 2 beautiful daughters right away and realized that going to med school was not an option. So, I became a nurse and never looked back! I’ve worked as a clinical nurse, a nurse manager, educator, homecare nurse, nurse executive and now I own my own education company, RTConnections. In demand as a consultant and keynote speaker, I now help healthcare organizations eliminate workplace bullying, develop effective communication among teams, improve clinical competence through certification, and build positive and healthy workplaces. I speak internationally to healthcare organizations and academic institutions, teaching and motivating my audiences at conferences, training events, and seminars.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started my blog as a way to help nurses who were dealing with bullying situations in the workplace. 60% of new nurses quit their first job within the first year due to the bad behaviour of their co-workers. 48% of newly graduating nurses are afraid that they will become the target of workplace bullying. And, almost every day of my life, a nurse reaches out to me for help. I just couldn’t sit back and say, “Well, that’s just the way it is in nursing.” I had to do something. Blogging gave me a forum to help the masses of nurses who are struggling.
What can our readers expect to find on your blog? And is there anything they can get involved with?
Readers can expect to find blog posts about nurse bullying and professional development. I share stories from my current experiences and examples that other nurses share with me. My goal is to offer nurses solutions to common professional issues we face; issues such as nurse bullying, conflict in the workplace, and other issues related to professional development.
They can get involved by commenting and sharing their favorite posts with their colleagues.
How do you think the public perception of what nurses do compares to the reality of the job?
The public has mixed perceptions of what nurses do. According to Grey’s Anatomy, we just put patients on bedpans or sleep around with doctors. According to Nurse Jackie, we are all drug users. Or, the public thinks that to be a nurse, you have to work in a hospital or doctor’s office. The reality is that nurses own businesses; are attorneys, manage large software companies, operate clinics and outpatient centers, etc. The beautiful benefit of being a nurse is the many, many opportunities available.
Finally, is there one piece of advice you would give to a nurse at the start of their nursing career?
Yes! Seek out the wisdom and knowledge from experienced nurses who are passionate about supporting newer nurses. We are out there – find us!