Here is my story...
Ever since graduating nursing school I have known I wanted to pursue a more advanced degree, because when I do something I want to do it to the best of my ability which requires continuing to increase my knowledge to better care for others.
During the last 9 years working as a nurse, I have traveled around gaining vast amounts of knowledge in different specialties and experience in some of the top facilities in the country. This has helped me to see the good and bad of healthcare, what is going right, and what we can improve upon.
While in nursing school I experienced my first anxiety attack. As I entered the profession with high hopes of advancing my degree I quickly found myself overwhelmed in a very demanding field. Through the years I was at times barely able to hold my head above water and certainty not in any condition to be able to think about going back to school. I was drowning and just trying to survive.
A couple years ago I knew I had no choice but to change my life. I lost over 60lbs, I found a job in a specialty with better hours that allowed me to take care of myself, and I learned how to manage my stress. Today I am a completely different person and through my transformation I learned taking care of myself helped me to take better care of patients. My aspirations are to help other nurses do the same. To play a part in making things better in today’s ever changing fast paced world.
This past year, I have had the experience of being a patient myself. After injuring my back last summer, I was told I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life and that there was nothing that could be done for me. My experience as a patient was devastating and I couldn't believe what it was like. Being a go getter, I don’t take no for an answer. If there isn't a way, I keep searching until I find one. During this search for relief, I found myself almost out of a job and in the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life. Today I am working and more successful then I have ever been, while only experiencing minor discomfort. I not only know what its like to be a nurse and in complete burnout, but I know what its like to be a devastated patient with no hope at all. I want to use this experience to really make a difference, to really improve quality patient care, and to improve self care among healthcare workers.
Since my back injury, the amount of hours I have been able to work are very limited, forcing me to make tremendous cut backs. Financially this has been a challenge and financial hardship since my salary is greatly relied upon in my household. I have learned to do what I can with what I have and to my surprise things always turn out ok in the end. With my husband starting school in the fall, and medical bills that have accumulated during my back injury, I know my education will be a financial challenge for sure, but a very important step in my career.
This year I was elected to be the chair of the Clinical Practice Council at Multicare Health System. It is a great honor to have such an important part in a shared governance system to allow nurses to take part in decision making. My goals this year are to assist my organization in a complete restructuring of the shared governance model and redesign of the internal nursing website. In November I will be completing a yoga teacher training program, which helps me to continue moving forward in my own life transformation and health, as well as giving me the skills to assist others in theirs. I use my physical education training to volunteer to teach classes at the hospitals to assist other healthcare workers to care for themselves as well. If we are not the example of health why will the patients feel inclined or motivated to be healthy either? I have just been accepted to start the RN-BSN program at University of Washington and after that I will be applying for a Masters in Nursing Leadership. A great leader shows the vision and brings out the best in the ones that follow. This is what I aspire to do.