It's the final hour of 2015. Although my husband and I are spending New Year's Eve in different locales for the first time in over 10 years...I'm in a happy place: reflecting and writing. He's at a family wedding on the East Coast, and upon tucking our daughter in, I settled in with my hot date (my laptop) to recount some highlights of 2015 and to dream up some highlights yet to unfold in 2016. The present moment is so quiet, all I can hear is the calendar page turning from 2015 to 2016.
For three years now, instead of amassing New Year's Resolutions, I've picked One Little Word a la Ali Edwards' online class. The idea is to pick a word that represents what you want to attract more of in your life. The online course delivers prompts on the first of each month to spark ways to live with your word through journaling, activities, and reflection as you go about your daily life. My 2015 word was reflect - and I dare say, I rocked it.
I've dreamed about creating a forum for nurses to connect and reflect on practice since I was a student nurse. Nursing school was way off the grid from my undergraduate degree (communication with an English writing minor). My exposure to nursing in my work as a volunteer coordinator (for the pediatric hospital where I am now employed as a staff nurse) inspired my passion for this profession. Practicing in other settings, earning my MSN, teaching, and advising students in advanced degree programs are opportunities I've had along my path to open my eyes and heart to some incredible nurses and partners in healing who further propelled my desire to start something I believed I could do. So I did it! This year I built a website, a blog, and a community of nurses and our partners in healing to grow the reflections and connections that deepen our relationship to practice. It's been great fun - and it's only just begun!
The Reflective Nurse forum has served as a springboard for me to host nursing salons in my home, to dabble in blogging, and to collaborate with others who wish to enhance practice in between shifts and amidst the other joys and challenges in life. I've had a rough couple months recovering from pneumonia in November, so I recently reached out to one of my favorite holistic health nurses (Jen Quade) to tap into her wisdom surrounding holistic compliments to Western medicine. The outreach lead to a collaborative effort to host an event in December featuring a class she designed. Stay tuned for more offerings in this vein in 2016!
If you are interested in upcoming CEU-adventures, stay tuned to the blog or ask to be on The Reflective Nurse mailing list by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dabbling with my blog got me warmed up to live my dream of becoming published in 2015. I was tickled to be invited to submit an article to my favorite professional journal, Creative Nursing. This exercise provided me with a platform to reflect on what's inspired and sustained my professional pursuits and it got me in back in touch with a couple key mentors. When I went to school for communication and writing, I remember thinking, "now I just need something meaningful to talk and write about." Insert nursing career, here.
The Writing Habit was a class-offering by Rosanne Bane at The Loft Literary Center this past summer that reignited my love of reading and writing. What I learned in class primed my pump for my 2016 One Little Word: WRITE. Being a part of a writing community reminded me that reading and writing are two of my most cherished joys. Upon asking another writer what she does to sharpen her writing skills, she answered, "I read" -- insert 'aha' moment, here!
Three nurse-blogs I follow include:
Nurse Eye Roll, Marie Manthey's Nursing Salon, and my new favorite, End of Earth Nurse. I'm inspired by these ladies. Reading what they have to say about our profession encourages me to ask more colleagues and partners in healing the key question we ask and answer at nursing salons I host and attend: "What's on your mind about nursing?"
The Reflective Nurse is now seeking guest bloggers to join and spark more conversation around the reflections and connections we make in our profession and practice. I'd love to read your response to, "What's on your mind about nursing?" Please email me at: email@example.com to volunteer your voice!
In the meantime, look forward to guest posts from three dynamic and wandering nurses during the month of January...intrigued? You should be! I'm excited to feature posts from one nurse who is about to take the expansive, enriching, hiatus of her dreams, from another nurse who uses humor as an escape in her daily grind, and mission trips around the world in her vacation time, and finally, from a young nurse who has found a way to merge her dreams of practicing nursing AND yoga on new horizons beyond her wildest dreams.
Happy New Year! I've effectively reflected and written my way into 2016...bliss. Join me for more in the coming year.