Jen Quade, what’s on your mind about nursing?

Jennifer Quade, RN, BSN, HNB-BC Board Certified Holistic Nurse Revolutionary Women's Holistic Health Care Holistic Stress Management Instructor
This week's guest blog reflection is written by Jennifer Quade, RN, BSN, HNB-BC.  Jennifer is a Board Certified Holistic Nurse with a passion for traditional healing and wisdom. She runs a thriving practice in Minneapolis, helping people find balance through self care.

Hi Natalie! Thanks for your invitation to be a guest on your blog. I really believe having dialogues about our practices is super important to keep us connected, cared for and inspired as we do our work.

So what is on my mind about nursing?

Self care.

I personally feel that this might be the most foundational, important aspect of nursing.  If we don’t give ourselves excellent care, it’s nearly impossible to give others our best.  Do you know the feeling of trying to give from an empty gas tank? I bet you do...and it doesn’t feel so great. I’ve been there...and I have to constantly be on alert to make sure I’m not slipping back into over-giving. When I feel irritable, depressed, or experience body pains, I know it’s time for some serious self care. No more "sucking it up" or dealing with the imbalances.

I have been a nurse for 10 years.  After my first few years of working on the Float Team at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, I was burning out because I truly didn’t know how to care for myself at the level that I was giving. That’s why I embarked on my own healing journey. I have dedicated my life and my private practice to learning how to care for myself, to staying in balance, and to supporting other women, caregivers, and nurses to do the same.

Why? Because I’m interested in living a vibrant my dream. I want to see nurses fully realizing their dreams, too. It has to begin with self care, which includes self awareness..."know thyself." What do you want? What do you need?

Self sounds like a simple concept, but it can actually be pretty difficult to put into practice, especially when there are so many demands on our time and energy. And since nurses are amazing and are generally good at just about everything (if I do say so myself), the demands are increased! Everyone wants a piece of the action.

Take a moment to consider where your creative energy goes. Be honest with yourself. Reflect on this: am I making myself a priority?  

After years of practicing basic self care techniques and receiving support from integrative therapy professionals and traditional healers, it became clear to me that what I really wanted in my heart of hearts is to take an extended time away from the winter to travel south. After 5 years of writing about it, praying about it, talking with friends who have done it, and saving for’s happening. In one week I leave for a three-month, extended trip to Costa Rica, Columbia, and Hawaii.

I’m thrilled that I have found a way to make this dream come true and I’m also excited about what this will mean for my practice and my work. I have been preparing to launch three signature speaking programs especially for nurses and caregivers. I’ll be taking time on my journey to put final touches on them so I can begin to share this message of mind-body-spirit emotional healing and self care with larger audiences.

Coming to a hospital near you in 2016:

Become the Eye of the Hurricane: Managing Stress Amidst Chaos

The Art of Self Care for Nurses

Stress & Human Spirituality

Taking three months away from my daily work is something I have never done before, so of course I have had to navigate fears and doubts along the way. Will my clients receive what they need while I’m away? Can I afford it? Am I being selfish? And more...

When these thoughts and fears arise, I take a deep, soft, belly breath. I feel my heart...and I remember why I am taking this time for myself: to fill my fuel tank so I have more to give upon my return, to take space to create my speaking programs from my center, to study with indigenous healers along the way, and to have fun. I'm realizing I can't afford NOT to do this for myself!

Let’s face it -- nursing can be (and often is) intense and exhausting. But we do it, because at the core, we have hearts of service. It is vitally important that we tend to our hearts.

Consider reflecting on the following:

  • What is your heart calling for?
  • If you had a magic wand, what would you change in your life?
  • What is one simple self care practice you can weave into your day today?

Also, consider looking at the resources page on my site. You will find a generous list of resources for self care. Enjoy!

If you’re interested in connecting with me about my speaking programs, please visit my website.

Take Care and Happy New Year!

Jennifer Quade, RN, BSN, HNB-BC
Board Certified Holistic Nurse
Revolutionary Women's Holistic Health Care

Holistic Stress Management Instructor

The views and opinions expressed by our guest authors and by those who comment on their posts do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of