Acknowledging Personal Growth through Public Speaking

Last week I had some major flashbacks this afternoon as I approached the Northeastern campus. I was invited to speak on innovation in nursing and healthcare to graduate nursing students. I’ve done this annually for the last several years.

As I approached the classroom, I had memories of rushing to class two nights a week for 4 years after being at work all day. I used to park in this garage as I would rush to make it to class on time.


I then spoke for 2 1/2 hours straight tonight 😳🤣.

As I left, I remembered how much I greatly disliked speaking in front of a class 10+ years ago.

I’d stress about it all day.

My knee caps would shake while I tried to remember what I wrote on my notecards.

I wouldn’t think about anything else but the fact I needed to do that for about 5 minutes, 10 at most.

Now I enjoy it and find it one of the fun parts of my job.

While I’m talking, I don’t think about anything else going on in my day. I make fun of myself and laugh about it. Most importantly, I hope the students think differently as they leave about the opportunities that might catch them by surprise at some point in their career.


**If you are interested in having me come to speak at your event, school, conference etc., please do reach out at and I’d be happy to discuss further**

The Nursing Care Economy

“All I want is a blanket.” This was what I thought to myself while lying on a stretcher in pain at 3 am in an Emergency Room (ER) last year. I looked around at the nurses, doctors, and technicians with hopes one would make eye contact with me and say, “Do you need something?” After about an hour with no success, finally one nurse said to me, “Would you like a warm blanket?” My response, “Yes, please.” That small nursing intervention made a big difference in my patient experience.  

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Nurses are Intangible Gifts

Happy Holidays! We are in the heart of the holiday season. I thoroughly enjoy this time of year! I enjoy the act of gift giving to others. I know many of you who are reading this do as well. We tend to think of gifts as tangible. Tangible gifts are things that can be wrapped such as toys, clothes and coveted wish list items. Yet, gifts can also be intangible.  Intangible gifts are things that cannot be purchased. Intangible gifts are often invaluable to their receivers.

So, what is an example of an intangible gift? I’ve heard parents often describe the birth of their children as gifts. I’ve also had moments where I received some help that was unexpected but very necessary at the point in time. That help from someone else was a gift to me. I’m sure many of us have had moments like that in our lives and/or stepped in for others in those moments. While there are many intangible gifts around us, I’d like to describe my belief that nurses are intangible gifts.

intangible gift

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Time to be Thankful for Nurses

This Thursday we will celebrate another year of Thanksgiving in the U.S. It is often a time to reflect and be thankful for the blessings in our lives. I wanted to take a moment to write about how thankful I am to be a nurse.

happy thanksgiving

I spent a couple of days recently discussing the nursing profession with a small group of nurses from across the country. We discussed the common bond we all share for wanting to help others and the feelings of internal fulfillment when we can provide nursing care to patients and their families. Yet, what is often not discussed is our inherent superpower that holds the potential to benefit the lives of other human beings.

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Nursing workarounds and what they mean for the future of healthcare

Nursing workarounds and what they mean for the future of healthcare. 

Last evening, I spoke to a group of approximately 60 graduate nursing students at Northeastern University in Boston MA.  I spoke on the topic of nurse entrepreneurship and intrapraneurship. The faculty members, Dr. Laura Mylott and Dr. Janet Rico wanted to show their students the different opportunities there are for nurses in the health care arena. Nurse entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship are two career options that we often don’t discuss in our formalized nursing education classes. However, I will tell you that they are very real career options and in many ways will be the only way in which we solve some of the day-to-day problems nurses are faced with at the bedside. The reason why nurses are the only individuals set up to solve these problems is because no one else knows they exist. No one is going to come knocking on the door with a solution to solve problems they don’t know exist.


 I asked the class, “What is a workaround?”. It could have been that no one wanted to speak up but I didn’t get a volunteer to answer the question. So, I turned it around. “Ok. What is a problem you deal with every day and how to you get around it?” I had one student volunteer to tell the group that he works nights. At night, STAT labs are entered at midnight however the system goes down for 30 minutes every night at this time. It affects the timing in which labels are printed and subsequently when they can be drawn, resulted, and acted upon. So, instead of waiting and wasting time, he figured out a way to manually force print the labels. This is the workaround.
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Why aren’t nurses part of the conversation?

A conversation a few months ago led me to wonder (and I should have asked), why isnt a nurse part of this meeting’?



At that time, I was speaking with a physician and a project director about bedside nursing solutions using mobile to address existing workflow challenges. I realized toward the end of the conversation that the problem we, at Nightingale Apps are working to solve with Know My Patient TM, was not well understood by the meeting participants. Yet, had a nurse been part of the conversation, we would have likely had a different outcome.

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