Are you a Nurses’ Nurse?

I’m always surprised when someone asks: “What’s a Nurses’Nurse? Maybe it’s because I’ve been an RN for so long that my perceptions are biased by eyes that are constantly assessing and looking for remedies to multi-faceted problems. This makes for the assumption that everyone else is doing the same thing and watching out for each others’ backs.

As I explain this expression “a nurses’ nurse”, one more time to a twenty-something-year-old who rolls their eyes at me, clearly my vision of care for the caregiver is not so well understood.

When I study the types of nurse leaders that have come before and the kind I’d like to be, I’m drawn to the concept of a transformational kind (think Cinderella). One that walks the talk, never asks you to do something they hadn’t done themselves (like scrub a toilet), supportive but never patronizing or condescending, comes to mind. A nurse shaman, an enlightened leader who integrates the principles of body, mind and spirit into the next generation of RNs.

Delusional? I think not.

Czech nursing students.
Nursing students: a new generation that covers each others’ backs. Tattle-tails and bullies need not apply.

I’ll never forget the time one of my coworkers was promoted to manager, then quickly rose to the ranks of administrator. It was as if she had been struck over the head, as she forgot what it was like to work short-staffed and behaved as if she had never worked as a bedside nurse when we asked for more help. I remember a fellow labor and delivery RN, compadre saying:,”I’m not at all surprised, our manager never was a nurses’ nurse.”

That’s when it struck me: The nursing profession has always been ruled by a set of doctrines that follows a higher law. Why then do we not pertain those laws to each other and behave like a nurses’ nurse?

Is it our “do or die” mentality that stems from the arduous work we are programmed to perform?
As a nursing instructor it was rare for me to find mentors for my students without amnesia, who could remember what it was like to be a budding Nightingale. Most of us have been strong-armed or bullied because that’s the kind of tutelage our superiors came from.

Generally speaking, western medicine has had a longstanding quality that initiates its fledglings with cruel hazing. That’s why we’re often called the profession that “eats its young”. It takes one tough cookie to make it through nursing school.

This attitude which has flowed from a managerial nursing leadership has got to stop if we want true accountable care in the ACA. Again think about Cinderella and how she was transformed by optimism and collaboration.

Ask yourself, “Am I a Nurses’ Nurse?”

If the answer is “no”, google transformational leadership & apply the principles of encouraging and inspiring other nurses into your own practice.

Published by thenursesnurse

The Nurses Nurse, an RN-owned organization assisting fellow RNs in career management and advocates for the recognition and advancement of the nursing profession.Created by Rita Batchley, BSN, RN a professional with 25 years of nursing experience, her motivational materials are designed to increase job satisfaction and enhance healthcare practices.

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