Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Author Archives: Lorie A Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D.

  1. The Nurse Tribe

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    Recently on “Show Me Your Stethoscope” Facebook group for nurses, I said, “Let’s spread some positivity!” and asked, “What do you love about your job?”

    I received almost 400 comments and what was most surprising to me was that the majority of the responses noted that their favorite part of their job was their co-workers.  I realized that in the female-dominated profession, as women in modern times, we are more isolated in our homes and have lives different and separate from each other.

    In ancient times it took a tribe to provide care for the children, gather food and cook together.  Women comforted, supported and nurtured each other.  Being with other women in the tribe helps us to be better mothers and to create physical, emotional and mental support as well as stimulation to create a wonderful environment for our offspring.

    Nurses come to me after they’ve been terminated from a job.  One thought I always had was why didn’t they leave sooner?  I now suspect the reason was those nurses didn’t want to leave the tribe.

    In ancient days, if someone were kicked out of the tribe, they would be left to fend for themselves in a hostile environment outside their safe existence.  However, those same belief patterns are installed in us so that fear overtakes us when we think of being cast from the clan.

    While I think it is great women feel like a tribe member and love going to work because of those who share their duties, I also believe nurses need to feel empowered that when it is time to leave, it is time to leave and another opportunity will arise.  It is scary to be evicted from the tribe but as a nurse, it is better to voluntarily exit than be forced and shunned away.   Nurses can always get another job but they can’t get another license.

    The beauty of being in a healthy tribe is that we are supported, nurtured and uplifted.  Unfortunately, if we are part of an unhealthy group, we tend to stay there as well because of the fear of being cast out.

    Healthy tribes do exist so just know that if you are in an unhealthy one that you may be happier and more fulfilled in a different tribe.  Although it may be scary to venture away, it’s worth it if you are going to be happier.

    I invite everyone to join us in our nurse tribe on my private Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/EmpoweredNursesGroup/. This is a soft place to land for nurses to feel supported, nurtured and of course empowered!  I will be in there doing Facebook lives and giving content and answering questions.  This community is one where there is no competition, only uplifting each other.  I also believe that nurses have all the answers to the problems in health care so this group can be a venue to find answers to problems you are experiencing in your career.  I would love to hear what you would like to get out of such a tribe and how I can support you.  Please leave your comments below.


  2. To Strike Or Not To Strike, That Is The Question

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    In the midst of the nursing shortage, nurses have authorized, by an overwhelming majority, a strike against 15 facilities of the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Texas.

    Nurses are in dispute over pay, staffing and security.  Their goal is to provide excellent patient care and they’re taking a stand to have this happen.

    The authorization to strike does not mean that a strike will happen but, if negotiations fail, a strike is the alternative.

    There are 7,000 nurses affiliated with the union with 4,000 of them in Florida.  The local HCA employed nurses are affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union for registered nursing which claims 150,000 members.

    While it’s sad that nurses would need to resort to a strike, I appreciate that they are taking a stand for what they believe.  Patient care should come first and unsafe staffing is unacceptable.

    Whether it’s a union or not, nurses need to stick together and take a stand for what they believe in.  Don’t work in a unit where you believe the staffing is unsafe.  If every nurse who felt that the nurse staffing was unsafe would leave the facility, then the hospital would have no choice but to ensure safe staffing.

    Other avenues to ensure safe staffing includes efforts in Pennsylvania where over 1,000 bedside nurses across that commonwealth consider staffing levels dangerous due to high staff turnover and putting patient care at risk.  Legislation is pending in Harrisburg to establish minimum staffing levels.

    If you are a nurse in the Keystone State, I urge you to read the bill and, if you agree, then reach out to your legislators to tell them you support the bill for safe staffing.  Click on this sentence for a list of Pennsylvania legislators to contact.

    For those not in Pennsylvania and if your state does have such legislation pending, I once more urge you to call your representatives and senators to let them know what you think because this is the only way that change can come about.  Share with them from your heart about your concerns on this crucial issue.

    Meanwhile, let me hear your comments below.

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