I have known that I wanted to be a nurse since the first grade. When I began my RN career at forty-three, I couldn’t have been any prouder. Prior to that time, I lived a healthy lifestyle; I had a regular exercise routine, ate a nutritious diet, got adequate rest and went for wellness checks. I truly believed that this lifestyle would be enough to prepare me for the demands of nursing. I was only partially correct: I was not prepared for the emotional and spiritual challenges of nursing. When I realized I was experiencing burnout as a new nurse, I began my Healthy Nurse journey.
While doing my research on nurse burnout, I came across the work of Elizabeth Scala, a nurse whose mission it is to save the profession from burnout by teaching nurses self-care. She inspired me to start nursing myself and make it a point to engage in holistic practices that focus on mind, body and spirit. As I realized I was healing and becoming a healthier nurse, I joined the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation (HNHN) initiative and became a member of the NJSNA HNHN team. I am currently co-team lead for the Healthy Nurse, Healthy New Jersey initiative.
Participating in the HNHN keeps me on my Healthy Nurse journey. I find that if I speak about my journey to other nurses and encourage them, it helps me to continue to hold myself accountable to my own health goals. Self-care is the first part of my daily regimen. I journal and read from my daily meditation book, eat a hearty but healthy breakfast and diffuse uplifting essential oils. This helps me to prepare for the challenges ahead. I believe as Healthy Nurses we must first nurse ourselves but also extend this nursing and encouragement to our colleagues. Being a Healthy Nurse is easier as a team. Now I can say that I couldn’t be any prouder to be a Healthy Nurse.
Notice my HNHN lapel pin!
Tracey Jaworski-Lucas, BSN, RN
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