Nursing from Within: Spirituality in Nursing

by | Aug 21, 2015 | 6 comments

I often hear similar struggles from nurses I meet online, in person, and via email. To help with one aspect of nurse burnout- the drained energy it can produce- I’d like to share an excerpt from my bestselling book, ‘Nursing from Within‘. I hope this helps invite more spirituality in nursing practice. Here goes…

I would like to share an exercise that I do on a daily basis that has helped me in letting go. I hope this practice serves you in some way. Again, this is a practice. It is something that the more you choose to do it, the more benefit will come. So let’s get to it.

Nursing from Within by Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN #nursingfromwithinI am sure you’ve heard of affirmations before. They’re all over the self-help world. And for awhile I was so frustrated by affirmations, thinking that they just don’t work!

I even taught that for awhile: ‘Affirmations don’t work and here’s why...’

Well, in one way I was right. But on the flip side I was totally wrong. Let’s talk a bit about affirmations and then I’ll share my practice with you.

Affirmations are statements that you may say to yourself or aloud, with the intent to change something about yourself. You want more of something or you’d like to let something go. So, you create a statement, repeat it over and over and then hope for the shift.

This is the way that most people do affirmations and, unfortunately, the way they’re usually taught.

This is why the affirmations aren’t producing the shifts you are looking for. You haven’t gotten to the root cause of the concern at hand. Just like in chapter two when we discussed how band-aids don’t fix things, this concept surfaces here.

So what’s the trouble? In addition to the fact that we’re not getting at the underlying issues many of us are lining up our affirmations all wrong.

In the past, you may have tried an affirmation that used negative language, saying something like “I don’t want to worry any more” and what you may or may not have noticed, was that in stating an affirmation in this way, you actually get more worry than less of it. You see, the universe doesn’t comprehend the word ‘not’. Stating an affirmation such as “I don’t want to worry anymore” actually is like saying “I’d like to continue with my worry”.

Also, you may not have truly and completely believed in your actual power to have the affirmation come true, thus setting yourself up for total failure. Saying something like, “I’d like to have more money” but not really believing that more money can come to you creates that very manifestation of not having money again.

You see, we have our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. The conscious mind can say one thing, but if the subconscious mind isn’t on board, no progress will evolve.

We’ve got to invite ourselves to the possibility of the shift we are intending to bring about. The language we use is very specific and doing it in this way creates those affirmations that actually do work.

It’s all in use of one small word. Want to know what that word is?

Affirm Your Nursing Career #nursingfromwithinChoose

Instead of: ‘I believe it’s easy for me to be self-confident.’

It would be: ‘I choose to believe it’s easy for me to be self-confident.’

How does that sound? Better yet, how does it feel? Pretty different, right? It’s much more believable when we invite the choice into it. Because then, over time, what’s happening is, we are allowing our subconscious mind to get on board with the shift.

Instead of shocking it into something totally new and foreign to our being, we are gently inviting more of what we want into our lives. If you’ve never been self-confident before and you’re standing there affirming that you want to be, you’re going to have a very hard time convincing the subconscious mind that you can do it. You’ve got all of this past experience behind you, showing you otherwise.

Yet if you invite it in, slowly over time, you will enjoy remarkable results.


If you enjoyed this excerpt, consider checking out ‘Nursing from Within‘. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this practice. Be sure to leave a comment below and thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RNAbout the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.


  1. kate loving Shenk

    Affirmations work! It’s as simple as that!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks, Kate!

  2. Keith Mac Donald

    Life is all in your perspective why wouldn’t an affirmation be that way to?

    • Elizabeth

      True, Keith. Well, said. Thanks!

  3. maureenpowers

    Affirmations have been an ongoing part of my daily self-care practice since Louise Hay in the 1970s. Great article to assist others in this approach to healing. Keep up the good work

    • Elizabeth

      Thank you, Maureen. I am glad to hear that you find them useful and can share that experience with the readers on the blog. Enjoy the day.


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