The Last Thanksgiving

Well, it happened. My parents sold my childhood home in NY and are retiring to Cape May, NJ. I am thrilled for them (well, thrilled to an extent as I lose my thanksgivinghome-away-from-home solitary vacation spot). This past Thanksgiving was the ‘last’ one in NY. My Mom is like me- the hostess with the mostess. She has people over for every holiday! Even me and my sister’s birthdays- which we rarely attend.

So this past November was the last ‘hurrah’! They aren’t going anywhere (we don’t think for Christmas), and it’s a smaller holiday for us since the Thanksgiving feast has seen up to 25+ people each year.

Loving the Spotlight

As I mentioned above, I am like my mother. Love to be the ‘hostess’. Love the spotlight and being on stage. (Maybe that’s why I took dance lessons for all of those 13 years.) So this Thanksgiving was no different than any other gather for me. I was ‘on’.

I created a holiday trivia game and played ‘teacher’ among the many students vying for my winning prize. I started the holiday sing-along and played the player piano for everyone to enjoy. And I forced the photo shoot. Literally.

As one of the families visiting was stepping out the front door, I shouted “WAIT!!!

You have to get your ‘last‘ family photo (it has always been a tradition that they take one each Thanksgiving after dinner on our staircase in the foyer). This is the last time you’ll be able to take it. So let’s get some pictures going.” GROANS. Collective groaning from everyone ensued…

Jazz Hands!

Well that turned into every nuclear family taking their photos. The girls photo. The kids photo. The in-laws photo. The group shot! And with every group shot comes…

Jazz Hands!

thanksgiving 3So we did some group shots smiling. Some silly. And of course, one with everyone putting up their best ‘Jazz Hands!’ (I told you I loved to dance.)

Funny thing is- when you get a group of people doing ‘Jazz Hands’, it is inevitable that one person’s face gets covered. And this is what happened with my favorite uncle, Eddie.

As soon as I got back to Maryland, I had an email out to my brother-in-law who can help, asking for some photo shop magic.

Photo Shop Your Career?

Which brings me to what I’d like to write about in the teaching portion of today’s blog… nursing career alternatives.

Now I have never been one to encourage nurses to leave the clinical roles. In fact, I have prided myself throughout the entire course of my business on keeping nurses at the bedside. I even speak to this in many of my interviews, videos and writing when I tell my ‘about me’ story. Why I left nursing and became a nurse entrepreneur. Why I do what I do. Why I help nurses feel good about their jobs, health and lives so that they don’t have to leave their clinical roles like I did.

So this brings me to an interesting crossroads. While I will never encourage anyone to leave a clinical role, I do realize that we need some mindset shifts in our nursing careers. In order to be happy and healthy as nurses, I believe that we need some new strategies.

Nursing from Within‘ is surely one of them. Yet reflecting specifically of our nursing careers and the alternatives for nurses, I realize I can help many, many more nurses and nursing students with some of the mindset shifts and entrepreneurial concepts I have learned along the way.

Coming Soon to a City, Bookshelf, Etc. Near You…

And so, I have a lot of this work on the horizon. I am writing a new book that will be released next summer that will teach you entrepreneurial techniques and how to apply these to any nursing career. I am hosting a live event next fall that will be all about moving your nursing career from adequate to awesome. I am bursting with surprises, energy and joy to share with you- I can hardly wait! So to give you a sneak peek…

  • Focus on your ‘wants’. It is much, much easier for us to articulate what it is we ‘don’t want’ at work (trust me, I know from lots of experience). However, the more we focus on what we don’t want- the more of it we get. Annoying, isn’t it? The good news is we can change this. By becoming aware of our thoughts, and shifting them towards our heart’s desires, we can create the nursing career of our dreams.
  • Get really clear on everything. You. Your message. How you help people. What problems you solve. I could go on and on… and on. A lack of clarity is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for an enjoyable and resilient nursing career. We need to be very, very clear on what we enjoy. How we want to show up at work. What we want to be doing all day. Etc. The clearer (I never know if that is a word) we can get on everything, the more our nursing career will mirror that which we wish for.
  • Keep getting ‘out there’. This one is a bit more ‘practical’ than the other two mindset type shifts above. Network. Get social. Refer. Get yourself, your work, your passions, your solutions- you!- out there in a really awesome and big way. When you open up to people, you open up to opportunity. It’s like Donna Cardillo’s post on the door from earlier this month, when you stay open- solutions truly will flow your way. Get ready to enjoy the ride!

OK, it’s your turn. What would you add to this? Did I miss something? What is one way you tip you could suggest to shift your nursing career from adequate to awesome? Leave a comment below and, by all means, tell a friend. Feel free to share this blog (or any of the other posts on this site) with a nurse you love. Thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

“I’m a Nurse, but I’m Not Sure I LOVE Nursing Anymore! Can You Help Me?”


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