Why Negativity Continues to Exist in NursingNegativity in Nursing

OK. I am about to give up!

On Instagram, I follow all of these nursing brands. And I have about had it. Now, I know it is meant to be nursing humor and all, but come on. Haven’t we seen enough photo shopped images of people complaining about holding their pee?

I am constantly reading posts that refer to:

  • How nurses never get breaks
  • How nurses have to hold their bladders the entire work day
  • How nurses can’t get enough staff to work

The list goes on and on. And on.

Again, I have a sense of humor. In fact, I like to laugh. A LOT. Yet, to me, this type of ‘humor’ is just not funny.

Have You Ever Heard of Gravity?

OK, so you have heard of the law of gravity, right? How if you throw something up in the air, it will come back down? Or if you are going to jump out of an airplane, you better have a working parachute if you want to live. The law of gravity is a universal law. It is working whether we think of it or not. It is working all of the time. And it is working even if you say, “Hey… I don’t believe in that law!”

Well, in addition to the law of gravity, there are other laws. Laws of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. There are also relational laws that most humans abide by and accept, such as the Golden Rule. And what about traffic laws? I was amazed the other day as my husband and I pulled up to a very busy- I mean EXTREMELY busy- four way stop sign. And guess what? Each human being behind the driver wheel was taking turns, letting each other go in a certain flow. It’s just a law!

Like Attracts Like

Now, I don’t mean to scare you away- but there are also universal laws that relate to energy. In scientific terms: ‘quantum physics’. In layman’s terms: laws of attraction.

This law of attraction is like any other law. It is working whether you are thinking about it or not. It works even if you don’t believe in it. It is working all of the time, in every person’s life, at any point in existence.

Great leaders such as Andrew Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Deepak Chopra, and Wayne Dyer have studied this law.

Even Oprah Winfrey said: “What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”

But Is It Real?

Sure, critics out there bash the law of attraction and other quantum physics principles as ‘wishful thinking nonsense’. And certainly the popularization of the movie, ‘The Secret’, has not helped those analytical minds out there that need scientific proof that this law exists.

According to this article on Huffington Post, there is research being done using brain imaging that upholds the notion that like attracts like. For example, the article describes how when we focus on a certain feeling such as ‘pain’, it can actually increase that feeling.

So What Does this Mean for Nursing?

Well, for one- we need to cut out the crap (excuse my language) that puts down the profession of nursing. All of those posts, images, and memes- while they are meant to be comical- that degrade the nursing profession are doing much more harm than good.

When we focus on what we do not have, we get more of it. So- if we talk all of the time about how nurses never get breaks and do not have time to use the bathroom, guess what? That is JUST what we are going to get more of!

When we talk about how we do not have enough staffing or how there is no money in the budget for a proposed program- Poof!! The law of attraction states “Your wish is my command”.

What nurses and the profession of nursing needs to do is shift from a perspective of lack to one of abundance. Shift from focusing on what we don’t have to what we actually do have. There are nursing units, departments, and entire organizations out there that are thriving! Guess what? We can learn from these groups.

Appreciative Inquiry Can Be One Tool

Not sure how to do this? Worried that your habits are too ingrained to change? First off- take a deep breath. You are not alone. In fact, it is totally normal to focus on the negative. It is actually a coping mechanism passed on throughout humanity to protect us from danger.

However, you are also right. To change this behavior may take time, effort, energy, and a whole lot of patience.

You are in luck. There are many tools and strategies out there to help you. One that I like a lot is Appreciative Inquiry. And this may be well accepted in the nursing profession because this framework was developed as an organizational development tool to help teams make progress and reach goals.

Using Appreciative Inquiry can help you shift your thoughts from focusing on what does not work to looking for and paying attention to what could work.

Let’s Make A Shift in Nursing

So we need each and every nurse to get on board with this. Make the shift inside of your own head from paying attention to what is wrong to focusing on what is right. Then as you do, you will role model this behavior for others. As others do, it will become a team approach. As the entire team gets on board, then the workplace will start to be a great place to go!

What else? What comes to mind when you think about the profession of nursing and its tendency to pay attention to lack? What can you do today to begin to shift the consciousness of the entire nursing profession? Share below and thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RNAbout the Author: Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the bestselling author of ‘Nursing from Within’, 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. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.






A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds

At a time when health care is going through major change, nurses—known for being highly capable in a crisis—are being forced to take on more and more responsibilities. In this increasingly stressful environment, nurses need new ways to make sure they are taking care of themselves so they don’t succumb to the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion of caring for everyone and everything else.

Nursing from Within: A Fresh Alternative to Putting Out Fires and Self-Care Workarounds offers the innovative solutions today’s nurses need.

Get Your Copy of Nursing from Within Today!buynow-orange-4

Book Elizabeth to Speak about Nursing from Within at Your Next Event!button-mab-book-to-speak

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

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


Get your FREE 3-part video series!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!