They say, ‘we all have a book in us,’ but most of us don’t take the time to put our journey down on paper. This year, I was involved in a project led by Eva Francis, a nurse leader, friend, and colleague I have known for several years. Eva is the founder of the Nurse Empowerment Conference that brought thousands of nurses together over the past few years to learn, network, and celebrate their work. The conference recognizes aspiring nurses, student nurses, new nurses, experienced nurses, nurse educators, nurse leaders, and retired nurses. It is a great event, and really did recognize and empower nurses.
At the 2019 Conference, Eva announced she was starting a project for nurses who wanted to write a book. She would supply the editing and publishing resources. Eleven nurses signed up and committed to writing their book by a specific date. The goal was to launch the newly published books at the 2020 Nurses Empowerment Conference.
To help keep the Nurse Writers on track, she brought together nurses interested in mentoring and coaching the nurse writers on their journey. Our goal was to ensure they completed their book by the designated due date. I volunteered to be a mentor and was matched up with Rhonda Nelson.
Rhonda is a young nurse who was enthusiastic, honest, and wanted to write a book about her experience of becoming a nurse. At our first meeting, she shared her vision and why she wanted to write her book. She felt she has something important to share and wanted to get it out. I encouraged her to set up a timeline to stay focused. Rhonda was working full time on the night shift, so I knew she would have to be disciplined if we are going to meet the deadline. Rhonda agreed to set a schedule, and I have to say she stuck to it for the most part. She would write a chapter and send it to me. I would read it and sent it back to her with ideas and comments. She took criticism very well but also stood her ground if she felt strongly about something. We worked well together, and the book was published by the deadline! Unfortunately, due to COVID 19, the launch had to be done via zoom as the 2020 Nurse Empowerment was cancelled. The virtual launch went very well and it was interesting to learn about the impetus for each nurse to write their books.
Rhonda’s book is titled: Going the Extra Mile: My Untold Story of Becoming a Nurse. The book is Rhonda’s journey from the aspiration stage to deciding to go to nursing school, the challenges of nursing school to getting her first job to the present. The stories of her time in nursing school will remind all nurses of the ‘endurance test’ we took to reach our goals.
She told her story with wit, passion, and commitment. She wrote about the challenges of landing her first job. Today it is not a promise that there will be a job for any nurse when they finish training and pass the NCLEX exam. Rhonda provides some innovative strategies to help you stand out among peers as you start the job search.
Rhonda shared the challenges a new nurse faces as they realize the realities of the job. These are challenges that no nursing program can prepare you for. They have to be lived to learn. What impressed me was how this young nurse stood up for herself and for her patients. She was a team player but did not let herself be put into a position that was not safe for herself or her patients. Again she teaches valuable lessons all nurses need to learn about the importance of standing up for yourself when you are put into a position that is not safe.
Rhonda shared stories of working with patients who were dying but who remained positive and how they helped her as much as she helped them. She shared stories of how she advocated for her patients and stood her ground because it was the right thing. It is an inspiring read and I hope that anyone reading this Blog post will purchase this important book. I can see it being used in nursing schools as a ‘must read’ as part of the all nurses journey.
I hope you will visit Amazon to review Rhonda Nelson’s book and purchase this important book to read it. If you are a nurse, it will bring a smile to your face as Rhonda’s story is your story. Rhonda’s stories will bring back memories of your journey as a nurse. If you know someone looking at nursing as a career goal, are in nursing school, or a recent graduate, get this book….it is an excellent book to refer to as you move through your journey.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to share this book with your colleagues,family and friends. To reach Rhonda for speaking engagement, you can reach her by email at [email protected]
Have a good week.