Introducing Nurse Boss # 29: Nyuma Harrison
What are you doing now?
I recently resigned from a position in higher ed where I worked as a Nursing Career specialist/career coach. I absolutely loved being in this role – the work was challenging and incredibly rewarding, the environment was very inspiring and positively challenging, but after three years I decided that it was it was time to branch out and to go in search of new spaces where I could creatively and more independently apply everything that I have learned.
My goal for 2017 is to refine and to develop a few initiatives I created to inspire and support both new and experienced nurses. In the meantime, and as all this develops, I will still be working full time in the E.R. The Emergency Department is my first love and my professional home – I absolutely love the challenge and rewards that come from being a “bedside nurse” and I feel so fortunate to always have the opportunity to earn a steady income, to have the benefit of having benefits and to keep my finger on the actual pulse of healthcare.
Did you always have the desire to do what you are doing now or did someone or something create a spark in you that made you realize this was your calling?
I have always had this instinct that I was born to lead, to inspire, to motivate, to nurture. I have always had a desire to be the consummate professional who colors “outside of the lines” in a way that informs, strengthens and enhances everything happening “inside of the lines”. I have never had (and still don’t have) an exact “job title” that I aspire to, but I have always been clear about how I want to influence people and the kind of legacy I want to leave.
Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?
The foundation of all Nursing education itself is holistic and built on the basis of understanding people, biological (aka internal) systems, and non-biological (aka external) systems. Furthermore, the career opportunities for nursing are limitless…..Limitless, portable and pliable. Nurses can essentially dream and curate their own careers.
What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?
The ability to be respected and found extremely relevant and credible in all professional circuits all while educating, elevating and empowering others to do the same.
What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?
Needing to go above and beyond to prove my knowledge, competence in the places where a specific credential was “required” or “preferred.” How have I overcome this? Anytime this challenge arises, I make a purposeful commitment to working overtime on everything, and I make an effort to consistently project my competence, abilities and readiness to learn/grow.
What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?
Working away from the bedside allows me to “think outside of the box” and to learn systems and processes from others in other industries. However, working at the bedside as a “traditional nurse” keeps me directly in touch with what nurses do, experience and need and that is what I hope will always be basis of my work elsewhere.
For nurses who feel stuck in their careers what words of wisdom do you have to help inspire them to break out of their status quo?
Network outside of your lane. Talk to new people. Take classes other than the classes required by your current job. Do the things you are passionate about (outside of Nursing) and then find a way to connect those things back to Nursing, so that the two can begin to coexist.
What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?
GOOGLE ☺ Google “Nurses doing……..”
Someone, somewhere has already done what you want to do. Find them (as many of them) and research everything about them. Read, listen and watch what they have already published. Find a way to contact them and learn everything from them. And then figure out how to do your own thing. Create your own brand.
What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?
Ummmm….a few. I am currently re-reading “ReWork” by Jason Fried and David Heinhemeier Hansson. But after this I will probably look to read something more poetic and lyrical….Maybe something by my favorite author Edwidge Danticat or something by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. I like balance. I like concrete textbook type books, but I also like stories about love, war, people and places from around the world.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
Uggggh!!!! Good question. I like a lot of different types of foods, but I think I could spend my life eating a lot of Kenyan/Indian inspired food. I love my chapatis, sambosas, chevra, kachumbari, pilou, mandazi, nyama choma….ahhhhh!!! So many good options. I would certainly be beyond “carb loaded”, but I would be extremely happy.
How can we get in touch with you?
Via social media @nyumaharrison, on LinkedIn, https://www.instagram.com/NyumaHarrison
Thank you for your energy and taking the time to read Nurse Boss. Please share with us what you are doing to own your nursing acumen, creativity, and imagination.
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Keep shining your light,
Lisbeth, Healthy Nurse by Design