Welcome to the 21st installment of Nurse Boss. A blog series dedicated to nurses.
I was guided to create this series after a spark of creativity within my soul felt that it would help thousands of nurses.
My hope is that these interviews will ignite a spark in you or stir your inner landscape in a way that propels you to dream big and go after what it is that you desire in life and career.
A Nurse Boss is a nurse who has created a lifestyle that aligns their passion with their natural gifts and energy style in a way that helps others while also honoring their own body, mind, and soul. A Nurse Boss walks their talk and they are open to receive the abundance that is theirs.
A Nurse Boss is more than a role or job he/she has, it’s a certain energy, a vibe, a mindset. A Nurse Boss has an uplifting energy and loves helping others, but not to the detriment of his/her own well-being.
I am absolutely delighted about today’s Nurse Boss! Carmen Davailus Buck is not only a Nurse Practitioner, photographer, and writer, but also an earth angel. I believe that we heal through sharing stories and Carmen has found a way to share the stories of those who are living with dementia through beautiful images and stories.
1. What are you doing now?
Just answering this question makes me smile. I am completing interviews and photo sessions for a book I am writing about caregivers and families impacted by dementia. Expected publication is Winter 2017. It’s about the spiritual aspects of living with dementia and how these beautiful families manage during such difficult times.
I am owner and photographer for Carmen Buck Photography, and I photograph families, couples, lifestyle, branding head shots and portraits. I volunteer my photography skills to Alzheimer’s Texas and Bliss Kid Yoga which is a nonprofit organization bringing yoga to underserved children and their families.
I blog regularly. I continue to learn about photography, business, speaking and writing.
2. 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 a desire to do creative things including write. In my high school years in the 70s, young women were given choices primarily of teacher, nurses or secretary.
Teachers throughout high school and college encouraged me to not give up the dream to write. I never did, but I also wanted to pursue nursing. Since I supported myself shortly after graduating from high school, I had to make decisions based on my passions as well as survival and making a living. I became a nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner.
I found ways to be a creative nurse. I continued to take workshops and studied writing, speaking and entrepreneurship. I wasn’t quite sure what it would look like for me until a day at work as a nurse practitioner when one of my patients had an incredibly touching story to share with me. I specialized in care of those with dementia and their caregivers.
It was an epiphany for me. I knew I would share the stories that most of us don’t get to hear about living with dementia. I also knew I would photograph and include portraits. It was a pivotal life changing moment for me.
3. Why is nursing a great launchpad for nurses who want to create their own lifestyle doing what they love?
I believe nursing is a calling. We are called to nursing by love and desire to connect with others in some way. The beauty of nursing is that this can be achieved in a variety of ways. There are roles that can fit our personalities and even create the career that we want. I personally found ways to include some kind of writing and publishing into many of my roles. As a nurse practitioner I managed my schedule as to have enough time with my patients and families to actually get to know them.
Interestingly, the very qualities that make me a caring, thoughtful and smart nurse, make me an excellent photographer and a tuned in writer. I have to listen and observe for the moments between the moments to capture the most authentic image of my clients.
These are the ones that give me goosebumps and make my clients cry when they see them. It’s about the authentic connection.
4. What is the ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss?
Your definition of nurse boss is beautiful. An ultimate characteristic of a nurse boss is the desire to experience authentic connection with others and nature even in the seemingly most mundane times. One has to be willing to be vulnerable to be open to authentic connection.
5. What was the biggest obstacle you’ve faced to get to where you are now? How were you able to overcome it?
My biggest obstacle is learning to tune into what I really want. For various reasons, I’ve devoted more of my life to caring for others rather than caring for myself. I have to stop and ask myself- what do I REALLY WANT?
Then I keep asking ‘why’ over and over again to get clarity for myself. I realized my ‘why’ was sometimes about what was best for someone else and not for me. I feel like someone who has been on a restricted diet for decades and then walks into a buffet and is allowed to have whatever she chooses.
I don’t have time to do all of what I want to do, so learning to focus on what I really want has been key. Focus, Focus, Focus
6. What does your current job allow you to do that traditional nursing did not?
I am a nurse entrepreneur. I am a photographer, writer and speaker. I encourage healing from behind a lens. I photograph people from all walks of life and ages.
I particularly enjoy photographing the elderly and those who have stopped seeing the beauty in themselves. When women cry when they see an image of themselves and say, ‘I haven’t felt beautiful in years, but I do now,’ healing happens.
When an autistic child who is often withdrawn smiles and kisses his mother and she cries in response, and I capture that image, healing happens. When I photograph young children learning yoga and self care, healing happens.
When families rejoice at having one last image of their loved one before they pass, healing happens. I’m the one who heals, too because I get the honor of these experiences.
7. 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?
Ask yourself what you REALLY want and also ask ‘why.’ So many nurses are like I was-lots of giving without a strong sense of self other than as carer. Nursing provides ample opportunities and perhaps their current job just needs a different perspective.
It sounds simple but not always simple to get there. Change is less painful than staying in the status quo. I view change as an exciting adventure! I think as I got older and realized just how short life is, there was no valid excuse to stop growing. I always knew it, but now there’s almost a sense of urgency.
8. What resources can you share for nurses wanting to explore creating their own gig that actually pays them?
The internet offers so much! So many are free or low cost and can give you a taste of what others are doing and how you might do the same but in your own unique way. There are all kinds of wonderful webinars and online courses. I learned and continue to learn from experts on www.creativelive.com They offer all kinds of classes at reasonable prices and you can watch on your own time.
Now for fun:
9. What book or publication is currently on your nightstand?
God is at Eye Level-Photography as a Healing Art by Jan Phillips. I also have Oprah magazine and Vogue.
10. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
11. How can we get in touch with you?
Carmen Davailus Buck
Carmen is a nurse practitioner, author, speaker and photographer specializing in Portraits, Personal Branding Head Shots and Lifestyle Photography including hybrid video. She also enjoys family and couple photography. Her current photography/essay project is a book called Love Still Lives Here with stories of families caring for their loved ones with dementia. Expected publication is January 2017. She speaks on a variety of topics including eldercare, dementia care and holistic nursing.
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,